The Reggio Emilia School of Child-Centered Learning

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Introduction to RE

The Reggio Emilia (RE) school of child-centered learning grew out of the concrete realization that too many schools that rely on routine learning practices fall short of meeting important educational needs. The earliest RE schools were started by Louis Malaguzzi, who was literally confronting schools in Italy where children were starving and struggling with the poverty of war while being given the benefits of a community committed to educational excellence (Early Education Support, 2006:2). He and others were also beginning to recognize that the structured development ideas of others like Piaget didn't do justice to the "hundreds of languages of understanding" the children actually comprehended as they sought to put order to the world around them (Biddle, n.d.:4; Marling, 2012:9). The RE model thus developed to make it possible for teachers and parents (and even the larger community) to work together to be "co-researchers" and facilitators of an education that could realistically feed the curiosity of each individual children (Kedzlie, 2007: 10).
Not surprisingly, this perspective has found a good deal of support from two sectors those who think that the existing standardized systems are failing, and those who favor the development of early childhood educational programs. In both of these settings, parents and teachers are struggling to find the role that they can play to be a more effective partner in each child's academic readiness and advancement.
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