The Reggio Emilia model was developed to provide a unique approach to early childhood learning and education. First originating in Reggio Emilia, Italy, this way of teaching has been adopted throughout schools all over the United States. Typically applied to preschools and early childhood settings, the basic principles of Reggio Emilia can be implemented in the home as well. If you are interested in learning more about this approach to early childhood education, the fundamental principles are as follows:
- Children can construct their learning. Children are driven primarily by their interests and utilizing these, we can help them understand and know even more in a way that is catered specifically to each individual.
- Children learn their place in the world through interactions. The Reggio Emilia model focuses heavily on social collaboration, encouraging children to work in groups and develop knowledge through communicating with others.
- A child’s environment is also their teacher. A child learns just as much from the environment they are in as they do from their parents and teachers. Providing a creative, nurturing environment for a child to play and learn will only increase the amount of knowledge they take in.
- The adult is their guide. The Reggio Emilia approach is very much child-led, and it is up to the adults in their lives to help guide them towards a path of learning and creativity.
- Document your child’s thoughts. Children are inspired to make their ideas visible in many different ways, from taking photographs to writing to painting. The Reggio model puts great focus on documenting these thought progressions as your child learns.
- Children have many languages. Children utilize many different ways to communicate their thoughts and feelings and to express themselves. The Reggio Emilia approach focuses on encouraging children to explore all of these various aspects and learn how to communicate not only through speech but art and play as well.