Reggio Emilia Way of Learning in Early Child Care
I want to focus our blogging spotlight on the Reggio Emilia Way of learning. When I first bought the child care centre I had a dream of creating a Reggio Emilia learning centre.
What is the Reggio Emilia Way?
The Reggio Emilia Way is a learning philosophy developed after WW2 by an Italian psychologist Loris Malaguzzi. Together with the village parents they created a new way of learning.
Reggio Emilia is a city in the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy. Born from this region was the Reggio Emilia Way, which has been accepted world wide as an innovative and inspiring way to engage with the child’s curiosity, which drives their yearning to explore.
The Environment is the Third Teacher
When I bought the centre, I started with the environment, bringing in interesting furniture, silky curtains, soft reading cushions, new learning materials and finally painted the walls in neutral colours. I needed to create a space where children could gather together and explore their ideas.
I had a local craftsman build sensory tables. The teachers put different tactile objects in the bucket for the children to explore.
Natural Learning Materials
I purchased new learning materials, however I encourage the teachers and children to gather natural materials from their walks to inspire the kids.
Now the place is great, but this was just the first step.
The Image of the Child
To really harness the Reggio Emilia Way, means to look at how we see the child. Your ‘Image of the Child’ directs how you talk to her and interact with her.
In the words of Professor Loris Malaguzzi, ” We must believe the the child is the bearer and constructor of his own intelligence. If we are ready to accept this, then we will modify many of our relations with him…searching for things that can improve our relations. This forms the directional axis where intelligence is fueled, it increases his expansive capacity, the massive force of what we call intelligence.”
The way he talks inspires me, click the link below to see the whole interview.
Enjoying Relationships With The Children
We aim to build positive relationships with the children. To bring into understanding their feelings, their family experiences and their own wonder and curiosity. They have expectations of good relationships with the adults in their lives and we strive to enjoy the children, our work environment and our co-workers.
The article below is a fantastic read about the complexity of building strong and supportive relationships with the children.
Focus On Inclusion Program
Strategies to Help Children
This a program to help devise strategies to help children that are struggling in the child care program. We would use this program if your child is displaying behaviors that might need fresh ideas to help them be more at ease in the child care centre. This is a provincially funded program and would need your signed approval to begin.
Focus on Inclusion will come to the centre to observe the child in need, and provide on-site mentoring, resources and strategies to the staff to ensure the child is reaching their full potential.
Note: On the website it says this program is for children with intellectual disabilities, however it is also for children that are displaying behavioral issues. This program would only bring strategies to the teachers to help bridge the interactions with child.
To read more about this program go to: http://nbacl.nb.ca/supports/early-learning/