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Alternative Teaching Methods

Traditional schools “with their lectures, homework, and report cards” aren’t for everyone. Here are five alternative approaches to education.

1. Montessori. Dr. Maria Montessori, the first woman in Italy to earn her physician’s degree, developed the educational model that bears her name while teaching a class of 50 poor students on the outskirts of Rome in 1907.

2. Steiner/Waldorf. In addition to creating the field of anthroposophy, which is based on the belief that humans have the inherent wisdom to uncover the mysteries of the spiritual world, Austrian philosopher and scientist Rudolf Steiner developed an educational model that focused on the development of the “whole child” ““ body, soul, and spirit.

3. Harkness. The Harkness method isn’t based on a specific curriculum or a particular ideology, but rather one important piece of furniture. Developed by oil magnate and philanthropist Edward Harkness, a large, oval table is the centerpiece of any classroom that employs the Harkness method of teaching.

4. Reggio Emilia. Reggio Emilia is an educational approach used primarily for teaching children aged 3 to 6. The method is named after the city in northern Italy where teacher Loris Malaguzzi founded a new approach to early childhood education after World War II.

5. Sudbury. Sudbury schools take their name from the Sudbury Valley School, which was founded in 1968 in Framingham, Massachusetts. Sudbury schools operate under the basic tenets of individuality and democracy and take both principles to extremes that are unrivaled in the education arena.

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Written by learningchange

09/03/2014 at 13:19

Las escuelas municipales de Reggio Emilia como modelo de calidad en la etapa de educación infantil

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Las escuelas municipales de Reggio Emilia como modelo de calidad en la etapa de educación infantil

La educación infantil en Reggio Emilia (Italia) es conocida por “The Reggio Emilia Approach.” Este no es un curriculum, o solo una metodología de enseñanza es un modelo pedagógico fuertemente innovador que a través de los años se ha expandido al mundo entero. Reggio Emilia es una pequeña ciudad situada al norte de Italia que durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial (1945) fue desvastada por las acciones bélicas de los Nazis y Fascistas. Después de la guerra, los pobladores de Regio Emilia necesitaban reconstruir sus vidas, no solo materialmente, si no también moral y socialmente. Es en este momento, es cuando la poderosa influencia de las mujeres lleva a construir el primer centro escolar. Después de 40 años, este sistema de centros infantiles municipales ha logrado tener 51 centros, con mas de 3500 niños de tres meses a seis años de edad. Su filosofía y metodología en educación de la niñez ha sido identificada como la mas avanzada en el mundo y premiada por las mas importantes organizaciones educativas.

Las características generales de enfoque Reggio Emilia:

  • Los múltiples lenguajes de los niños (The Hundred Languages of Children) La visión del niño como productor del conocimiento
  • El ambiente escolar como maestro. El atelier. La plaza.
  • La documentación como evaluador y constructor del aprendizaje.
  • Proyectos de periodos prolongados.
  • El maestro como investigador.
  • La importancia de las relaciones en la escuela y de esta con la comunidad.

Written by learningchange

22/12/2010 at 04:26

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Art and Creativity in Reggio Emilia: Exploring the Role and Potential of Ateliers in Early Childhood Education

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Art and Creativity in Reggio Emilia: Exploring the Role and Potential of Ateliers in Early Childhood Education

This book explores the contribution of and art and creativity to early education, and examines the role of the atelier (an arts workshop in a school) and atelierista (an educator with an arts background) in the pioneering pre-schools of Reggio Emilia. It does so through the unique experience of Vea Vecchi, one of the first atelieristas to be appointed in Reggio Emilia in 1970. Part memoir, part conversation and part reflection, the book provides a unique insider perspective on the pedagogical work of this extraordinary local project, which continues to be a source of inspiration to early childhood practitioners and policy makers worldwide. Vea’s writing, full of beautiful examples, draws the reader in as she explains the history of the atelier and the evolving role of the atelierista. Key themes of the book include: “processes of learning and knowledge construction” “the theory of the hundred languages of childhood and the role of poetic languages” the importance of organisation, ways of working and tools, in particular pedagogical documentation”  “the vital contribution of the physical environment”  “the relationship between the atelier, the atelierista, the school and its teachers“.

Written by learningchange

22/12/2010 at 04:18

The hundred languages of children: the Reggio Emilia approach – advanced reflections

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The hundred languages of children: the Reggio Emilia approach — advanced reflections

 

The city-run early childhood program of Reggio Emilia, Italy, has become recognized and acclaimed as one of the best systems of education in the world. Over the past forty years, educators there have evolved a distinctive innovative approach that supports children’s well-being and fosters their intellectual development through a systematic focus on symbolic representation. Young children (from birth to age six) are encouraged to explore their environment and express themselves through many “languages,” or modes of expression, including words, movement, drawing, painting, sculpture, shadow play, collage, and music. Leading children to surprising levels of symbolic skill and creativity, the system is not private and elite but rather involves full-day child care open to all, including children with disabilities. This new Second Edition reflects the growing interest and deepening reflection upon the Reggio approach, as well as increasing sophistication in adaptation to the American context. Included are many entirely new chapters and an updated list of resources, along with original chapters revised and extended. The book represents a dialogue between Italian educators who founded and developed the system and North Americans who have considered its implications for their own settings and issues. The book is a comprehensive introduction covering history and philosophy, the parent perspective, curriculum and methods of teaching, school and system organization, the use of space and physical environments, and adult professional roles including special education. The final section describes implications for American policy and professional development and adaptations in United States primary, preschool, and child care classrooms.

