Reggio Emilia Approach was developed by an Italian educator Loris Malaguzzi, who was a teacher himself, and the parents of the village around Reggio Emilia in Italy after World War II. The Reggio Emilia philosophy is based upon the following set of principles:
- Children must have some control over the direction of their learning;
- Children must be able to learn through experiences of touching, moving, listening, seeing, and hearing;
- Children have a relationship with other children and with material items in the world that children must be allowed to explore and discovery;
- Children must have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves.
An important principle of Reggio education is the “hundred languages” of children. Malaguzzi described children as having one hundred ways of thinking and learning, through work as well as play, through creativity, through science as well as imagination, fantasy as well as reality, and so on.
In the Reggio approach, the teacher is considered a co-learner and collaborator with the child and not just an instructor. Teachers are encouraged to facilitate the child’s learning by planning activities and lessons based on the child’s interests, asking questions to further understanding, and actively engaging in the activities alongside the child, instead of sitting back and observing the child learning.
Reggio’s curriculum is characterized by projects of short term and long term. Teachers plan activities, projects, and studies in the classroom based on their observation and interaction of children to address their interest and to provoke children’s creative thinking.