The Reggio Emilia Approach, commonly shortened to “Reggio,” was developed in the child care centres of Reggio Emilia, Italy, after World War II. Now an international educational movement, the Approach is applied in various contexts around the globe. Rooted in the belief that children are competent learners primed for inquiry and expression, Reggio has several defining characteristics: a cultivated classroom environment, access to inviting materials, an integration of the arts, documentation of student learning, highly capable and collaborative teachers, and a commitment to fostering wonder through inquiry.

At Ventana, we utilize the Reggio Emilia Approach in every classroom. Although it looks different depending on the developmental stage of the children, there are several key threads that weave through the ages and unite our program:

  • Children, even very young children, are competent and capable.

  • Teachers and students co-construct knowledge together through inquiry.

  • Teachers analyze student understandings and offer invitations or questions that deepen student learning.

  • Children are capable of expressing themselves in various “languages,” many of them involving arts or construction, and should be offered the opportunity to do so.

  • Teachers are not “fountains of knowledge”, they are “fountains of questions”.

 

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The child
is made of one hundred.
The child has
a hundred languages
a hundred hands
a hundred thoughts
a hundred ways of thinking
of playing, of speaking.
A hundred always a hundred…

from the poem “No way. The hundred is there.”
by Loris Malaguzzi. Translated by Lella Gandini