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Reggio Emilia Philosophy
Starting with the Beginners three-year-old program and spreading into Prep I and II, Elmwood Franklin’s preschool program embraces an educational philosophy called Reggio Emilia. A Reggio program is characterized by its emphasis on open-ended learning activities that follow the interests of the children, dialogue and cooperation between children, teachers, and parents, and the belief that each child is a strong and competent individual.
Reggio Emilia at EFS
Schools that adopt the Reggio Emilia philosophy each do so in their own way. At Elmwood Franklin, we embrace Reggio’s underlying principles by incorporating them into our long-standing tradition of high-quality early childhood education. Our Prep program features:
The values of Reggio Emilia reflect the following principles:
Children are active participants in their learning.
In Reggio classrooms, children have a very active role in choosing topics and methods of study. Students decide these things by talking, sharing, playing, questioning, and imagining. Then, with the guidance of their teacher, they engage in projects that incorporate various modes of learning, including art, dramatic play, music, literacy, science, and social awareness. These projects may be simple or complex, short or long-term, depending upon the interests of the children.
Teachers are facilitators of learning, both their students’ and their own.
Reggio teachers do not just “hand down” knowledge to their students. Rather, they act as collaborators with their students, guiding and facilitating their learning as individuals and as a group. As their students learn and grow, so do the teachers, who view themselves as active researchers and reflective practitioners.
The physical environment plays an essential role in learning.
In the Reggio approach, the environment is viewed as another “teacher,” as children learn through their interactions with their surroundings. Classrooms are inviting, child-friendly spaces that reflect the comfort of home. Classroom materials, often reflective of nature, are selected for their ability to stimulate students’ senses and imaginations and are arranged in ways to be orderly and accessible.
Children’s learning deserves and is supported by documentation.
Reggio-inspired classrooms document learning in other ways than grades and test scores. Children’s daily thoughts, questions, answers, and work are documented by teachers through photography, video and audio recording, journals, portfolios, and displays. These efforts validate children’s thought processes as they work and play, as well as communicate their discoveries with others. Children also take pride and satisfaction in seeing their own learning made visible.
Home, school, and community work in partnership to promote learning.
The child’s daily learning experience is a continuum from home to school to home again, and the Reggio approach recognizes and maximizes this by informing and involving parents in the life of the classroom and by allowing children to take part in the greater community