On this page:
- List of schools
- The basic principles of the Reggio Emilia method
- Reggio Emilia schools in Poland: learning full of spontaneity and joy
- The role of teachers and parents in Reggio schools
The most frequently mentioned, special feature characterizing this method is the lack of a predetermined curriculum. The method mainly focuses on the child's needs. Young children have an inner need to discover and learn about the surrounding world. The method consists in encouraging children to discover and figure out things for themselves.
Malaguzzi claimed that "a child has one hundred languages," through which he communicates and expresses his needs. These languages are, for example, painting, drawing, or sculpting. Similar to Waldorf schools, so much attention is paid to artistic activities as a means of teaching and learning.
The basic principles of the Reggio Emilia method
The child is born naturally and is full of curiosity about the world around him. Learning should be done by observing and discovering the most important talents of the child. Based on these beliefs, forms of learning adapted to individual predispositions are selected. According to the assumptions of this method, the child learns by acquiring experience.
Everything that’s associated with gaining experience is at the same time something that engenders curiosity. If the child's environment is interesting and has the right structure, it naturally provokes learning and becomes like a second teacher. In the Reggio Emilia learning method, there are a number of unique principles to follow:
- Pick activities related to the current interests of the child.
- Observe the child.
- Inspire the child to learn.
Private schools in Poland that use the Reggio Emilia method are have plenty of extracurricular activities, peer meetings, and parent meetings.These are all considered key features of the child’s development. An example of a joint initiative can be a day spent at school by parents, working with children.
Children and their parents frequently participate in activities together. Such activities are very often transformed into unscheduled initiatives such as joint trips or picnics. Parents' participation in school life is very large in this case and has a positive impact on the child's education.
Reggio Emilia education is multidimensional. The child's guardian and teacher sees this through:
- Observing a child from his perspective. Observation consists in listening to the curiosity of the world that a child has.
- Perception of the child from her perspective. The world seen from the perspective of the child looks completely different from the "adult," while the role of the teacher is to open up these children up to experiences.
- Integration of the child with the environment. The child's environment is one of the most important elements in the education process. An important role of the teacher is to help students understand that each person is an individual, but his actions affect the whole group.
Reggio Emilia schools in Poland: learning full of spontaneity and joy
The Reggio Emilia learning method is not yet well known and rather rare in schools in Poland. Non-public institutions that use it are among the most modern ones (some elements of this method can also be found in public institutions).
Most popular are nurseries and private kindergartens that base their education partly or entirely on the Reggio Emilia method. There are also kindergartens, among them language and international. They can be found in Warsaw, Krakow, Poznań, Gdańsk, Słomniki, and Olsztyn, among other places.
One of the biggest advantages of this method is that it isn’t implemented step-by-step. It’s creating various possibilities for children. These possibilities arise only from the needs of children. However, learning in kindergartens using this method does not take place in an disorganized way.
Kindergarten provides various types of teaching materials, and children are given the freedom to choose how they will use them. The educational materials used are designed to unleash the natural curiosity of the world and develop students' creativity. Children do what they are most interested in, with guidance from the teacher. The curriculum is co-constructed by students and teachers.
Much learning takes place through trial and error experiments and discovery learning. In this way, children naturally develop a process of drawing conclusions themselves. Schools using this method are bright and cozy. They are a place where students feel good, mainly due to the fact that they themselves co-construct their learning environment and curriculum.
The role of teachers and parents in Reggio schools
The role of teachers and parents is not to present ready solutions and answers. The teacher is an observer and makes educational materials available to children. It’s also to support students and motivate them to search for their own answers. Parents' participation in this process is also a very important element. In this way, the young child receives information that what he does is important and interesting.
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