About Reggio Emilia
Education and development in our centre is based on Reggio Emilia Approach and emergent curriculum.
Reggio Emilia is a city in Northern Italy.
After World War II, the people of Reggio Emilia, inspired by a local philosopher – Loris Malaguzzi, decided that they wanted to provide high quality programs for children.
The financial support from the government and dedication from the community led to the development of centres that are supposed to be the most interesting childcare centres in the world.
The Reggio Emilia philosophy
The Reggio Emilia philosophy is based upon the following set of principles:
- Children must have some control over the direction of their learning;
- Children must be able to learn through experiences of touching, moving, listening, seeing, and hearing;
- Children have a relationship with other children and with material items in the world that children must be allowed to explore;
- Children must have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves.
It is all about the children
In Reggio Emilia childcare centres children are viewed as competent and resourceful – the environment is set up to cater their interests.
The other key idea: children should be challenged and stimulated, encouraged to have access to all materials and equipment. The philosopher Loris Malaguzzi believed, that children have more than hundred ways of expressing their thoughts and ideas: drawing, painting, acting, singing, construction. We supply them with endless opportunity to create.
At Rainbow Developmental Learning Centre we are using an emergent curriculum. Emerging means based on children’s interests.
We view all children as competent, resourceful individuals who are capable of directing their own learning. Their interests lead them into a project that is researched in depth at a level that they can understand. Thus children are learning what they want to learn with the help of their parents, teachers, and the community.
We provide an environment where children can play, explore and develop their own ideas, opinions and understanding of the world.
To plan an emergent curriculum requires observation, documentation, creative brainstorming, flexibility and patience. Rather than starting with a lesson plan which requires a "hook" to get the children interested, emergent curriculum starts with the children’s interests.
This is not to say that the teacher has no input, in fact teachers may well have a general topic they think is important for children to study and they may purposely include certain materials or experiences related to it as jumping off points.
Children's Learning Made Visible
While toddlers and preschoolers may lack knowledge and experience, they do not lack the ability to reason.
One of our long – term goals is fostering these abilities every day. Long before they enter school, children are learning higher order cognitive and linguistic skills.
The most exciting thing is: the pleasures of social interaction seem sufficient to lure the child into the language and cognition of the more competent caregiver.
Staff members at Rainbow Developmental learning centre spend their days interacting with, observing and listening to the children to learn about their interests and ideas.
There are two basic instruments helping us to observe the child’s progress: a daily journal in each room (full of children’s drawings, conversations and photographs, all sorts of important documentation) and child’s portfolio.
It contains works, documentation, photographs, even CD-disk with child’s conversation free for viewing by parents.