The Reggio approach is grounded in the belief that a child’s learning environment needs to be valued and created to facilitate interactions and relationships. Educators who use this approach recognize and appreciate all of the ways in which children communicate & experience these relationships. This approach is rooted in the view that children are extremely capable from early on. Children have a right to care and an education that supports their development and potential.
The idea of cooperation is a powerful mode that makes possible the goals of Reggio approach. Group discussion, projects and revisiting ideas and experiences are an essential way of learning. Project ideas may start either from a chance event, an idea or a problem posed by one or more children, or a provocation initiated by teachers. Projects can last from a few days to several months!
The image of the child is one of the tenants of the Reggio Emilia philosophy. It is based upon the notion that children are capable beings that should actively participate in the creation of their own learning experience. This experience is shaped through relationships with peers, adults, as well as through projects, and creatively interacting with their environment. The Reggio teacher helps guide the child on their journey.
Artistic expression is encouraged, and well documented according to Reggio philosophy. Children are encouraged to naturally explore the artistic materials and express themselves freely. The teacher will often connect artistic expression to an overarching theme that the class has been focused on, encouraging the child to make their own connections.
The Reggio philosophy encourages children to learn through exploration. Children are often given a set of materials and “invited to play”. These situations are designed to encourage imaginative expression, and aim to foster the child’s individual perspective. Natural and recycled materials are often used to encourage children to be creative within their natural environment.
The environment is designed to inspire children to explore and innovate. Both the outdoor and indoor environment are setup to help children feel at home and in their natural surroundings. Teachers guide children to take notice of their environments and encourage them to explore.