The Reggio Emelia Approach : An Educational Philosophy

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The Reggio Emelia approach is an educational philosophy, based on the approach that an environment of trust and wonder fosters creativity (Abbot and Nutbrown, 2001). Teacher Loris Malaguzzi and parents in the village developed the approach in the northern Italian town of Reggio Emilia in 1945, where it was believed that after World War Two, children needed a new way of learning (Rinalidi, 2012). In 1963 a network of educational services including the first preschools for children aged three-six opened. In 1970 the first infant toddler centres opened for children aged three months-three years (Gandini, 1996). The Reggio Emelia educational approach is characterised by progressive thinking and a firm commitment to research and experiment, sustained by on-going staff training. The key values of the approach include: relationships; creativity; the environment; time; learning and teaching and reflective practice. In addition, Reggio Emilia educators refer to the ‘Hundred Languages of Children’, demonstrating the ways in which children express themselves. Other features of importance include the co-participation of families and community members and the relationships with the outside community, as well as the organisation of work and the significance of the environment as an educational value (Thornton and Brunton, 2014). These aspects all join up to make the image of a child who has potential and who is the subject of rights (Gandini, 1996). Rinalidi (2012), states

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