The Reggio Emilia Philosophy
The Reggio Philosophy of teaching was founded in Reggio Emilia, Italy by Loris Malaguzzi over 50 years ago. It is a progressive, cooperative, community-based approach to teaching preschool.
The Reggio Philosophy’s main principals are:
Respect for the child – The Reggio philosophy believes that children are capable of constructing their own learning and are motivated by their own interests. There is a strong focus on project-based group work, where the children’s inquiries and questions are valued. The teacher is seen as the mentor and guide (rather than the adult who bestows knowledge), enabling the children to follow their thoughts and investigations.
Documentation – The Reggio Philosophy applies a strong emphasis on the documentation of the children’s thoughts, the progression of their thoughts and their beliefs. Ongoing documentation is done through transcripts, notes, pictures, video and also through the children’s work (drawing, clay, sculptures, buildings etc). Documentation is made visible to parents to show and explain the children’s learning.
The Environment is the third teacher – The Reggio Philosophy believes that the environment of the preschool has much potential in inspiring the child. Reggio environments are known for their beauty and peaceful tranquility (less paper on the walls, less colour, no clutter) and many natural elements, including plants, wooden toys and items from nature. Teachers strive to offer children real life equipment and tools and teach the children to use them properly and with care.