Principles of Reggio

 · Children are strong, interested and capable

· Children learn best working with others:

     -  with other children

     -  family

     -  teachers

     - the community

· Children show us what they know in many ways– they move, draw, paint, build, sculpt,

· do collage, act, sing, play music– These are the hundred languages” of children.

· Children learn from the spaces they are in—they need a beautiful, orderly space where everything has a purpose and can help children learn

· Children are capable of long term sustained learning when the topic is interesting to them.


 A beautiful orderly space where everything has a purpose and can help children learn.

The arrangement of structures, objects and

activities encourages choices, problem solving and discoveries in the process of learning.

 Attention to detail in the environment conveys the  message that children and teachers are engaged together in the pleasure of learning

Colour of the walls –neutral and non distracting—Shape of furniture -Arrangement of simple objects on shelves/tables— Light sources—

Mirrors which reflect displays and make patterns -  Green plants

 A personalized environment-helps viewer to understand the process of children’s thoughts and explorations:

Such an environment will be :

· Full of children’s work  beautifully displayed in unexpected places.

· Photographs of children and their dialogues

· Reflections of the teachers incorporated as part of the displays.


 Children undertake collaborative learning in both large and small groups. This is valuable and necessary to advance cognitive development.

Reggio promotes group membership as well as uniqueness of self.

 Children are encouraged to

· Dialogue

· Critique

· Compare

· Negotiate

· Hypothesize

· problem solve through projects


 Parents provide ideas and skills which make them active partners in their children’s learning.

Parents provide resources.

Share in communication with children, revisiting and expanding upon experiences

Share in communication with teachers providing information on children’s interests and linking home and school experiences. Email, visual displays ,photos, conversation.

Information books

Reference material



 Children undertake experiences that build their connections and understanding with a topic of interest.

Visiting experts

Excursions-may be repeated several times


Information books

Reference material



 Adventures which involve in depth study of concepts, ideas, and interests.

 · can emerge from children’s ideas and interests

· identified from listening to children’s conversations

· can be provoked by teachers

· can be introduced by teachers knowing what is of interest to children

· can last one week or continue through out the year– long enough to develop new ideas,

· revisit ,see progress, see movement of ideas

· concrete, personal, from real experiences

 A “good” project

 · warms up the children ”

·  can be supported by adults without direct intervention

·  enables children to contribute

·  enables many choices of direction

·  incorporates a variety of learning experiences

·  encourages children to use many “languages”

·  supports many contexts

·  encourages multiple points of view

·  enables children to make mistakes and enables children to make mistakes and demolish their own ideas

·  encourages children to assume responsibilities foe investigations

·  builds children's feelings of mastery

· enables children to make mistakes and demolish their own ideas

· encourages children to assume responsibilities foe investigations

· builds children's feelings of mastery

 Reggio Emilia approach uses the aesthetic arts as tools for cognitive , linguistic and social development.

 Experiences are expressed through many forms referred to as  The 100 languages of Children which include:

· Print– making story books, poetry, rhymes

· Art—painting, drawing, collage, sculpture

· Construction—model making, blocks, masks, 3D representations, building

· Music—dance , playing instruments, singing

· Drama—puppetry, role play

 Art Specialist

 A teacher who is trained in visual arts works closely with other teachers. This teacher is called an atelierista

and a special workshop or studio ( the atelier ) is set aside and used by all the children and teachers as well, by the atelierista.

Smaller spaces called mini ateliers are also set up in each of the children’s areas to allow children to access art materials at will.


 Activities are based on children’s interests which are identified through observing children, listening to conversations, asking questions. The information gathered forms the starting point for

developing the programme or curriculum.

 Teachers role

· to listen to and observe the children closely, ask questions and explore the children’s ideas

· to take ideas from the children and return them for further exploration.

· to provide experiences that “provoke” children’s thinking and learning

· to co-explore the learning experience with the children

· to provoke ideas, problem solving and conflict

· to organize the environment to be aesthetically pleasing 

· to organize materials to help children make thoughtful decisions about the media

· to help children see the connections in learning and experiences.

· to document children’s progress through a variety of ways : visual, video, tape recording, portfolios



 The curriculum is not established in advance . The curriculum or “ statement of what the children will learn “emerges in the process of each activity or project and this is flexibly adjusted through continuous dialogue among teachers and children. 

What role does the child play in various programming/curriculum styles?

 Developmental Programmes

The child takes the role of the mountain climber.

The child’s developmental strengths and weaknesses are discovered through objective observation.

Activities are planned to allow child practise areas of weakness and reach age appropriate developmental milestones.

Programming covers the physical, social, emotional and cognitive domains.

There is an upward climbing to reach developmental peaks.

The child learns to do.

 Theme based Programmes

The child takes the role of a tourist.

Various areas of learning are linked with a common theme to projects.


 Children have rights to the best that society can offer.

Reggio is not a model that can be copied but an educational experience that consists of reflection, practise and further careful reflection in a programme that is continuously renewed and adjusted.

The child is not considered in isolation but in relationship with the family, other children, the teachers, the environment of the school, the community, and the wider society.

All these relationships are interconnected and reciprocal.   



 Teachers record or document different aspects of the children’s experiences in a variety of ways.

· Take photographs and provide written reflections on what is happening

· Record and accurately transcribe children’s conversations

· Arrange representations of children’s learning using many media 

 Reasons for documentation 

· To make it possible to “see” the learning

· To enable the teacher and child to revisit and reflect on their work

· Provides children with a concrete and visible memory of what they said and did in order to provide a stepping stone to the next stage of  learning

· Contributes to the depth and extensiveness of the learning gained by the children

· Communicates that the children’s work is valued and respected

· Allows children to debate and consider many different  possibilities

· Provides the teacher with a tool for research and a key to improvement and renewal

· Provides an opportunity to follow the process of children’s thinking for learning

· Sharpens and focuses attention on the intentions and understanding

· Provides a framework to make decisions about a child’s development , the learning experiences and self reflection

· Makes it possible for parents and families to become acutely aware of their children’s experiences

· Enables the community to be involved with the children’s learning experiences

· Enables the community to be involved with the children’s learning