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The Reggio Emilia Approach

Tha Atelier

The municipal infant-toddler centers and preschools of Reggio Emilia are internationally recognized as an experience of particular cultural interest and constitute a model of "relation space" dedicated to young children.

The Reggio Emilia approach was conceived, encompass and implement the theoretical contributions of thinkers including Dewey, Piaget, Vygotsky and Bruner. Collaboration among children, teachers, parents, and the community is highly valued and the centers are open to all families regardless of income and supported by the town.

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  Reggio Emilia Approach  
The 100 Languages of childrenThis model was conceived after World War II when the women of Reggio wanted to build a school, literally from the rubble of the devastated town. The curriculum is based on close observation and documentation of the children’s ideas by the teacher who co-constructs knowledge with the children. Their ideology expanded and deepened and special roles are given to the atelierista (helps children express ideas) and the pedagogista (the teacher and connector of teachers). Parents continue to be engaged as partners in their child’s learning. The environment is used as a valuable source of learning both to inspire, reflect, and to promote the work of the children, which is done in small groups.
This approach, whose esteemed founder/philosopher was
Loris Malaguzzi, is nowadays considered one of the most avant-garde pedagogical philosophy and rapidly became a subject of interest, study, research and discussion among teachers, educators, University researchers, in Italy and throughout the world.
The first foreign interest in the Reggio experience was shown by delegations of visitors from Cuba, Bulgaria, Spain,Japan, Switzerland and France. An intensive exchange with Swedish educators began in 1979, leading to the showing of an exhibit enititled " If the eye jumps over the wall" in Stockholm in 1981, accompanied by a television documentary on the Reggio experience produced by Swedish TV. From here, the exhibit became widely successful and the updated current version called "The Hundred Languages of Children" has been touring the world for 15 years with a message of hope for children and for their rights and potential.
The international "notoriety" of the Reggio poreschools exploded in 1991, when a panel of experts commissioned by Newsweek magazine identified the "Diana" municipal preschool as the most avant-garde early childhood institution in the world. Other important recongnitions followed immediately, as you can see in this page.
To respond to these increasingly numerous and pressing requests, the Reggio city administration established in 1994 Reggio Children, to promote and disseminate the theoretical and practical experience developed in Reggio, as well as to support the educational institutions around the world, inspired by the "Reggio Approach". You'll find schools working along the lines of the Reggio Approach in Sweden (Stockholm), in the USA (Washington, California, etc.), in Thailand (Bangkok), in Japan, in Australia, etc. SEE these wonderful pictures from schools aroud the world
In 1995 the European Union commissioned Reggio Children to provide pedagogical consultancy for the management of the "Clovis" early childhood center in Brussels, a daycare service for EU employees.
Also in 1995 Professor Jerome Bruner, one of the most important authorities in the field of contemporary psychological research, was deeply impressed by his visit to the preschools of Reggio Emilia and has established a collaborative relationship with them to improve educational systems internationally. Equally important was the relationship with the Italian Ministry of Education who officially recognized the value of this innovative experience.

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Schools that follows the Reggio Emilia approach, around the world: