In the wake of the destruction of World War II, Reggio Emilia was founded by a young teacher in this region of Northern Italy to provide childcare for preschool children in a completely new way.
Using magnifying glasses, light tables, studio spaces and plenty of time in the environment, teachers encourage the development of complex thought through intensive observation and acute focus on detail. Children as young as four may spend a whole month observing and drawing daisies kept in the classroom, spend a day looking at daisies in a field, doing multiple iterations of daisy drawings and talking together about daisies before moving onto something else.
The role of the teacher is to observe how children face and solve challenges. They intervene with guiding questions that will lead a child to finding an answer. Children are encouraged to communicate, discuss, encourage and collaborate with each other so that they fully explore their imagination and theories about the world around them.
We love how Reggio inspires children to questioning, curiousity and an engagement with the world around them. We have started using the Reggio approach in our classroom and will be updating about how it works here, so stay tuned!