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Reggio Emilia Educational Philosophy

On October 27th, our group of 15 Walsh University students traveled to Reggio Emilia. Reggio Emilia is an educational philosophy that we have been studying at Walsh that was founded in the city of Reggio Emilia in Italy. Louis Malaguzzi developed this approach after World War Two. Reggio is a very different view in education. It is more of an approach than a theory. It focuses mainly on preschool and elementary students. The main idea is for students to learn on their own using resources. They do not have toys to play with but they have real life objects. As you can see in these pictures, there are tools from nature or technology based objects, or even everyday household items that the students use in order to learn. We actually got the chance to play and look at what they use in the classroom which I really enjoyed!

In Reggio schools, teachers play a much different role than in most schools. They do not guide their students, they just observe. Reggio is a very science based approach so the teacher plays the role of a researcher. They showed an example of how a student made a horse out of clay. The teacher recorded every step of the process including what the student said while making it. They had many more examples of this throughout our tour. Because the teacher is more of a researcher, they do not give advice on how to do projects. In other words, Reggio does not believe in modeling or teachers influencing student decisions.

Reggio’s biggest philosophy is the “Hundred Languages of Children.” They feel that students should have many different ways of learning and expressing themselves in many different ways opposed to one specific way. They do this through drawing, sculpting, music, dance, discovering, pretending and many more ways.

I really enjoyed learning more about Reggio Emilia. It was really cool seeing how students can learn from every day things on their own. From looking at pictures and examples throughout our tour, it was very interesting to see how this approach works for the students. I’m excited to use some of these approaches to improve my future classroom.

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