Reggio Emilia Approach: A Review

By February 11, 2016Parkland Players

 As you probably know by now, Parkland Players prides itself in being a Reggio Emilia Learning Centre. In previous posts we have discussed the history of Reggio Emilia, its core values, and what possible Reggio activities look like. In this post we will revisit what Reggio Emilia is in order to establish a firm understanding of the Reggio Emilia learning process and to put together all of the pieces of Reggio Emilia that we have previously discussed.


  • The Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education was founded in area of Italy called Reggio Emilia
  • It was established by a group of parents in this community but its main founder was Loris Malaguzzi (1920-1994)
  • This approach developed in response to World War II. People were feeling as though they needed to change education after the war to better support children and a positive future

Reggio’s View of The Child

  • One of the core principles of Reggio Emilia is the view that children are competent, curious, industrious, and inventive
  • Children have a natural curiosity and a desire to learn if we present them with adequate opportunities
  • Children are also extremely social and learn well through interactions with peers, teachers, parents and the environment

Key Features of Reggio Emilia: The Environment as the “Third Teacher”

  • Reggio Emilia approach requires an environment that stimulates curiosity and encourages learning, therefore, the environment in a Reggio Emilia classroom is incredibly important
  • An atmosphere of playfulness and openness is important
  • Teachers organize the classroom so that it is rich in provocations and invitations for children to explore
  • Children work and learning should be displayed where children can look and it and admire it
  • Classroom space should be shared by all children to encourage social interaction

Key Features of Reggio Emilia: Children’s Multiple Symbolic Languages

  • Children are able to express their intelligence in a multitude of ways
  • Reggio Emilia supports the integration of creative arts, linguistic activities and social activities for cognitive development

Key Features of Reggio Emilia: Documentation

  • Documentation of projects and activities is important
  • Helps children revisit their learning experience and validates their self-esteem
  • Pictures of children in the learning process is also important for understanding their development

Key Features of Reggio Emilia: Role of the Teacher and Parents

  • The role of the teacher is to facilitate learning, they are to observe what children are curious and inclined to learn about and any given time and then create appropriate opportunities for them to do this
  • The role of the parent is a collaborator. They are suppose to stay in touch with what their children is learning through documentation reports and contact with teachers
  • Altogether, the goal of these roles is to create a tight-knit community that supports the children it cares for



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