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Macro and Micro Innovations. TCS: 6936 Enriching the Curriculum. By Roseanne Pickering – AS1/Year three. Reggio Emilia – Macro Innovation.

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macro and micro innovations

Macro and Micro Innovations

TCS: 6936

Enriching the Curriculum

By Roseanne Pickering – AS1/Year three


Reggio Emilia –

Macro Innovation

“Reggio Emilia offers us a way of thinking about how we educate young children in relation to the context in which they live and adults with whom they engage” (Edwards, 2009, p. 24). Edwards goes on to explain we need to have an understanding of potential developmental abilities of young children and not to focusing on the current developmental abilities of children.


Brief History

  • After the Second World War the community of Reggio Emilia, Italy wanted to bring change and create a democratic society.
  • Malaguzzi, a theorist and director developed this ‘model’ we know as the Reggio Emilia Approach.
  • He drew on other educational theorist including Piaget, Vygotsky, Steiner, Montessori and Drewey.

Image of the Child








Active agents & go researchers


Rich in experiences


Competent & Capable


  • Establishing relationships

Constructingtheir learning

Desires to gain knowledge

Protagonist of their own learning


Role of the Teacher

‘lo chi siamo’ (I am who we are)

On going reflection

Teacher as researcher & Collaborator

To be very open

To document & capture conversation

To question and extend

To reflect & support

To observe & listen

To gather with the children

Apart of a team

Respecting children’s work & the process

To know each child individually,

Act as a resource for the children &

Partners to the process of learning.


Providing Enrichment

to Children’s Learning

  • To recognise children have a voice and we are to listen to them, giving them the lead in their learning.
  • View teachers as collaborators and researches to work alongside the children.
  • Recognise the process children's learning.
  • Get parents more involved within the centre as they too are apart of the process.

Environment As The Third Teacher

  • The environment is seen as one that educates and mirrors the ideas, values, attitudes and cultures of those that live in it.
  • It promotes relationships, provides challenges, choices and activity and has potential ‘for sparking all kinds of social, affective and cognitive learning.

Preparing the Environment

  • Develop an interactive learning environment.- By giving children an environment filled with learning opportunities and places for social connection we are enriching and developing their learning.

We enrich this learning by looking at the areas within The Sand Box and see where there is a need for development.


Curriculum/Project Learning

  • Pedagogy of listening
  • Children, parents and teachers take part in the process.
  • What happens next?
  • Children directed. Developed though ongoing negotiation.
  • Inquiry-Based learning. Asking questions.
  • Long & Short term projects
  • All children’s work is valued and respected, worthy of adult attention.
  • Emergent & Flexible.
  • Compare, discus & interpret together.
  • More than one project can happen at a time.
  • ‘Topics’ are used to pose problems and provoke thought.
  • “You don’t know until you explain in to someone else.”
  • Documentation is vitally important

Projects in the Classroom

Video on Projects in Reggio:


Changing Curriculum

  • Following a child-centred emergent curriculum which is based on collaboration from children, parents and teachers.
  • Creating a community of learning's, adapting in to smaller group projects.
  • Develop an aspect of project working.

- Giving children the control to learn what they want to, to go more in-depth in their interests



Uses all types of media: Pictures, video, wall display, CD’s, websites etc


Form of Communication

Considers the process

Offers dialog

To Share and Review

Testimony of Thinking


To be Done Together

Improve our Teaching

Used as a Tool

To be Shared

Discovers Potential

Adds to the Learning process of the child.

Memory or Spring Board to children, parents, families and teachers.

documentation in the classroom
Documentation in the Classroom

For more information in Documentation cheek out:


Importance of Documentation

  • Add to the documentation and display in the over two’s room.
  • Document the process ‘we’ go through.
  • Use the documentation for staff personal development and team building.
  • Get parents involved – activities at home wall in under twos.

Brief Intro:

  • Citizen Preschool and Nursery an Early Childhood Centre in South Dunedin, runs 7:30 to 5:30 with a licence for 35 children including 15 under twos. Ratio of 1:8 in the preschool and 1:4 in the nursery.
  • In 1954 the centre became part of the Methodist Connection, and in 2004 introduced a family support worker after the head teacher noticed gaps social service agency links with their centre, steping toward a “one stop shop” model.

