Hailed as the best pre-schools in the world by Newsweek magazine in 1991, the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education has attracted the worldwide attention of educators, researchers and just about anyone interested in early childhood education best practices. Even the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)’s revised version of developmentally appropriate practices (DAP) guidelines also included examples from Reggio approach.
Today, Reggio approach has been adopted in USA, UK, New Zealand, Australia and many other countries. Loris Malaguzzi (1920-1994) founded the ‘Reggio Emilia’ approach at a city in northern Italy called Reggio Emilia. The ‘Reggio’ approach was developed for municipal child-care and education programs serving children below six. The approach requires children to be seen as competent, resourceful, curious, imaginative, inventive and possess a desire to interact and communicate with others. The ‘Reggio’ vision of the child as a competent learner has produced a strong child-directed curriculum model.
The curriculum has purposive progression but not scope and sequence. Teachers follow the children’s interests and do not provide focused instruction in reading and writing. Reggio approach has a strong belief that children learn through interaction with others, including parents, staff and peers in a friendly learning environment. Here are some key features of Reggio Emilia’s early childhood program: The role of the environment-as-teacher • Within the Reggio Emilia schools, the educators are very concerned about what their school environments teach children.
Hence, a great attention is given to the look and feel of the classroom. It is often referring to the environment as the “third teacher” • The aesthetic beauty within the schools is seen as an important part of respecting the child and their learning environment • A classroom atmosphere of playfulness and joy pervades
But rather, the educators in Reggio Emilia speak of their evolving “experience” and see themselves as a provocation and reference point, a way of engaging in dialogue starting from a strong and rich vision of the child. In all of these settings, documentation was explored as a means of promoting parent and teacher understanding of children’s learning and development. While this article concentrate on Reggio Emilia approach on early childhood education, it did not play down on the other approaches such as Waldorf and Montessori.
Each approach has its own strengths and weaknesses as well as areas of difference. What makes the Reggio Emilia approach stand out? In a nutshell, Reggio approach articulates children to acquire skills of critical thinking and collaboration. All preschool operators ought to benchmark against the Reggio Emilia schools. Here is the contact link to look for preschool that based on Reggio approach. This article aims to serve as an introduction to Reggio approach; you are encouraged to do your research on the Internet.