The Reggio Emilia Approach can be viewed as a resource and inspiration to help educators, parents, and children as they work together to further develop their own educational programs. The Reggio Emilia Approach is based upon the following principles .
The Importance of Relationships: Children, teachers, parents, and members of the community are interactive and work together. By building a community of inquiry with adults and the surrounding community, children interact and communicate with the world around them. Family involvement is central to the Reggio Approach. Parents are the child’s first teacher.
Image of the Child: In the Reggio approach, children are seen as strong, competent and sociable human beings. They are active researchers of their world, constructing knowledge on an ongoing basis. Children are the center of the learning process, co-constructing knowledge along with their parents (their first teachers) and educators (their second teachers).
Environment: The Reggio Approach refers to the environment as the third teacher. Great attention is given to the look and feel of the classroom. The aesthetic beauty of the school is seen as an important part of the curriculum. Teachers organize environments rich in possibilities and provocations that invite children to explore, create, problem solve, ask and seek…and a “hundred, hundred, more.” (see The Hundred Languages, by Loris Malaguzzi founder of the Reggio Emilia Approach)
Representational Development: Consistent with Howard Garner’s notion of schooling for multiple intelligences, The Reggio Approach calls for the integration of graphic arts as tools for cognitive, linguistic, and social development. Representation of art, print, construction, drama, music, puppetry, light and shadow play are viewed as essential to the children’s understanding of the experience.
The following information was taken from information available at The Hundred Languages of Children traveling exhibit.