Reggio Emilia

Want to learn more about the Reggio Emilia approach? Read on:

What are the defining characteristics of the Reggio classroom?

In Reggio the classroom is considered the “third teacher,” meaning it is set up to engage children, inspire learning, and encourage communication. Teachers create inviting spaces full of found materials that inspire curiosity and invite exploration. The classroom is viewed as a living organism that evolves over time to meet the changing needs of the community.

What is different about how Reggio teachers approach their work?

Reggio teachers are viewed as more than just a partner in education - they are the guides that take children through the journey of learning.

  • Materials are open-ended and are not manufactured (ex: wood stumps, old tires, PVC piping, buttons, corks, pinecones, etc.)
  • Project-based curriculum that is emergent and follows the interests of the children
  • The children are considered to be whole beings
  • Teachers spend a great deal of time documenting the learning process through portfolios and photographs
  • There is no formal certification for being a Reggio teacher although there are some international training programs, and some teachers even go to Reggio Emilia, Italy as part of their training
  • A Reggio Emilia-inspired program will include some or all of the elements above