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Art to Heart

The Reggio Emilia Approach

Reggio Emilia is an approach to early childhood education, developed in the city of Reggio Emilia, Italy after World War II, that focuses on children’s symbolic languages. Components of the philosophy include exploring and entering into relationships with peers, family, teachers, the environment, and the community.

Some refer to Reggio Emilia as the “project approach.” It emphasizes involving students in an in-depth study and exploration of a topic, using many different tactics to learn: reading, creative arts activities, handling related objects, and more.

The quality of the physical environment is also very important; in fact, the environment is often referred to as the child’s “third teacher.” Reggio teachers take on a co-learner role in the classroom, serving as a resource and a guide to the students. Educators become teacher-researchers to support their students’ individual and collaborative work and thinking. Teachers also pay close attention to what the students are doing, creating, and discussing as they work on the project and document individual and classroom community growth and exploration.

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