The Nature of Children and Learning – A Reggio-inspired Approach

How would you describe the qualities of your child? Is it a short list or a long list? Which things are more important to you as you think about how you see your child and what you value. What are the things that you would like to see them develop in?

The Innova Early Years Center (EYC) team is currently spending 3 weeks planning for the soft opening of hte EYC on the 4 September and reflecting on questions like this. Last week the team worked together in groups and brainstormed and discussed what qualities we believe all children bring to school. In the process we developed a collective view of our ‘Image of a Child’ which was then put into a ‘word-cloud’ producing the image below. As you can see the words that were shared the most were – ‘inquirers, curious, capable, creative and intelligent’.

This reflects a quote by Louise Boyd Cadwell about Reggio Emilia centres where she says, ‘each child is viewed as infinitely capable, creative, and intelligent. The job of the teacher is to support these qualities and to challenge students in appropriate ways.”

One of the key principles of the Reggio approach is that children are put at the centre of the learning and that teachers put alot of emphasis on really listening to the children, giving them time and space to express themselves and encouraging them to be active researchers.

In the words of Loris Malaguzzi, renowned educator and founder of the Reggio philosophy, “Our image of the child is rich in potential, strong, powerful, competent and, most of all, connected to adults and children.”

Want to know more – read the article ‘Why Reggio Emilia Works’ @ spielgaben.com

One Hundred Languages of Learning

Today the EYC team attended a Reggio Exhibition in Beijing 798 District that focused on the ‘Wonder of Learning’.  This included the concept of  ‘ The One Hundred Languages of Children ’ which is a metaphor for children having many different ways of thinking, of expressing themselves and doing things. The idea is captured in Loris Malaguzzi’s poem below.