Educators have discovered that a one size fits all method to education does not work. A variety of teaching methods, therefore, have been entertained and tried in classrooms across the country. Among the varying methods are reggio emilia schools. The Reggio Emilia approach is practiced in some schools with the belief that children thrive in educational environments where their interests are the mobilizing factor.
Here are three facts about the Reggio Emilia approach.
The Reggio Emilia approach was born in the Italian town of Reggio Emilia. It is how the children of that area were educated based on the town’s needs. From there, surrounding areas would adapt the approach and educate their children based on their unique needs, too. This approach is used on children of preschool age. There are no formal training classes since no child and no community is the same. It is simply about putting each child at the center of their own education.
Under the Reggio Emilia approach, it is believed that children can construct their own learning. They are curious enough to want to know more about subjects that interest them. By allowing children to freely interact with others, they gain a better understanding of others, their environment and the world. Their environment is one of their teachers, and the adult acts as a mentor and guide. Since children are natural communicators, language is how they discover when they ask questions. Children are encouraged to immerse themselves in symbolic languages like painting, sculpting and drama.
An emphasis is placed on collaboration when the Reggio Emilia approach is used. Since children are going to become important members of their community, they learn to critique, negotiate and problem solve. Through these experiences, they gain an understanding of how to get along with others and how to cope with resolving disputes. Essentially, they are preparing to become contributing citizens of their immediate group.
As educators continue to grapple with the best way to educate children, reggio emilia schools offer one approach that places the child at the center.