Reggio Emillia and the Approach

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Origin from a city in the north of Italy, the Reggio Emilia approach in Early Childhood Education is adopted by multi-countries over the past decades. This approach has a core philosophy, that children should play a leading role in education. Children are seen as full of knowledge and intelligence, with full capabilities to express themselves if only given the proper ways to do to so. They are protagonists of their own learning and have a say in what topics and problems they will study and research. Teachers provide resources to assistant children’s learning and developing. The curriculum is emergent, meaning the teachers choose topics and projects based on careful listening and observations of their student’s interests, needs and inquiries. Children are encouraged to use materials and media to demonstrate their learning and understanding of a topic or project. Documentations and environment have direct influences in helping children’s learning. Parents and community also play a supportive role in children education (O.E.C.D, 2004).

Te Whᾱriki is the New Zealand’s early childhood curriculum, which was developed in 1996. Compared with Reggio Emilia Approach, they have similarities as focus on children’s interests; develop children’s learning though interacting in relationship with others, emphasise the importance of environment and adults’ active responding. They also differ in many ways, such as teacher’s role, culture background and documentation and Assessment.

Community and parent support is considered a valuable and vital part of the Reggio Emilia system. The exchange of ideas between parents and teachers is essential and favours the development of a new way of educating. The approach encourages interaction and communic...

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...both approach emphasis on Family and Community. The wider world of family and community is an integral part of the early childhood curriculum Te Whᾱriki (1996). It also states that inclusion and support of parents and the connections with the community is important to the children’s learning process. Moreover Te Whᾱriki states that “Parents and caregivers have a wealth of valuable information and understandings regarding their children” (30).

Thirdly both approach focus on educators to provide encouragement, warmth, and acceptance. They also provide challenges for creative and complex learning and thinking, helping children to extend their ideas and actions through sensitive, informed, well-judged interventions and support. Te Whᾱriki principles points out “children learn through responsive and reciprocal relationships with people, places and things” (p. 14).
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