About the Reggio Emilia Approach®

About the City of Reggio Emilia, Italy

Reggio Emilia, a city in northern Italy, is where the Reggio Emilia infant-toddler centres and preschools are located, and from which comes the Reggio Approach.

How the Preschools and Infant-Toddler Centres Got Started

Reggio Emilia’s approach to education grew from a grassroots movement by citizens of the city who built schools for their children after World War II, determined that this was the way they could ensure that the children would never again have to endure Fascism. Loris Malaguzzi led the movement from the late 1950’s until his death in 1994. There are currently 46 centres for children from birth to age six, and a school at the Loris Malaguzzi International Centre for students up to Grade 5. The city of Reggio Emilia also has an international centre for the study of childhood and maintains ongoing contact, through study tours and conferences, with over 80 countries.

For further information on the Istituzione Municipal Infant-toddler Centres, Preschools, and Elementary Classrooms of Reggio Emilia, visit the website www.reggiochildren.it

The Reggio Emilia Approach®

Benvenuti a Reggio Emilia, Italy

“The Reggio Emilia Approach® is an educational philosophy based on the image of a child with strong potentialities for development and a subject with rights, who learns through the hundred languages belonging to all human beings, and grows in relations with others.” (Reggio Children)

The keystone of the approach is the image of children and teachers as capable, resourceful researchers, interested in inquiring seriously into the world around them. Such thoughtful engagement includes working through theories, thoughts, feelings and values in multiple modes of representation, such as drawing, dance, wire, clay, music, painting, light and shadow, design and building, and so forth. It includes the teacher research of pedagogical documentation in which teachers inquire into children’s thinking and understanding, invite children to revisit documentation, and study documentation in order to propel curriculum further. It includes the notion of children as full participants in their society, and creators of culture for others to study and enjoy. Parents are invited to be full participants in the life of schools. It is the richest, most expansive and demanding vision of childhood we have encountered, and as we attempt to cultivate its possibilities, we see children, teachers, and families respond with a depth of thinking, feeling, and joyful participation previously unexperienced.

For information on this approach visit https://www.reggiochildren.it/en/reggio-emilia-approach/

The Values of the Reggio Emilia Approach®

“To make a lovable school, industrious, inventive, liveable, documentable and communicable, a place of research, learning, re-cognition and reflection, where children, teachers and families feel well – is our point of arrival.”  Loris Malaguzzi

Education is a right for all children, for the growth of the individual and the collective, and the responsibility of the community.

Education is a system of relationships within the territory and its culture, capable of joining the local to the global.

The rights and potentials of children and their families are promoted in contexts of dialogue, co-responsibility and shared elaboration that gives value to the specific educational responsibilities of each. 

Children are active protagonists of their own growth and developmental processes, possessing an ecological sensibility towards others and towards the environment, toward constructing knowledge and contributing to the construction of culture.

Centres and schools give value and equal dignity to all verbal and non-verbal languages.  

The Hundred Languages of children create connections between the various dimensions of experience rather than separating them. 

Participation is the educational strategy that is constructed and lived day by day in the encounter with others giving value to the hundred languages of human beings, a plurality of points of view and of cultures.

Listening is a condition for dialogue and change, that is welcoming, open, and nurtures reflection.  It is a condition for dialogue and change, processes that are nurtured and valued through pedagogical documentation.

Shared educational research of everyday life is a priority practice between adults and children; an ethical approach for interpreting the world, systems of co-existence and a powerful instrument for renewal in education.

Educational documentation gives value to individual and group learning and makes it accessible for revisiting, reconstructing in exchange with different points of view in a  forum and a public space in which the culture of childhood and education is elaborated through a democratic process.

For more on the values underpinning this unique approach to learning, visit https://www.reggiochildren.it/en/reggio-emilia-approach/valori-en/

About Loris Malaguzzi

In 1963, when the municipality opened its first preschool, the Robinson Crusoe, Loris Malaguzzi, in his role as a psychologist, was asked to collaborate with the new educational project of municipal preschools. Loris Malaguzzi’s career was already rich and varied, with experience of working in early childhood, primary and adult education, and experience in the municipal psychology services and summer camps with schoolchildren. In the city community interest quickly developed in this project, and Malaguzzi contributed to making the schools places of experimentation and innovation. Read more about Loris Malaguzzi Reggio Children International Network Reggio Children International Network

Connections to Ontario’s Pedagogy

How Does Learning Happen and The Kindergarten Program

The Ontario government looked to Reggio Emilia Preschools and Infant-Toddler Centres when developing Ontario’s pedagogy for the early years. Fundamental to this pedagogy is the view of young children, their families and the educators that work with them as protagonists in their own learning and pedagogical documentation as the means to make this learning and collaboration visible.

How Does Learning Happen

Full-Day Kindergarten

What does it mean to be part of this international network and Ontario Reggio Association?

As with any relationship, there is a commitment, a trust, a responsibility to congruence with the values and principles of the Reggio Approach.