Our Teaching Approach - Reggio Emilia/Creative Curriculum
Reggio Emilia is not necessarily a philosophy like Piaget's Cognitive Theory, it is simply an approach to learning. While Reggio Emilia is compared to Montessori and Waldorf, they are similar, however, the Reggio approach has core values that teachers base their learning from.
The child as an active participant in learning- Students are allowed to follow their own interests to a degree. Our teachers will observe the children, watching and listening to what they want to learn. They will then base their lessons off of common interests, providing the classroom with materials conducive to researched based learning and imaginative play.
The significance of the environment- the classroom and school is known as the "third educator". Their environment is important to learning. We have developed a calming, inviting, safe environment rich with "atelier" materials like paint, drawing utensils, clay and loose parts for the three and above classrooms.
The teacher, parent and child as collaborators in the process of learning- the Reggio approach is designed to integrate the parents involvement as much as possible. Typically parents are not a part of the child's education while they are at their school. At a Reggio school, parents are welcome to join their child and the students in every day learning. We also encourage parents to volunteer for events and important meetings through out the year. If parents have a suggestion or a complaint, the director and teachers have a meeting/lecture with all parents to come up with a solution as a whole.
Making learning visible- part of our mission statement is to instill the pride of personal accomplishment. To encourage that, the teachers will document all parts of learning through out the year. On a daily basis teachers will be taking pictures, videos, notes and journaling about the children's learning. They will capture little moments in time, funny quotes, amazing answers and beautiful conversations between friends. At the end of the year, or when your child transitions to the next classroom he or she will be able to take pride in their own work and success in that classroom when they get to take home their own portfolio.
While we are not a whole Reggio Emilia School we incorporate a lot of the learning techniques, materials and practices Our PreK class is more focused on Reggio Emilia with the abundance of materials in their classroom!
Miss Maggie and I supply monthly themes for the teachers and the teachers are allowed to come up with their own sub lessons on a weekly basis. They teach children what they WANT to learn about and use a lot of real life materials from home.