We are influenced by and greatly respect the philosophy and educators of the schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy.
We believe that the heart of children’s learning is play. It is through play that they explore developmental themes and stages leading to physical, cognitive, social and emotional development. Children are active, sensory learners and need to be provided with multiple opportunities for self-chosen exploration, investigation, social interaction and problem solving. We are much more interested in this process than in any products.
The environment is the foundation of our curriculum. This means that it is child-centered with attractive and interesting materials provided in an organized and thoughtful fashion. A supply of backup materials is kept in storage and used on a rotating basis to supplement an interest emerging in children’s play. Some materials are introduced to the class with guidelines to expose the children to specific use and techniques. Most of the materials are undefined and as open-ended as possible.
It is the children’s interests, not the adult’s, that we use to construct the planning of projects. The teacher’s provoke and anticipate avenues the children may pursue from their observations of the children’s interests and they prepare for this with materials to pursue their interest.
The early childhood program of Reggio Emilia, Italy is world-renowned for its innovative approach to education. Teachers from around the world have traveled to Reggio to observe the 33 municipally-sponsored infant-toddler and preschools. “The Hundred Languages of Children” exhibit has toured the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, South America and the Far East. This documentation of learning experiences is inspiring many educators to explore the educational philosophy and approach to learning that has resulted in such a powerful harvest of children’s creative and cognitive expressions, revealing potentials previously unrecognized. Cited by Newsweek as one of the 10 best educational systems in the world and featured in two PBS series, Childhood and The Creative Spirit, the Reggio approach to early education has sparked a unique enthusiasm among teachers.