“Let’s work together to keep education friendly, light hearted, and respectful to all participants. Respect the individual timing and rhythm of development. Do nothing without joy!”
~Professor Loris Malaguzzi (founder of the Reggio Emilia approach)
The Early Childhood program at Veritas is inspired by the Reggio Emila philosophy. This approach values learning through play, experiential learning, mutual respect for guides and learners, and utilization of the natural environment.
FUNDAMENTALS OF THE REGGIO EMILIA APPROACH
- Children are capable of constructing their own learning.
- Children form an understanding of themselves and their place in the world through their interactions with others.
- Children are communicators.
- The environment is the third teacher.
- The teacher is the mentor and guide.
- Observation & documentation are important pieces to show the child’s learning process.
- The 100 languages are a way that children express themselves using all senses.
- Hands-on exploration and play is key for the children to use all languages to express themselves.
- Parents and communities are a vital piece of the Reggio Emilia Approach.
- Exploration and play is inquiry based, flexible, and promotes a love of learning.
- Curriculum planning is based on children’s interests leading to open-ended and often long-term projects that allow children to further explore their interests with teacher direction.
What does it mean to be “Reggio Emilia-Inspired?”
The Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education was developed from a city-sponsored educational system serving children up to age six, in a town in northern Italy bearing that name. The Reggio Emilia educational system is commonly recognized as one of the best programs for young children worldwide. International study groups of educators from around the globe journey to Italy annually to get a first-hand glimpse of this exceptional philosophy in action. Because in Italy this approach is integrated into the fabric of the local government, community, and its people, it cannot be replicated exactly in the United States. However, to be “Reggio-Inspired” is to adopt the core values and beliefs of this approach to educating young children. Such principles include:
The Image of the Child
We view every child as strong, independent, capable, curious, and full of imagination. We empower children to think, question, investigate, explore, and help navigate the journey of learning.
Teachers observe and document the interactions, discussions, and fascinations of children. By developing learning opportunities from these observations, the curriculum “emerges” from children’s ideas and interests.
Our guides deliver this emergent curriculum through project work, which allows children to explore these areas of interest in detail. Teachers are thoughtful about introducing a broad range of opportunities, from art to music to early language, math, science, and nature experiences, in support of the project. By exploring projects of children’s interest in great detail, children are excited by the learning process. This enthusiasm for knowledge, combined with the ability to experience project work in detail, will foster a predisposition for “life-long” learning.
The Role of the Teacher
The teacher is viewed as a partner in learning, with the children. By listening, observing, and documenting children’s work, the teacher is equipped to guide children’s learning experiences, and “co-construct” knowledge.
The Role of Environment
The environment of the school (its classrooms, common spaces, and playground) is viewed as the “third teacher.” The environment should be a reflection of the children, teachers, and parents who live and learn there. It should be thoughtful, imaginative, enticing, and respect the image of the child.
Loose parts play allows learners to create their own meaning and purpose for the materials, improves dexterity, and allows for creative thinking.
Explorative provocations allow learners to explore the world around them, experiment with ideas, and deepen their understanding.
8:00 to 9:00 – Morning Outdoor Explorations
9:00 to 9:20 – Community Meeting
9:20 to 9:30 – Morning Snack
9:30 to 10:30 – Exploratory Learning & Play
10:30 to 11:00 – Outdoor Play
11:00 to 12:00 – Exploratory Learning & Play
12:00 to 12:30 – Lunch
12:30 to 1:00 – Outdoor Play
1:00 to 1:50 – Read-Aloud, Rest Time and Quiet Activities
1:50 to 2:00 – Afternoon Snack
2:00 to 2:30 – Art, Music, or Movement Activities
2:30 to 2:45 – Cleaning Tasks
2:45 to 3:00 – Closing Celebration