Why is Citizen Preschool and NurseryA Centre of Innovation.

    • The family support working is dedicated to helping parents with varies kinds of support such as:
    • advocacy,
    • link to community and government agencies
    • support with completing forms (WINZ),
    • family assistance, budget advice,
    • behaviour management strategies,
    • and other services.
  • The support worker was there to “plug the gaps”. Taking the social serves work load of the teachers, giving them more time to focus on the children.

What did they want to find out?

  • What counts as support for families from a childcare centre that activity works with parents and children?
  • Developing an action plan they “borrowed” the “three-legged stool”.

The “three-legged stool”.

Family Support

Teaching & Teaching Practices

Family Support




Citizen Preschool & Nursery's findings

Family Support Worker.

  • Being there and being seen – drop of and pick up times, events, activities, functions, visits.
  • Making time to talk – being there at the right time, formal/informal chatter.
  • Building Bridges – making connections with other people, services, information and resources.

Citizen Preschool & Nursery's findings

Teachers and Teaching Practices.

  • It’s the little things that count – such as open door policy, name tags & whiteboards.
  • To know you better and for you to know me better – family wall posters, coffee mornings.
  • You don’t know if you don’t ask – resolving problems as they come along.
citizen preschool nursery s findings management practices
Citizen Preschool & Nursery's findingsManagement Practices.
  • Management team collaboration – meeting together as whole, shared offices.
  • Changes to enrolment procedures for parents – up- to-date policies and enrolment pack.
  • Transition to preschool – creating partnership with families to change & adapt their practices.

Enriching our Community of Learners

  • The findings and conclusion from this innovation are practical and can be applied to many other centres.
  • If we take each of the three legs and their finding and put them into our practice we will begin to create an enriched learning environment where both parents and children are supported.

Support at the Sand Box Preschool

  • Through looking at this innovation I have noted improving relationships as a team and with the parents and families is vitally important.
  • Families need to feel as though they belong and can approach the team with their concerns.

Where to start at The Sand Box Preschool.

  • We could send out a questionnaire to our parents to find areas where we need to improve relationships and communications.
  • We can begin to implement the “three-legged stool” into our centre by putting in to place what Citizen Preschool and Nursery has found out.

Support for Our Parents

  • By changing our practices & looking into the support for parents & families we are creating a network that supports our community of learning's.
  • When there is a support system in place there is more time for teachers to work with children.

Reference List

Clyde, J. A., Miller, C., Sauer, S,. Liebert, K., Parker, S., & Runyon, S. (2006). Teacher and children inquire into Reggio Emilia. Language Arts, 83(3), 215-226.

Duncan, J., Darker, D., McLean, T., Parata, B., Preedy, K,. & Gaffney, M. (2007). What counts as support for familes? In Meade, A (Ed.), Riding the waves: innovation in early childhood education (pp.31-38). Wellington, New Zealand: NZCER Press

Edwards, C. P., Gandini, L,. Forman, G. E,. (1998). The hundred languages of children: the Reggio Emilia approach. Greenwhich, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group.

Edwards, S. (2009) Early childhood education and care: social cultural approach. Castle Hill, New South Wales: Pademolen Press.


Gandini, L. (2004). Foundations of the Reggio Emilia approach. In Hendrick (Ed.), Next steps towards teaching in the Reggio Way: Accepting the Challenges to change (pp. 13-36). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Peason.

Hendrick, J, (1997). First steps towards teaching the Reggio Way. Upper Saddle River: NJ: Prentice Hall.

Lee, D. (2002). Passion, participation and pedagogy: reflection on teh Reggio Emilia approach to infant and toddler care and education. The First Years: Nga Tau Tuatahin: New Zealand Journal of Infant and Toddler Education, 4(1), 13-16.

Mawson, B. (2010). Finding our way: interpreting Reggio in a New Zealand context. Early Childhood Folio, 14(1), 18-22.

Ministry of Education. (2006). Te Whaariki: He Whaarikimaatauranga mo nga mokopuna o Aotearoa/Early childhood curriculum. Wellington: Learning Media.


Reggio Emilia Aotearoa New Zealand: Video on documentation. (2012). Retrieved from:

Support for families in early childhood centres. (2010). Retrieved from: ocumentandResources/ServiceSpecific/SupportforFamiliesinEa rlyChildhoodCentres.aspx