Reggio Emilia – Inspired
The Reggio Emilia approach was developed from a city-sponsored educational system in a town in northern Italy bearing that name. The Reggio Emilia educational system is commonly recognized as one of the best programs for children worldwide. To be “Reggio-Inspired” is to adopt the core values and beliefs of this approach.
The Image of the Child
We view every child as strong, capable, independent, curious, and full of imagination. We empower children to think, question, investigate, explore, and help navigate the journey of learning. Children have preparedness, potential, curiosity; interest in relationships, in constructing their own learning, and in negotiating with everything the environment brings to them.
The Role of Parents
Parents are an essential component of the program; a competent and active part of their child’s ongoing learning experience. They are not considered consumers but co-responsible partners in order to support the needs and interests of their child. We encourage parents to participate in project work, special events, and in the program.
The Role of the Teacher
Teachers, program leaders and children are partners in learning. By listening, observing, and documenting children’s work, we are equipped to guide children’s learning and enrichment experiences.
The Role of Environment
The environment of the school (its classrooms, common spaces, and playground) is viewed as the “third teacher.” The environment should be a reflection of the children, teachers, and parents who live and learn there. It should be thoughtful, imaginative, enticing, and respect the image of the child.
The Power of Documentation
Transcriptions of children’s remarks and discussions, photographs of their activity, video, written word, displays and other representations of their thinking and learning are traces that are carefully studied. Children and youth have either a portfolio or “possibles” tote, filled with their ideas, inspirations, discoveries, and reflections.
Through documentation and keen observation, learning opportunities “emerge” and an integrated curriculum is created based on the interests and ideas of the child or youth. Emergent curriculum through project work allows the opening to explore these areas of interest in detail. By exploring projects of personal interest in great detail, there is an excitement in the learning process. This enthusiasm for knowledge, combined with the ability to experience project work in detail, will foster a predisposition for “life-long” learning.
Arts Integration-STEAM Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math
Children and youth meet dual learning and enrichment objectives when they engage in the creative process to explore connections between an art form and another subject area to gain greater understanding in both. They use their creativity, imagination and senses to express their observations, values and beliefs in personal and community contexts through Dance, Drama, Music, Media and Visual Arts. The arts support the creation of ideas and possibilities that transcends into the exploration of science, technology and math.