Written by learningchange

22/12/2010 at 04:11

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Reggio Emilia: An innovative approach to early childhood education

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Reggio Emilia: An innovative approach to early childhood education

 

“Our task, regarding creativity, is to help children climb their own mountains, as high as possible.” Loris Malaguzzi

From the start, the Reggio early childhood programmes reflected spontaneity and responsiveness to new ideas—an ‘emergent curriculum’ that was a far cry from the rigidity of the public schools. As Malaguzzi described these after leaving his job as a middle school teacher, ‘The work with the children had been rewarding, but the state-run school continued to pursue its own course, sticking to its stupid and intolerable indifference toward children, its opportunistic and obsequious attention toward authority, and its self-serving cleverness, pushing pre-packaged knowledge.’ By contrast, in the new school there would be a conscious embracing of surprise, of not-too-much-certainty, an acknowledgement that as life itself is unpredictable, so must education be.

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22/12/2010 at 04:06

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Reflections and Impressions from Reggio Emilia: “It’s Not about Art!”

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This article discusses an early childhood program administrator’s reflections on her visit to the preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy. The following six themes are discussed: (1) teachers’ respect for each child; (2) teachers’ emphasis on relationships; (3) the importance of art as the medium chosen to represent children’s thinking; (4) the critical role of communication; (5) the relaxed pace in the schools; and (6) the teachers’ different roles. The article concludes with ideas and questions inspired by the visit that the administrator would like to share with colleagues in a gifted education environment.

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Written by learningchange

22/12/2010 at 03:51

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Three Approaches from Europe: Waldorf, Montessori, and Reggio Emilia

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Waldorf, Montessori, and Reggio Emilia are three progressive approaches to early childhood education that appear to be growing in influence in North America and to have many points in common. This article provides a brief comparative introduction and highlights several key areas of similarity and contrast. All three approaches represent an explicit idealism and turn away from war and violence toward peace and reconstruction. They are built on coherent visions of how to improve human society by helping children realize their full potential as intelligent, creative, whole persons. In each approach, children are viewed as active authors of their own development, strongly influenced by natural, dynamic, self-righting forces within themselves, opening the way toward growth and learning. Teachers depend for their work with children on carefully prepared, aesthetically pleasing environments that serve as a pedagogical tool and provide strong messages about the curriculum and about respect for children. Partnering with parents is highly valued in all three approaches, and children are evaluated by means other than traditional tests and grades. However, there are also many areas of difference, some at the level of principle and others at the level of strategy. Underlying the three approaches are variant views of the nature of young children’s needs, interests, and modes of learning that lead to contrasts in the ways that teachers interact with children in the classroom, frame and structure learning experiences for children, and follow the children through observation/documentation. The article ends with discussion of the methods that researchers apply to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each approach.

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Written by learningchange

22/12/2010 at 03:47

Reggio Emilia approach

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Reggio Emilia approach

 

The Reggio Emilia Approach is an educational philosophy focused on preschool and primary education. It was started by Loris Malaguzzi and the parents of the villages around Reggio Emilia in Italy after World War II. The destruction from the war, parents believed, necessitated a new, quick approach to teaching their children. They felt that it is in the early years of development that children are forming who they are as an individual. This led to creation of a program based on the principles of respect, responsibility, and community through exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment based on the interests of the children through a self-guided curriculum. Reggio Emilia’s approach to early education reflects a theoretical kinship with John Dewey, Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky and Jerome Bruner, among others. Much of what occurs in the class reflects a constructivist approach to early education.

Written by learningchange

22/12/2010 at 03:08

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Case Study: Lewes New School pioneers curiosity-based learning

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Case Study: Lewes New School pioneers curiosity-based learning

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Lewes New School – education led by curiosity and imagination

Parents are flocking to a new primary school in Sussex where pupils don’t take tests

How do children learn? Is it through testing or open-ended class discussions aimed at piquing curiosity? Lewes New School, is spearheading a new approach to education.

‘Children learn to a huge extent by imitation – if we want our children to be curious, creative, reflective, courageous, respectful individuals then that is what we as teachers must model,’ argues Lizzie. ‘I feel that currently teachers tend to be trained to perform and learn a role that has little to do with these qualities.’

‘A teacher has to be able to share their own experience of what it is to be a learner, and to “be” with the discomfort of not knowing, of puzzling out with the group or an individual how best to proceed. Creative processes are by definition open-ended, and this often requires teachers to step out of their comfort zone to explore.’

Written by learningchange

21/12/2010 at 11:19

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