“In the Reggio Emilia Preschools each child is viewed as infinitely capable, creative, and intelligent. The job of the teacher is to support these qualities and to challenge children in appropriate ways.”
– Louise Boyd Cadwell
The Reggio Emilia approach is an innovative and inspiring approach to early childhood education. It is an approach that harnesses children’s natural curiosity and creativity, enabling them to be driven by their interests to understand and know more. Reggio educators believe that children are capable of long-term, sustained learning when the topic is of interest to them and therefore they provide experiences that “provoke” children’s thinking and learning, encouraging them to work on projects that are child led.
Rather than seeing children as empty vessels that require filling with facts, Reggio educators see children as individuals rich with wonder and knowledge, full of potential, competent and capable of building their own theories. The approach encourages children to communicate their new found knowledge and understanding in a variety of media, often with creative results.
The Reggio Emilia approach is based on:
- Child-centered learning
- Creativity and aesthetics
- Working in partnership with parents
Consistent with the Reggio Emilia Approach at KTB Kids nursery, the educators in the setting:
- Build on the strengths, competencies, and curiosities of each individual child through close observation of children, listening, exploring what interests them and then providing them with opportunities to explore these interests further.
- Encourage children to reflect on their own experiences and search out knowledge through their own investigations. KTB Kids educators refrain from simply offering an answer to a child’s question. Rather a social collaboration is encouraged with each child as an equal participant, and whereby the questions and observations can be used as an opportunity to learn and search with the adult in a continual, collaborative process
- Ensure the environment inspires children and offers carefully planned spaces and well-organized materials, so that children are free to spend more time on projects that interest them and are often able to move between activities at their own pace. The space encourages collaboration, communication and exploration. The space respects children as capable by providing them with authentic materials & tools and is cared for by the children and the adults.
- Do not plan projects in advance; they follow child led projects that emerge based on the child’s interests through which learning goals can be met. Educators listen to and implement children’s ideas for projects on which to work in an “negotiated curriculum”.
- Emphasise hands-on discovery learning allowing the child to use all their senses and all their languages to learn. Recognising that children use many different ways to show their understanding and express their thoughts and creativity which must be equally valued and nurtured; through drawing and sculpting, through dance and movement, through painting and pretend play, through modelling and music.
- Place emphasis on carefully displaying and documenting children’s thoughts and progression of thinking; displaying the children’s creations and showing the child’s learning process. Through this documentation of children’s thoughts educators can encourage children to talk to each other and with adults further enhancing communication and language skills.
- Make a great effort to communicate with parents and to help parents feel involved in their child’s learning, sharing ideas and skills, working in collaboration as active partners to enhance the children’s learning.