Early Learning and the Reggio Emilia Approach
As you may be aware, our School is inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach within our Early Learning Centre. The Reggio Emilia Philosophy is an innovative and inspiring approach to early childhood education. This approach views young children as curious about their world and have the powerful potential to learn from all that surrounds them. This way of learning is particularly important for our children today where they are growing up in a world with so much change. In the current situation with Covid-19, we believe progressive education and an active involvement in learning is essential.
Being such unprecedented times, there is a constant need to adapt to change. The ELC curriculum is flexible and emerges from children’s ideas, thoughts and observations. With everything going on in the world now, we thought it would be a great opportunity to share this approach in more detail. We look at the importance of this approach for the foundations of early learning and the impact that our teachers, parents, community, and environment have on our children‘s learning.
The philosophy of the Reggio Emilia approach is that children are full of curiosity and creativity, and they are viewed as active, capable and valuable members of their community. During their early years of learning children are encouraged to explore and question their world. It has a great emphasis on play, and highlights the importance of play on cognitive, social and emotional development. This philosophy isn’t a set model, yet an approach based around fundamental values about how children individually learn.
A Reggio inspired teacher is more of a co-learner than an instructor, and there is an emphasis on the need for them to observe students and then adapt based on the areas that interest them. Teachers will collaborate with their students and will continuously guide experiences through open-ended questions. They are a mentor and a partner in the child’s learning process, and their goal is to encourage further exploration of a child’s interests, by developing projects along the way.
Parents & Community
This approach holds the idea that parents and the wider community are an essential part of the learning process and they have a collective responsibility for children. Parents are viewed as partners and collaborators, and they are invited to play an active role in their child’s learning within and beyond the classroom. The atmosphere of the community impacts the child and being involved in a community is paramount to their learning. This approach believes that a child forms their identity through their interactions with their peers, adults and most importantly the world around them.
The physical environment in which the children are based in is a crucial part to the Reggio Emilia approach. This approach highlights the belief that children make a sense of their world through an environment that is stimulating and supports relationships between people, the world and ideas. The classroom is often referred to as a ‘teacher’ itself, as it motivates children to explore, play and learn, and creates a sense of belonging.
You can read further information and discover the key principles of the Reggio Emilia approach within our ELC here.