The neutrality of this article is disputed. Relevant discussion aesthetic development of preschool children be found on the talk page. The Reggio Emilia approach is an educational philosophy focused on preschool and primary education. By the 1970s Malaguzzi’s method was known and appreciated by many educators especially thanks to the first exhibit opened at the Modern Museet in Stockholm, Sweden.
On May 24, 1994, the non-profit organization Friends of Reggio Children International Association was founded to promote the work of Loris Malaguzzi and organize professional development and cultural events. In 2003 the municipality of Reggio Emilia chose to manage the system and the network of school services and toddler centers by forming the Istituzione Scuole e Nidi d’Infanzia. This allowed municipal schools and preschools to have independent programs and activities with support from the government. In February 2006, the Loris Malaguzzi International Centre opened in Reggio Emilia, Italy, as a meeting place for professional development and research of the Reggio philosophy. Children must have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves.
The Reggio Emilia approach to teaching young children puts the natural development of children as well as the close relationships that they share with their environment at the center of its philosophy. Reggio Emilia’s approach to early education reflects a theoretical kinship with John Dewey, Jean Piaget, Vygotsky and Jerome Bruner, among others. One of the most challenging aspects of the Reggio Emilia approach is the solicitation of multiple points of view regarding children’s needs, interests, and abilities, and the concurrent faith in parents, teachers, and children to contribute in meaningful ways to the determination of school experiences. Reggio Emilia’s tradition of community support for families with young children expands on a view, more strongly held in Emilia Romagna and Tuscany, of children as the collective responsibility of the local community. Teachers respect parents as each child’s first teacher and involve parents in every aspect of the curriculum.
It is not uncommon to see parents volunteering within Reggio Emilia classrooms throughout the school. In the Reggio approach, the teacher is considered a co-learner and collaborator with the child and not just an instructor. Teachers are encouraged to facilitate the child’s learning by planning activities and lessons based on the child’s interests, asking questions to further understanding, and actively engaging in the activities alongside the child, instead of passively observing the child learning. Some implementations of the Reggio Emilia approach self-consciously juxtapose their conception of the teacher as autonomous co-learner with other approaches. Teachers’ long-term commitment to enhancing their understanding of children is at the crux of the Reggio Emilia approach.
They compensate for the meagre pre-service training of Italian early childhood teachers by providing extensive staff development opportunities, with goals determined by the teachers themselves. While working on projects with the child, the teacher can also expand the child’s learning by collecting data that can be reviewed at a later time. The teacher needs to maintain an active, mutual participation in the activity to help ensure that the child clearly understands what is being “taught”. Teachers partner with colleagues, students, and parents in the learning process. Often, teachers listen to and observe children in the classroom and record their observations to help plan the curriculum and prepare the environment and teaching tools to support the student’s interests. Using a variety of media, teachers give careful attention to the documentation and presentation of the thinking of the students.
Rather than following standardized assessments, the teacher inquires and listens closely to the children. An example of documentation might be a book or panel with the student’s words, drawings, and photographs. Static One of the aims in the design of new spaces – and the redesign of existing ones – is integration of the classroom space with the surrounding environment: the rest of the school, and community the school is a part of. Physically, the preschools generally incorporate natural light and indoor plants. Classrooms open to a center piazza, kitchens are open to view, and access to the outside and surrounding community is provided through courtyards, large windows, and exterior doors in each classroom.
Other supportive elements of the environment include ample space for supplies, frequently rearranged to draw attention to their aesthetic features. In each classroom there are studio spaces in the form of a large, centrally located atelier and a smaller mini-atelier, and clearly designated spaces for large- and small-group activities. Cohorts or groups of students stay with one teacher for a three-year period, creating consistency in environment and relationships. The curriculum is characterized by many features advocated by contemporary research on young children, including real-life problem-solving among peers, with numerous opportunities for creative thinking and exploration.