Reggio Inspiration: What is Reggio?

"Reality, as always happens in children's hands, reveals once again its infinite potential for transformation." - Loris Malaguzzi 

The Reggio Emilia Approach is an educational philosophy focused on the years of early childhood education. It was started by Loris Malaguzzi and the parents of Reggio Emilia, Italy after World War II. With fascism on the rise and the destruction from the war, Loris Malaguzzi and the parents believed this time necessitated a new, quick approach to teaching their children. They felt that it is in the early years of development that children are forming who they are as individuals. This led to creation of a program based on the principles of respect, responsibility, and community through exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment based on the interests of the children through a self-guided curriculum.  

Reggio Principles

The Whole Child - Children are competent, full of potential, and active in constructing their own knowledge through interactions with the several 'teachers' in their lives (peers, themselves, relationships, their space, the environment (both inside and out), the materials, and the teacher). 

Symbolic Representation - Children express themselves through their materials, creativity, imagination, art work, and dramatic play. It is their way of expressing themselves and their creativity throughout their social and cognitive development. 
The Role of the Environment - Use and presentation of space is intentional. Documenting children's learning through exploration and displays of children's work, with attention to color, natural light, and nature. The environment serves as a teacher and also invites children to enter and participate while revisiting their prior learning and experiences.

The Role of the Teacher - Children are scientists, and it is the teachers role to facilitate the children's ability to represent what they know and imagine. Teachers mediate between children's inquisition and what they are on the path to discover. 

The Role of the Parents - The education process involves several equally important participants: children, teachers, and parents.  Parent involvement is encouraged through providing different gifts and talents to aid in the creation of the space in a wide range of ways. The ideas and skills that the parents bring  and the exchange of ideas between parents and teachers allows for an enriching place for children to study and explore.