Ever walk by a preschool classroom at the J to see smiling children playing with natural elements in a bright, engaging classroom. The happy faces, cheerful colors, and nurturing environment will likely have you intrigued by the education method. Allow me to enlighten you about the Reggio Emilia child-driven approach to early childhood education.
What is Reggio Emilia?
Reggio Emilia is an approach to early childhood learning named after the town where it originated in Italy. Founder Louis Malaguzzi believed children were in need of a more holistic kind of education after World War II. He began the Reggio Emilia style based on the principle that every child is unique and will express their unique interests in many different ways.
Reggio Emilia believes that children have special knowledge and are powerful in their own way. This belief expresses itself in a co-learning environment, where teachers learn with the children and work in a lateral relationship as opposed to a hierarchical one. That partnership is also intended to encompass the parents and community of each child.
Reggio Emilia also revolves around the children’s senses, relying on sight, sound, touch and even taste and smell to assist with learning. As a result, Reggio Emilia classrooms tend to look different than your average preschool with large common spaces, natural elements and lots of light.
Another element that sets the Reggio Emilia philosophy apart is that children can demonstrate their ideas in many different ways other than just numbers and letters, including dance, paint, wire, clay, pencil, nature materials. In addition, the Reggio philosophy recognizes the importance of community in a child’s life, which means teachers try to involve parents and family in the work of education.
Reggio Emilia at the J
Reggio Emilia could very well be the perfect learning approach to encourage your little one’s development. Want to learn more? The preschool at the J follows a Reggio Emilia-based philosophy and involves the children as an active part of their own learning and the direction it takes. Our nurturing educators use a developmental approach to understanding children's abilities and enabling them to gain confidence and independence. Learn more here: https://www.jccnv.org/early-childhood-services/early-childhood-learning-center-fairfax-va/