Exploring and Growing with the Reggio Emilia Model
Children are explorers who are open to learning and absorbing new ideas and concepts based on the results of their explorations. When they have freedom and initiative within their own framework, it allows them to attain knowledge in the most effective ways for their own needs and abilities.
The Reggio Emilia model helps to foster this sense of seeking and learning by allowing the child to construct their knowledge by interacting with their environment and the people around them.
At Bartram Academy, we take this play-based approach, which is coupled with teaching and structure, and integrate Loose Parts Play Activities. We play the roles of gentle guides during this activity, not directing the child but preparing the materials, then supporting and encouraging them.
Loose parts are just what you expect: Random, yet useful materials which can be used alone or together with each other and the environment. This approach blends very well with the Reggio Emilia model, since it allows the child to be the knowledge maker by letting them take the lead in using the loose parts as learning tools. The child moves, combines, separates, stacks, and manipulates the materials in many different ways and learns while they do.
Learning from Loose Parts
The loose parts we use here are made up of a range of materials, shapes, sizes, colors, letters, and other items. During the day, these various elements are used to encourage learning under the Reggio Emilia model.
Children are creative and imaginative. These are two strengths that dovetail nicely with the value of loose parts play. This enables learning to develop naturally, along with interactions with other students and the loose parts they have.
There is a solid connection between playing with loose parts and formal learning. One is a building block of the other, as when the children play with the parts, they are teaching themselves about the world, the items themselves, colors, shapes, numbers, and more.
We incorporate this as a daily part of our activities here so that our young learners are engaged and learning while also having fun at the same time. It’s a win-win situation.
Contact us for more information or to book a school tour. We are proud to serve learners in the St. Johns, FL, area.