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What is the Reggio Emilia approach?
The Reggio Emilia educational experience, for children from three months to six years of age, is based on the image of a child who has great potentials and desires for growth and learning, and has the right to develop them through relationship with family, teachers, and peers.

This experience began in the community of Reggio Emilia, Italy. This city-run educational system for young children originated there in schools started by parents at the end of World War II under the guidance of Loris Malaguzzi. He formulated the philosophy of the education of young children that we call the Reggio Emilia approach, becoming an educational leader not just in his hometown but also on the international scene.

The Reggio approach to education is based on distinct features, among them:
  • the participation of the families,
  • the collegial work of the staff,
  • a carefully designed school environment,
  • the presence of the atelier, a workshop or studio,
  • the use of documentation as a tool for planning and authentic assessment,
  • and the support of a pedagogical-didactic coordinating team.
  It is the responsibility of the infant-toddler centers and preschools to value and support all the languages of learning and expression, verbal and nonverbal, that all children have and can develop in their process of learning.

The Reggio philosophy is based on the value of continuous research and innovation. These educators have incorporated the ideas of John Dewey, Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, David Hawkins, Jerome Bruner, Howard Gardner, and other world-renowned scientists and philosophers. But at the same time, they formulate new interpretations and new hypotheses and ideas about learning and teaching through their daily observations and practice of learning along with the children.

Howard Gardner stated that “Newsweek declared that the preschools of Reggio Emilia were the best in the world. In general I place little stock in such ratings, but here I concur. The preschools and infant-and-toddler day care centers in this charmed community are unique.”
© 2014 Davis Publications, Inc.