The Reggio Emilia Approach – whose name originates from a town in the northern part of Italy – is a pedagogical philosophy created by the Italian early-childhood educator Loris Malaguzzi who, in the late 1940s, totally renovated the concept of early education. The core idea is that learning must be student-centered, allowing the child to develop their own personality and talents through exploration and discovery and, little by little, enabling them to take ownership of and guide their own learning.

In 1991 the Reggio Emilia Approach gained international recognition thanks to an article in Newsweek magazine claiming that the preschools in Reggio Emilia were among the top ten best schools in the world, and today the Reggio Emilia Approach is still considered one of the best early-childhood approaches to teaching and learning worldwide.

Loris Malaguzzi used to say that “A school needs to be a place for all children, not based on the idea that they’re all the same, but that they’re all different.” Therefore, in the Reggio Emilia Approach each child is appreciated for their uniqueness and not considered an empty jar waiting to be filled with facts and information, but rather the bearer of an embedded knowledge, full of curiosity and creativity, that the teacher needs to unlock. Through their “100 languages” the child can express themselves and find their own voice.

The Reggio Emilia Approach is flexible and comprehensive and sees the learning as an enjoyable and meaningful journey where the child develops an authentic life-long love for learning, explores the world through their senses, finds their own voice, builds the skills to create peaceful and enriching relationships with the surrounding community, becoming independent and responsible.

While the Reggio Emilia teachers play the role of facilitators and researchers by observing the children and ensuring that the learning activities are in line with their interests and developmental needs, the parents are also highly valued as the children’s first teachers. We truly recognize the importance of building a bridge between parents and the school in order to navigate the learning journey together. The early years of a child’s life are thrilling to be part of, and we are certain this philosophy helps shape children into who they eventually become.

In the Reggio Emilia Approach a key role is also played by the environment which is considered a third teacher, and this is why our classrooms and school areas are designed to be inspiring for our students, stimulating their interest and curiosity so that they experience inquiry-based learning in the very truest sense of the concept.

NO WAY. THE HUNDRED IS THERE
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
ways of listening
of marveling of loving
a hundred joys
for singing and understanding
a hundred worlds
to discover
a hundred worlds
to invent
a hundred worlds
to dream.
The child has
a hundred languages
(and a hundred hundred hundred more)
but they steal ninety-nine.

The school and the culture
separate the head from the body.
They tell the child:
to think without hands
to do without head
to listen and not to speak
to understand without joy
to love and to marvel
only at Easter and Christmas.
They tell the child:
to discover the world already there
and of the hundred
they steal ninety-nine.
They tell the child:
that work and play
reality and fantasy
science and imagination
sky and earth
reason and dream
are things
that do not belong together.

And thus they tell the child
that the hundred is not there.
The child says:
No way. The hundred is there.

Loris Malaguzzi
(translated by Lella Gandini)