Reggio Emilia Education

Reggio Emilia Education

October 21, 2019 0 By Ronny Jaskolski


In response to the tragedy of World War
II, people from the town Reggio Emilia developed a new model of education. War
ought to never happened again. Led by Loris Malaguzzi, a teacher, their
idea was to enhance a child’s learning through real-life experiences instead of
a fixed curriculum so that each child develops a love for discovery, forms a
personality of their own and learns to respect others. Land, money, food and
skills for the first preschool were provided by the community. The Reggio
Emilia approach is based on the philosophy of
an image of a child. All children are viewed full of potential, with an innate
sense of curiosity and endless imagination. They are creative, capable of
constructing their own learning and they have a natural interest to explore while
they follow their own interests they also stay connected with others. Adults
nurture their learning by providing a rich environment and support. Instead of
a one-size-fits-all curriculum Reggio Emilia uses a child centered approach
and project-based learning projects can emerge anytime, for example during play.
Teachers can observe and create opportunities for new learning at a
specific instance for example by opening up new environments, letting children
raise thought-provoking questions or by inviting others to collaborate after an
intervention. The children take control and progress independently until the
project is finished and can be shared with others. Throughout a project
children naturally embody the spirit of researchers, risk takers, designers and
explorers. They make hypotheses, try new things,
investigate, play and imagine. To progress the explorers raise the questions, the
researchers give feedback and the designers demonstrate ideas and
prototypes. Lastly they all turn their theories into
reality and construct experiments together. The learning becomes social
with endless ways to solve specific problems. To promote the development of
creativity teaches step aside and let mistakes happen. The conflicts that can
follow nurture their social skills. Because conflicts teach children to
speak, to listen, to argue and to discuss, then learn to accept different opinions
and to respect others for who they are. If two kids discuss a problem a third
can have an idea and the entire group learns the value of teamwork. Teachers
document projects through pictures, videos or written observations. The
learnings become visible in photographs, drawings or sculptures, ideas, quotes and
transcripts of conversations are put onto the walls. The children can later
revisit their achievements, see projects that were left unfinished and learn
that failure is part of the path to progress. They built confidence in their
own abilities. But teachers aren’t instructors, instead they are companions
in the child’s own journey of discovery. They can introduce books, show new tools
or offer entirely new perspectives. However they always remain mindful not
to take over the constructive learning process knowing that this limits a
child’s endless imaginations and motivation. The children are fully in
charge and develop a sense of ownership of their own progress, the foundation for
a love for lifelong learning. Malaguzzi believed that there are 100 languages
children can use to express themselves: they paint, sculpt, drum, whisper and hark
they build, listen, speak or sing and dance and they play, which Einstein
allegedly said, is the highest form of research.
Children learn from adults, other students, the environment which is
regarded as the third teacher. Rich in materials the space is designed to spark
curiosity, creation and discovery. Ideally there is an open kitchen and big
windows so the children can see what’s happening outside, just like at an
Italian town square, a piazza, where we can observe the lives of other
members of our community. Parents are regarded is the last part of this
education. To deepen their knowledge of a child centered education they are
encouraged to learn from and with the teachers and children so when the
children come home after school they can continue to be researchers, risk takers
and explorers. Malaguzzi once said: “stand aside for a while and leave room for
learners, observe carefully what children do and then if you have understood well,
perhaps teaching will be different from before”. Maybe one day our small
researchers and explorers will grow into the big inventors and great explorers. Millions of students from all around the
globe have watched our sprouts videos for better learning, thousands of
teachers play them in their classrooms to start projects, volunteers on YouTube
have translated them to over 25 languages. Our mission is to promote
learning by doing in classrooms around the world if you are a great explainer
and a passionate teacher and you want to help us develop outstanding content
contact us, to support our channel with a donation visit patreon.com/sprouts.