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The reggio emilia Approach. History of the Reggio Emilia Approach. New ideas about education emerged in the Emilia Romagna region after World War II. Loris Malaguzzi, a teacher in the area, is considered the founder of the Reggio Emilia Approach.

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history of the reggio emilia approach
History of the Reggio Emilia Approach
  • New ideas about education emerged in the Emilia Romagna region after World War II.
  • Loris Malaguzzi, a teacher in the area, is considered the founder of the Reggio Emilia Approach.
  • Malaguzzi and other parents in the region came together to create a system to provide child care for young children.
  • It is important to understand that the people of Reggio Emilia work together to better their community. This education system works best in this environment because of their culture and traditions. Parents and other community members are very involved in the learning process.
  • The education system that was originally started to provide care for children while their mothers went back to work, is now a well developed program that is recognized worldwide.
what is the reggio emilia approach
What is the Reggio Emilia Approach?
  • “A child has a hundred languages.”
    • This is a common concept in Reggio Emilia classrooms. These “languages” refer to the way that students think and learn about ideas like innovation, construction, fantasy, art, music, dance, building, writing, talking, etc. These ideas help children construct an understanding of their environment.
  • There are several aspects of the Reggio Emilia Approach that are all necessary in order for the system to work to its fullest potential.
    • Role of the child
    • Role of the teacher
    • Documentation of activities
    • Classroom Environment
role of the child
Role of the Child
  • Children who are in the Reggio Emilia program are researchers of the world around them.
  • They are encouraged to think about how the world functions and why they believe it functions as such.
  • It is important that children use their own natural curiosity to explore their environment and make discoveries independently.
  • Children should not learn according to a set schedule and should operate on a more spontaneous level.
  • The child’s interests and curiosity lead the curriculum of the classroom. Teachers are able to identify these interests and develop projects and activities to reinforce concepts.
role of the teacher
Role of the Teacher
  • It is important for teachers to learn about each child and how they are developing as individuals. It is uncommon for teachers to make judgments of students based on how the average child develops.
  • Teachers should provide the contexts for learning.
  • “If the child is misbehaving, find out why, find out what the child is trying to communicate, find out how you can help the child.” (
  • Teachers are to be careful listeners, observers, and documenters of children’s work.
documentation of activities
Documentation of Activities
  • Documentation is an essential aspect of the Reggio Emilia Approach.
  • Not only does this allow for visitors of the classroom to see what the students have been doing but it also allows students to re-examine the experiences for themselves.
  • Documentation involves observation, reflection collaboration, interpretation, analysis, and is also included in the classroom setting for students to learn from one another.
  • Pictures, audio and video tape, transcripts, notes, and other products of children’s work are all considered documentation.
role of the environment
Role of the Environment
  • The classroom environment is widely considered the “third teacher”.
  • The educators of Reggio Emilia view the school as a living organism.
  • The organization of the physical environment is crucial to Reggio Emilia’s early childhood program.
  • The layout of the physical space in the schools encourages encounters, communication, and relationships. The arrangement of structures, objects and activities encourage choices, problem solving, and discoveries in the process of learning.
role of the environment1
Role of the Environment
  • In preparing the space, teachers offer the possibility for children to be with their teachers and many of the other children, or with just a few of the children, or even alone.
  • Most Reggio classrooms include a studio, which is filled with materials such as clay, paint, and writing implements. Children use these materials to represent concepts that they are learning in a hands on way.
  • Features of Reggio Emilia classrooms are wall sized windows, mirrors on the floors, areas for dramatic play, and student work on the walls.
  • “Long hallways are meant for running, doors are meant to be opened and closed, and stairs are meant to be climbed.” (
example of the reggio emilia approach
Example of the Reggio Emilia Approach
  • Andrea Young, head teacher of a Reggio inspired school in San Francisco's Presidio State Park, says that students are allowed to follow their own interests, but that “it's not willy-nilly.” For example, she says, students in her classroom were showing an interest in building, so she brought wood stumps and building materials into the classroom. While exploring how to hammer nails, the children were given the opportunity to reinforce math skills, problem-solving, and emerging literacy –all in relationship to their hands-on project.
  • Reggio- Inspired Chandeliers:
    • Students make each piece to hang on the chandelier, then hang in the classroom
  • Painting, Scultpting
  • Constructing objects out of different types of materials