The Reggio Emilia Approach is an educational philosophy focused on preschool and primary education. It was developed by Loris Malaguzzi, who was a teacher himself, and the parents of the villages around Reggio Emilia in Italy after World War II. After such a great and destructive event, people believed that children were in need of a new way of learning: the assumption was that people form their own personality during early years of development and, moreover, that children are endowed with a hundred languages. The aim of this approach is teaching how to make them useful in everyday life. The program is 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.
The Reggio Emilia philosophy is based upon the following set of principles:
- Children must have some control over the direction of their learning;
- Children must be able to learn through experiences of touching, moving, listening, seeing, and hearing;
- Children have a relationship with other children and with material items in the world that children must be allowed to explore and
- Children must have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves.