What is the Reggio Emilia Approach and how does D-PREP School apply it?
The future is faster than we think, and with this speed comes the need for people to adapt quickly. Children’s development should not be limited to academics and sports in this new age. It should include a variety of specialized skills that will challenge their social, problem-solving skills, and more.
One of the most effective ways to teach these important life skills to children in their early years is the Reggio Emilia approach.
What is Reggio Emilia?
The Reggio Emilia is an educational approach that mainly focuses on preschool and primary education. It is a student-centered and self-guided curriculum that believes development is based on the following:
1.) The child’s identity
2.) The child’s environment
The Reggio Emilia teaching method believes that children’s potential can be fostered by everything around them, such as places, communities, societies, and culture. This also means that parents, teachers, and the environment play an important role in encouraging children to reach their full potential.
Origin of the Reggio Emilia Approach
The Reggio Emilia approach began in 1963 after World War II. It is named after the town where it originated in Northern Italy. It was founded by Loris Malaguzzi, who believed that children needed a more holistic education. The Reggio Emilia is based on the belief that every child is unique and will express their interest in many different ways.
5 Principles of the Reggio Emilia Approach
1. Child-centered teaching
Reggio Emilia’s child-centered teaching revolves around children’s potential and ability. This approach looks into a child’s potential and interests and sees how this can be developed.
2. Engaging learning environment
Schools play a vital role in connecting children, families, and teachers. In the Reggio Emilia approach, the classroom environment is the third teacher. The environment must be nurturing for students as it significantly contributes to their development. Teaching and learning must also go hand in hand as the teacher has to observe the students to better understand and design teaching strategies appropriate for the student’s pace.
3. Students as leaders of their learning
The Reggio Emilia approach to learning is largely based on students’ interests. It encourages students to propose topics they want to learn so they are motivated to explore deeper into subjects they are truly interested in.
4. Learning by doing
In this principle, the Reggio Emilia teaching method allows students to explore and experience real things around them, such as planting vegetables and visiting museums, zoos, and educational centers. Children also have many ways to express themselves. This term is often referred to as the “hundred languages of children” in Reggio Emilia. Reggio teachers provide various avenues for children to think, revise, construct, negotiate, develop, and symbolically express their thoughts and feelings.
5. Reflection and documentation
Teachers play a huge part in observing and recording children learning throughout the lesson, as well as in children’s reflections. In Reggio-inspired education, teachers guide students not only to learn but also to document, step back, and look back on what they’ve learned. Teachers also meet with parents to keep them updated on their children’s learning and exchange ideas on better developing their child’s strengths and abilities.
Benefits of Reggio Emilia learning
- Students will be more engaged as they participate in lessons and topics they are interested in.
- Students take ownership of their work as it is something they choose themselves.
- Children learn about things outside the classroom and can fully use their senses.
- Children get to interact with friends, teachers, and parents, exchange ideas, and even work together with others on projects.
- This approach assists children in becoming young adults who actively engage in their education and growth.
- The environment maximizes learning development and children’s potential.
Light Studio: A Reggio Emilia-inspired classroom at D-PREP
At D-PREP, we believe all children are capable and curious learners. The Light Studio is designed using important elements of the Reggio Emilia philosophy. The teachers act as observers who learn from the children during their exploration.
Students entering our light studio enter a space where they can dream, discover and deliver. This space challenges and expands children’s imagination. It is an opportunity for investigation and creative research. The space is flexible, ever-changing, and inclusive. It is open to adjustments and changes depending on each class project and exploration.
During Light Studio explorations, students have the time to interact with their environment. They manipulate and experience different materials and concepts. It is a process of understanding and experimentation with projects through explorations of light and shadow, reflection, refraction, projection, and even clay and drawing! The list is endless.
A learning day at the Light Studio
In the morning, Nursery students might explore circles and colors in physical objects or in nature. Another group of students could simultaneously focus on creating and testing a communication system for their structure using accordion pipes.
Later, Kindergarten students explore light and discover their drawings of plants being reflected above them on the wall. Students investigate plant structure and discover its details using real plants and projections of plants.
In the afternoon, the Light Studio might change into a living and nonliving environment of experimentation and exploration for Primary classes. The plants are magnified using a handheld microscope, and some students draw their findings.
While other students might be building an area of nonliving things for comparison. The Light Studio changes throughout the day many times.
Children need time to experiment and explore and discover the world that surrounds them. It is a time for your children to use all of their senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch.
If you are interested in visiting the school, please contact
D-PREP International School
38, 38/1-3, 39, Moo 6,
Bangna Trad Rd., Km. 8,
Bang Kaeo, Bang Phli District,
Samut Prakan, Thailand 10540
Google Map: https://info.dprep.ac.th/directions
Call: 02-105-1757, 082-1515922
Website : www.dprep.ac.th
IG : @dprepschool