In various countries all across the globe, the Reggio Emilia Approach is seen as an inspiring and innovative methodology towards early childhood education and child care. It portrays the child as being strong, resilient and capable. They are also filled with rich wonder and knowledge that allows them to reach their full potential. The approach emphasizes that a child has an innate curiosity that propels their interest to understand how the world works and their special place in it.
The approach originated from a town called Reggio Emilia which is located in Italy. It was formulated out of a unique movement that was geared towards cooperative and progressive early child care. The unique thing about Reggio Emilia is that it is not an actual method. There are no international training colleges or institutions that offer courses on how to become a Reggio Emilia teacher. All the schools, pre-schools and home schools found on the outskirts of Reggio Emilia are Reggio-inspired. They have adapted the approach to suit the specific needs of individual communities.
The approach is normally used in preschools and early childhood centers. However, with a clear understanding of its general principles, this unique child-led approach may also be adapted in the home.
Principles of the Reggio Emilia
The approach states that children are highly capable of formulating their own learning methodologies. They can form a valid understanding of themselves through their various interactions with others. This aspect also helps them to comprehend their own position in the world they live in.
The approach also puts emphasis on social collaboration and group work. Such situations allow children to be equal participants in the learning process because their thoughts and questions can be valued on an individual basis. In addition, the adult ceases to be the provider of knowledge because the child searches out the information they need through their own investigations.
According to the Reggio Emilia, communication involves a unique process. It is a platform for asking questions and discovering new things. It implements the use of language amongst children by using play sounds such as rhythms and rhymes because it helps to brings delight to the communication process.
The Reggio Emilia is a very unique approach to child care. It encourages children to use language to investigate and explore. The approach also promotes the notion that if children are listened to with respect, they will believe in their questions and observations. In return, they will have an opportunity to learn and search together.