What is the Reggio Emilia Learning Approach?


Developed during the post-World War II period in a small Italian town called Reggio Emilia, the concept of this pedagogy was fairly simple – to hand the power of education to the children. Almost 6 decades down the lane, the Reggio Emilia approach has gained worldwide fame due to its success in academics, training the young minds of tomorrow and the unique way in which education is imparted. The top private school in Gurgaon will recognise the pedagogy’s potential and expose their students to its principles so that they can become a part of this global learning train and grow up in the best possible way.

So, what is the Reggio Emilia approach all about? How do the top schools implement it? Find out everything about it here.

What is the Reggio Emilia approach?

The Reggio Emilia approach is a constructivist educational approach meant to train young students of the pre-primary and the primary level. Developed by pedagogist Loris Malaguzzi just after the Second World War to bring about a change in the social and economic thought process of the next generation, the concept typically revolves around the following philosophies:

  • The children should have control of their own education
  • They must also share a healthy relationship with their peers and surroundings
  • Learning should be experienced-based
  • And the students must have limitless opportunities to explore and express themselves

There is no strict set of rules of learning in the Reggio Emilia approach. It is not seen as a method. The whole purpose of the pedagogy is to understand the needs of the children in a specific classroom, spur their curiosity with the environment and design a curriculum based on these. Every school, every community, have complete autonomy to modify the Reggio Emilia approach depending on their needs and work with the children to further their education.

How can schools apply the Reggio Emilia approach?

First, apart from the said philosophies, the Reggio Emilia pedagogy believes that all children can speak in a “hundred different languages”. In other words, every child has her own different ways to express her thoughts and ideas, and she must have the tools available to her to communicate them. The approach directs schools to make room for arts, paintings, modelling,and music to enable the children to speak their own language and let the ideas flow. The top ten school in Gurgaon will have such facilities available to all grades in order to ensure that the approach is followed.

Second, the Reggio Emilia approach puts the teachers and adults around the children as learners and not instructors. The concept says that the teacher in such a classroom has a mindset to enhance his own knowledge by collaborating with the children, understand the students’ interest and take part in the activities along with everyone present. The teacher’s role is also to document the thinking process of the children around and refine the existing curriculum based on changing needs.

And third, the approach puts the classroom environment as the third teacher after the children and the adults. This directs that the children must be exposed to a growing ambiance where there is ample opportunity to interact with multiple objects. The windows must be big enough to allow sunlight, the school courtyard should facilitate interaction with nature, the walls must be adorned with children’s works and complicated models should be present to foster curiosity. The top 10 CBSE school in Gurgaon 2018 following the Reggio Emilia approach will have an infrastructure surrounding these where the environment also has something to teach.

The absence of a fixed curriculum

No two Reggio Emilia community follows the same teaching methods. Each classroom is very different from the other as the students inside the room have unique needs. This is the secret to the concept’s success as the children become the decider as to how to design their curriculum. With this approach, students are constantly motivated to learn in a way that suits them, explore what they want to and engage wherever their desire directs them. Teachers fit in to teach what the class demands, not what the textbook says. The mere absence of a fixed curriculum heightens the level of education and knowledge consumption almost always reaches its peak.

The Paras World School India is one of the very few schools in the country who has adopted the Reggio Emilia approach. The concept is ingrained in its educational philosophy of iSTREAMM where students of all ages are exposed to the pedagogy depending on their requirements. TPWSI applies the Reggio approach is its entirety at the primary levels and tactfully includes its philosophies with the necessary curriculum as students advance through the grades. Such schools are indeed modern schools, showing a growth mentality by bringing in globally accepted learning approaches and striving to give their students the best, always.

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