Reggio Emilia Approach
The Reggio Emilia approach to Early Childhood Education is an educational philosophy and approach that originated in the town of Reggio Emilia in Italy. It was developed by Loris Malaguzzi, along with parents and educators, following World War II.
The Reggio Emilia approach is known for its emphasis on child-centered and child-led learning, promoting the idea that children are capable and competent learners who actively construct their knowledge through hands-on experiences. It is influenced by constructivist theories of learning, which suggest that children learn best when they are actively engaged in the learning process and can explore their interests and ideas.
Image of the child
The approach views children as competent, curious, and full of potential. Children are seen as active participants in their own learning, and their ideas, interests, and questions are valued and respected.
The curriculum in Reggio Emilia schools is emergent, meaning it evolves based on the interests and inquiries of the children. Teachers act as facilitators, observing and documenting children's activities and engaging them in meaningful projects and investigations.
Learning in Reggio Emilia schools often occurs through long-term, in-depth projects. These projects emerge from the children's interests and involve research, hands-on activities, and collaboration. They provide opportunities for children to delve deeply into topics, develop critical thinking skills, and express their understanding through various forms of representation, such as art, drama, and writing.
The approach values social collaboration and encourages children to work together on projects, problem-solving, and decision-making. It emphasizes the importance of strong relationships and communication between children, teachers, and parents.
Documentation plays a crucial role in the Reggio Emilia approach. Teachers carefully observe and document children's learning processes and experiences, including photographs, videos, and written reflections. This documentation serves multiple purposes, such as making children's thinking visible, involving parents in their children's learning, and informing future curriculum planning.
Key principles of the Reggio Emilia approach
The Reggio Emilia approach has gained international recognition for its innovative and child-centered approach to early childhood education. It has influenced early childhood programs and educational practices around the world, inspiring educators to create learning environments that foster creativity, critical thinking, and a love for lifelong learning.
The role of the environment
The physical environment is considered the "third teacher" in Reggio Emilia. Schools are designed to be aesthetically pleasing, inviting, and thoughtfully organized to stimulate children's exploration and creativity. Materials and resources are carefully selected to provoke curiosity and invite exploration.
RIE parenting stands for Resources for Infant Educarers parenting, which is a parenting philosophy that emphasises a child-led approach. It focuses on treating infants and young children with respect and acknowledging them as capable individuals with their own unique personalities and abilities. The RIE approach encourages carers to observe and respond to the child's cues, providing an environment that fosters exploration and independence, while also setting clear boundaries and limits. Overall, RIE aims to create a healthy and respectful relationship between carers and children.
RIE emphasises treating children with respect and acknowledging their abilities and unique personalities.
RIE encourages carers to observe their child and respond appropriately to their cues, rather than imposing their own agenda or schedule.
Key principles of the RIE approach
RIE emphasises open and honest communication with children, and encourages parents to talk to their child in a respectful and honest way.
RIE encourages allowing children to play without interruption, as this allows them to explore and learn at their own pace.
RIE recognises the importance of setting limits and boundaries for children, and encourages carers to do so in a respectful and consistent way.
RIE fosters independence in children by allowing them to explore their environment and learn through their own experiences.
The ultimate goal with RIE is to nurture what’s referred to as an “authentic” child. This means your little one should move about in daily life feeling secure, competent, autonomous, and connected to their environment.
At Kiddz, tamariki have the freedom to explore and unfold naturally, as nature intended. Tamariki enjoy the freedom of leading their own learning, exploring, and discovering uninhibited in the environment. Being outdoors in a natural setting enables tamariki to develop a connection with the natural world that can lead to long-term environmental awareness and understanding as well as positive outcomes for their developing views of the world. We endeavour to give tamariki every opportunity to engage with nature and develop a relationship with our land, so they want to be kaitaiaki (guardians of the land). The Reggio Emilia and RIE approaches are both inspirations for our approach.