At Two Peas In a Pod Early Learning Centre the Reggio Emilia approach guides us on our mission to provide a safe and nurturing environment that promotes knowledge and inspires a life-long love of learning.
What does it mean to be “Reggio Emilia-Inspired?”
“Reggio-Inspired” is to adopt the core values and beliefs of this approach to educating young children. Such principles include:
The Image of the Child
We view every child as strong, capable, independent, curious, and full of imagination. We empower children to think, question, investigate, explore, and help navigate the journey of learning.
Educators observe and document the interactions, discussions, and fascinations of children. By developing learning opportunities from these observations, the curriculum “emerges” from children’s interests and ideas.
Our educators deliver this emergent curriculum through project work, which allows children to explore these areas of interest in detail. Educator are thoughtful about introducing a broad range of opportunities, from art to music to early language, math, science and nature experiences, in support of the project. By exploring projects of children’s interest in great detail, children are excited by the learning process. This enthusiasm for knowledge, combined with the ability to experience project work in detail, fosters “life-long” learning.
The Role of the Educator
The Educator is a partner in learning, with the children. By listening, observing, and documenting children’s work, the Educator is equipped to guide children’s learning experiences, and “co-construct” knowledge.
The Role of Environment
Our Environment and layout are viewed as the “third Educator.” Our environment is a reflection of the children, Educators, and parents who live and learn there. It is thoughtful, imaginative, enticing, and respect the image of the child.
Learning takes place not just within the school, but also at home and throughout the community. We encourage parents to participate in project work, special events, and the daily life of our centres. We seek an integrated learning community, where Educators and parents work together to meet the needs of the children.
By documenting the children’s work through photographs, video, written word, displays, etc., Educators tell the story of the children’s early childhood experiences. Every child has their own portfolio, consisting of artwork, photographs, information related to developmental milestones, and more. Lesson plans, project boards, and daily highlights explain the work of the children and communicate the life of the school to the community at-large.
“In the Reggio Emilia preschools, however, each child is viewed as infinitely capable, creative, and intelligent. The job of the Educator is to support these qualities and to challenge children in appropriate ways so that they develop fully.”
Louise Boyd Cadwell, Bringing Reggio Emilia Home: An Innovative Approach to Early Childood Education