The Reggio Emilia Approach Essay

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The Reggio Emilia Approach Hailed by Newsweek (1991) magazine as the international role model for preschools, the Reggio Emilia approach has caught the attention of early childhood educators. In 1999, current Secretary of Education, Richard W. Riley visited the schools in Reggio Emilia to better understand its benefits (Dunne, 2000). It’s principals are understood by only a few, however, and has limited following with approximately 1200 Reggio inspired preschools in operation, most of them private (Sipprelle, 2009), making the innovative ideas offered by this approach available to only a few. Why have so few schools emulated those so successful in Reggio Emilia, Italy? Is Reggio Emilia applicable in the American classroom? A look…show more content…
The land was donated and so was the labor. Many of the materials were recycled from the ruins created by the war (Source, 0000). While there is no fixed curriculum or one specific model to emulate, the Reggio Emilia approach does have some essential components, some fundamental ideas about how children learn most effectively. The utmost is the idea that the young child is inherently competent not only as a learner but as an initiator. The child has preferences and opinions that have value and should be listened to with respect and care, knowing that they have much to offer their classroom community and community at large. This pedagogy plays a large role in shaping the Reggio classroom. It allows the children to pursue projects which are interesting and meaningful and then allowing adequate time to follow those projects with passion. The Reggio Emilia approach is an emergent curriculum because it is developed and shaped by the interests of the child, through negotiations between the child, parents and teachers. This is done in a Reggio classroom by in large and small group projects in which the children engage. The projects involve planning, hands-on activities, research, and representation through a variety of visual media. The observant teacher collects documentation which is a vital component of the Reggio philosophy in the form of written anecdotes, samples of children's work, photographs and videos. This information is used to reflect on the
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