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Loris Malaguzzi was born on February 23, 1920, in Correggio, in the province of Reggio Emilia. He got a degree in Pedagogy from the University of Urbino and Psychology from the Italian National Research Center in Rome. He worked as a psychologist for a number of years.
During the same time period he continued to work with pedagogical activites within the early childhood education system. He worked as a consultant for the Italian Ministry of Education and founded the Gruppo Nazionale Nidi-Infanzia, located in Reggio Emilia in 1980.
The preschools of Reggio Emilia were called the "best in the world" in 1991. Due to this recognition Malaguzzi received the Ygdrasil-Lego Prize in 1992 and the Kohl Award in 1993.
On January 23, 1994, at his home in Reggio Emilia, Malaguzzi died unexpectedly of a heart attack.
THE REGGIO EMILIA APPROACH:
Loris Malaguzzi was the pioneer to the Reggio Emilia approach to teaching. The name Reggio Emilia comes from its place of origin; a city in Italy. It emerged after the second world war. The Reggio Emilia approach depends on the support of the community largely, the majority of funding for these schools come from donations from the community. The Reggio Emilia approach takes from and gives respect to the works of Dewey, Piaget, Vygotsky, to name a few. At the center of the Reggio approach is the child. Teachers of this method see their students as "full of potential, competent, and capable of building their own theories." Teachers in this way of teaching are viewed not as leaders but as learners working along side the students. Teachers are placed in the classroom also to observe the students and their growth, instead of pressuring their students to absorb knowledge forced upon the students these students are able to grow at their own pace. The Reggio Emilia approach focuses on the rights of children to be "recognized as subjects of individual, legal, civil, and social rights". A child's education is based on the relationship between teacher, parents, and student. Each of the three mentioned parties have rights. The student's rights are mentioned above. One key belief in the Reggio Emelia approach is that education is relative to the environment. Children use the environment as a "third teacher"; using light, color, materials, smell, sound, and microclimate to create the most effective learning process for each student. The child can be thought of as a collaborator. Each students education must be focused on that child in relation to the other children, their family, the teachers, and the community around them, instead of focusing on each child in isolation. Emphasis is placed on working in small groups. The child is also thought of as a communicator. The Reggio approach fosters intellectual development through focus on symbolic representation, including words, movement, drawing, painting, building, sculpture, shadow play, collage, dramatic play, and music, which leads children to surprising levels of communication, creativity, and symbolic skills. This incorporates making thinking visible through their natural "languages".
In a Reggio classroom
, a lot of emphasis is placed on what the classroom itself looks like visually. The environment in the classroom is often referred to as the "third teacher". If the school is aesthetically pleasing, it is believed that this is respect to the child and their learning environment. The classrooms always seem to have an atmosphere of joy and playfulness. Teachers organize teams or small groups to explore and solve problems. In a Reggio classroom, documentation is extremely important from the teacher's perspective. Different classrooms can come together to participate in dramatic play.
THE REGGIO EMILIA APPROACH SPREAD AROUND THE WORLD
"The first foreign interest in the Reggio experience was shown by delegations of visitors from Cuba, Bulgaria, Spain,Japan, Switzerland and France. An intensive exchange with Swedish educators began in 1979, leading to the showing of an exhibit enititled " If the eye jumps over the wall" in Stockholm in 1981, accompanied by a television documentary on the Reggio experience produced by Swedish TV."
THE HUNDRED LANGUAGES OF CHILDREN:
Children between birth and age six are encouraged to express themselves in several different ways to express what they want or need. Some of these ways include the use of words, music, drawing, drama, collage, and so on. In doing so, The Hundred Languages of Children is formed.
Just as an added extra this document includes the original Italian, and English versions of Malguzzi's poem.
A short clip, athough in Italian you can get a sense of the classroom environment of the Reggio Schools.
The Hundred Languages of Children: The Reggio Emilia Approach - Advanced Reflections
The book is a comprehensive introduction covering history and philosophy, the parent perspective, curriculum and methods of teaching, school and system organization, the use of space and physical environments, and adult professional roles including special education
Bringing Reggio Emilia Home
This book is good for parents who like to have more in-depth understanding on Reggio Emilia principles and may be inspired to implement Reggio approach at home.
Bringing Learning to Life: A Reggio Approach to Early Childhood Education (Early Childhood Education, 86)
"Bringing Learning to Life" is a practical view of the everyday learning that can happen in a classroom. If you don't know about the Reggio Emilia Approach, after reading Bringing Learning to Life you would.
Working in the Reggio Way: A Beginner's Guide for American Teachers
Working in the Reggio Way helps teachers of young children bring the innovative practices of the schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy, to American classrooms. Written by an educator who observed and worked in the world-famous schools, this groundbreaking resource presents the key tools that will allow American teachers to transform their classrooms, including: Organization of time and space, Documentation of children's work, Observation and questioning,
This is a short slide show tour of the Reggio Classroom.
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