The Reggio Emilia Approach Essay

The Reggio Emilia Approach Essay

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The Reggio Emilia Approach
Hailed by Newsweek (1991) magazine as the international role model for preschools, the Reggio Emilia approach has caught the attention of early childhood educators. In 1999, current Secretary of Education, Richard W. Riley visited the schools in Reggio Emilia to better understand its benefits (Dunne, 2000). It’s principals are understood by only a few, however, and has limited following with approximately 1200 Reggio inspired preschools in operation, most of them private (Sipprelle, 2009), making the innovative ideas offered by this approach available to only a few. Why have so few schools emulated those so successful in Reggio Emilia, Italy? Is Reggio Emilia applicable in the American classroom? A look at the history, theory, practices and application of this approach reveals both the benefits and difficulties in adapting it to the current educational system in the United States.
From its very beginnings, the Reggio approach places a high priority on children. After the devastation of World War II, the Italian government gave each town a subsidy to use in any way they saw fit to re-establish a sense of community that was taken away during the war. While many towns used the money to create communal public spaces, the town of Reggio Emilia decided to use the money to build a school for young children, ages birth through six, as an investment in the future of the entire community. Led by Loris Malaguzzi, known as the father of the Reggio Emilia approach, the school was developed with the mindset that children were active and capable contributors to society. The philosophy was shaped by a number of constructivist theories, including those of Vygotsky and Piaget. The idea of community collabora...


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...ned by words such as standards and performance. Theory and best practice has been set by academic scholars and is expected to be carried out by teachers, requiring them to perform to a certain standard. Teachers themselves are not always trusted to create appropriate curriculum in response to the needs of the children and they must be for the Reggio approach to be fully successful.



Works Cited

Sisson, Jamie Huff. "Making sense of competing constructs of teacher as professional." Journal of Research in Childhood Education 23.3 (2009): 351+. Academic OneFile. Web. 16 Nov. 2011.
Abramson, S., Ankenman, K., & Robinson, R. (1995). Project work with diverse students: adapting curriculum based on the Reggio Emilia approach. Childhood Education, 71(4), 197+. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA16864617&v=2.1&u=lom_accessmich&it=r&p=AONE&sw=w

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