What is Reggio Emilia exactly ?
Here at Douces Maternelles we use a mix of two active pedagogies, Montessori and Reggio Emilia.
Montessori has an ever-growing presence in the educational world and its methods are already being used in many different types of educational establishments.
But who is this famous Reggio Emilia you might ask yourself? Who is he and where does he come from?! Actually, the Reggio Emilia approach to education is named not after its founder, but after the village where it all began.
Just after the devastating second world war, a teacher and psychologist named Loris Malaguzzi had a vision; his vision being a cooperative approach to education where all society is involved in raising the child, where every man, woman and child has equal rights, where respect, understanding and being part of a greater community are of the utmost importance. Where children are listened to, and have an active role in their education.
With this in mind, him and the parents of the surrounding area of Reggio Emilia built the very first school which would then become the founding school of the Reggio Emilia Approach.
There is a poem which was written by Malaguzzi which beautifully summarizes his approach to education, and the spirit of Reggio Emilia. This poem talks about the 100 Languages of children, meaning, each child is different, has his own rhythm, learns in his own way, creates in his own way, should be able to express himself in his own way and have access to a bounty of rich and varied materials in order to do so.
Above all, each child’s ideas and opinions should be respected and be explored and we as adults should be there to help guide and challenge their ideas.
A snapshot of the classroom with various invitations set up with different materials.
Children exploring a project based on the forest. Projects are based on the interests of the children.
It is for all these reasons why at Douces Maternelles we have decided to take inspiration from this method. We believe a children’s learning environment should have rich and inviting classrooms and workshops, where we propose many different mediums for the children to express and learn. Whether it’s enriching our language and storytelling skills using an OHP and our own drawn shadow puppets, or problem solving by inventing “machines” using recycled materials, or working through our emotions using instruments or music, we believe the Reggio Emilia method helps children to grow creatively, emotionally and develop a self-confidence which lays the path to successful learning for the future ahead.
Puppets drawn and cut out by the children to tell stories using the projector.
The children using puppets to explore shadows and movement.