Our preschool philosophy
Our preschool is being thoughtfully designed and planned – and we doing all this work with the Reggio Emilia approach in mind.
What is Reggio Emilia?
Reggio Emilia is an early childhood teaching method that views young children as individuals who are curious about their world and have the powerful potential to learn from all that surrounds them. It combines free thinking to stimulate learning in appropriate ways while utilizing the creative environment from nature to traditional classroom elements.
What does this mean?
Student-centered – develops independence by putting the responsibility of the learning path in the hands of the student; enables lifelong learning and problem-solving skills
Constructivism – students actively create (or “construct”) knowledge out or their own experiences
Experiential learning – learning through experience; hands-on learning with a self-reflection component
The Reggio Emilia principles in a nutshell
- Kids have input regarding the direction of their learning
- Kids learn through experiences, including touching, moving, listening and watching
- Kids explore the world and relationships with other children
- Kids have infinite ways and opportunities to express themselves
The approach focuses on the natural development of children. Kids have rights and should be given chances to develop their potential, and are encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas. “Influenced by this belief, the child is beheld as beautiful, powerful, competent, creative, curious and full of potential and ambitious desires.” (Valarie Hewitt, “Examining the Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education,” Early Childhood Education Journal. )
The Reggio Emilia approach doesn’t work with a predetermined curriculum and the classroom environment is seen as the third teacher, after the preschool teacher and parents. That is where children hone their relationships and sense of belonging in the world.
We will focus on discovery, experiences and problem solving. Learning through projects, art and communicating with each other.
What does this approach look like?
- Inviting spaces for children to explore materials with authentic art materials like watercolors, clay and chalk with along with different tools to use like Q-tips, sticks or pinecones.
- Lots of musical instruments for experimentation, sharing and playing, like bongos, tambourines and bells.
- Costumes and props for dramatic play, inspiring imaginations and honing communication skills. Cardboard and paints for creating sets.
The great outdoors will also be indoors. In the classroom, you might see rocks, dirt, leaves, feathers – leading to questions, discussions, possible crafts and, ultimately, learning about the world.
There is so much more we are excited to tell you!
Check out future blogs for stories about the Reggio Emilio approach, how current schools embrace it and photos of our new space!