You may or may not have heard the term, ‘Reggio Emilia’ regarding learning, and in this article, we will present you with an overview of the Reggio Emilia approach to early learning, with the aim of helping you to decide on the best learning program for your young child.

The Origins of the Reggio Emilia Approach

Just after the end of WWII, an Italian pedagogist by the name of Loris Malaguzzi and a few dedicated parents joined together to develop the Reggio Emilia approach, aptly named after the northern Italian city where it was first conceived.

Core Set of Principles

The Reggio Emilia approach incorporates the following principles:

  • Children should have a say in the direction of their learning.
  • Children learn though experiences, such as touching, moving, observing and listening.
  • Children must be able to develop and explore relationships with other people and materials they encounter in the real world.
  • Children must have numerous ways in which they can freely express themselves.

Simply put, this approach to learning puts the natural development of the child at the very top of the list, and with the right encouragement, the children have a degree of control over the learning material.

Holistic Approach

Every single child is viewed as an individual, with unique characteristics and a personality that will develop over time, and one of the main goals of the Reggio Emilia concept is to help the child to develop to their fullest potential. There is one kindergarten in Bangkok that incorporates the Reggio Emilia approach with the early years British curriculum, and this school has a reputation for producing children who are creative, imaginative and demonstrate working on their own initiative.

Parental & Community Participation

The children are viewed as being the collective responsibility of the local community; therefore, everyone is encouraged to play a role. A local business might be asked if the children can visit as part of a field trip, plus parents are actively encouraged to take part in numerous ways; some schools actually hold parent-teacher workshops, which are designed to help the parents gain a deeper understanding of how learning best occurs. Once a parent knows what their child is doing at school, it is very easy for them to reinforce learning outcomes, and by developing a close teacher-parent relationship, any minor issues can be discussed by both parties.

The Learning Environment

You would notice that Reggio Emilia style classrooms use soft, pastel colours and natural materials where possible, as the idea is to keep as close to nature as possible. Learning resources would be made from wood and other natural materials, and it would not be unusual to see cloth hanging from the ceiling, along with many examples of student work displayed on the walls. The outdoors plays a large role in this form of learning and the children would be encouraged to grow plants and become involved with nature, with regular sessions learning in the school grounds.

Globally Respected

The Reggio Emilia approach to early learning is now globally recognised as being one of the best in the world, and any school that follows these core beliefs will produce well-balanced individuals that are creative and have very developed imagination.

If you want your child to have the tools to develop to their fullest potential, find a school that follows the Reggio Emilia system and you won’t be disappointed.