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.
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