Hailed for its innovative method of teaching young children, the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education is attracting the attention of educators and researchers in the United States and around the globe.
The Reggio approach originated in Italy and its emphasis on creativity, investigative thinking and the potential of every child is well suited for today’s world. Reggio-inspired schools now can be found in the United States, England, Canada, Scandinavia, Australia and many other countries, as well as at companies such as Google.
Key principles of our Reggio-inspired program at Ecopia Day School:
1. The Image of the Child
We believe all children are powerful, strong, imaginative, creative, and rich in potential. Children possess a natural desire to explore, question and understand their world. Our program will aid them in creating new knowledge through investigating their ideas and theories.
2. The Role of the Teacher
Our teachers are co-learners and collaborators with children and each other. Together, teachers and children investigate and make new discoveries through work and play. By paying attention and listening deeply, teachers facilitate child-led learning through thoughtful questions and extensive documentation.
3. The Environment as the Third Teacher
The indoor and outdoor spaces of our school are intentionally created to be a rich, multi-layered environment that encourages communication and collaboration. Beautiful aesthetics and materials, abundant light and natural elements help children to feel at home with an invitation to explore.
Through the use of notes, photographs, video and daily journals, our teachers create visible records of learning that are displayed in the school. Documentation is a window into what children are thinking, learning and feeling as they pursue an idea. It can provide new insights for teachers, a sense of pride for children, and a way for parents to see what their child is experiencing.
5. The 100 Languages
The concept of “100 languages” is a metaphor for how children create and communicate in many ways. We encourage children to express themselves through the many symbolic languages such as drawing, painting, shadow play, sculpture, writing, poetry, science, building, and mathematics.
6. The Role of Parents
Parents are an essential component of our school and valued partners in learning. We invite them to join us in creating a strong community of children, teachers and families.