Inspiring Child’s learning through the Reggio Emilia Approach
Early childhood years are significant for the growth of the child as the brain undergoes substantial development during these years. It is the responsibility of the preschool to carefully select the right approach to impart education to children to ensure that they acquire the necessary skills and knowledge and also develop a desire of exploring and learning new things in the process. In Williamsburg Northside, many preschools are using the Reggio Emilia approach for early childhood education to achieve this.
The Reggio Emilia approach, developed by the psychologist, Loris Malaguzzi in Northern Italy, is an educational philosophy that focuses on providing education through exploration and discovery in a supportive environment through a self-guided curriculum, based on the curiosity of the child.
The approach is based on the premise that learning should appeal to the interest of children and be a manifestation of their interests in order to be effective and meaningful.
In Williamsburg Northside, preschools are using a child-centric educational program by employing the Reggio Emilia approach in their curriculum. Preschools consider a child as the knowledge bearer and believe that children possess the right to influence the content and method of their learning.
Williamsburg Northside preschools promote the image of a child as a curious, capable and competent student having relevant interests and opinions about their surroundings, and hope to cultivate these interests to guide learning.
Teachers at the Williamsburg Northside preschools act as researchers whose job is to identify the interests and ideas in children and construct a suitable environment for them, in which they feel encouraged to participate whole-heartedly.
One of the important aspects of the Reggio Emilia approach are the hundred languages of children.
Educators in the Williamsburg Northside preschools believe that children have many methods of communicating, which includes drawing, building, sculpting and dramatic play. These methods benefit the children in many ways.
Students develop gross and fine motor skills and problem-solving ability through such hands-on activities.
In Williamsburg Northside, preschools focus on establishing a strong relationship among children, teachers and parents to promote continuous communication between them. Teachers and parents work together within the framework of the Reggio Emilia approach and actively participate in the learning process of the children. They observe the interests and aspirations of children and document the same to ensure that students receive appropriate guidance in learning.
An effective classroom environment and design are also very significant in the Reggio Emilia approach to create new learning spaces for children.
Williamsburg Northside preschools consider the environment as the ‘third teacher’ that offers various learning opportunities for the children to explore. It allows children to interact with other students and indulge in various group activities where each student is encouraged to talk and interact to ensure equal participation for all.
Such social collaborations eventually result in inculcating communication skills and important societal values in children.
The Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education has gained much recognition with many preschools opting for the innovative method of learning to educate students.
However, in view of the lack of any organized system, the success of the method solely depends on the involvement of teachers to develop and implement fundamental values in the classroom to help children learn more naturally.