Children are strong, capable and resilient researchers.

The Reggio Emilia Approach is an educational philosophy constructed by Loris Malaguzzi, centered on the image of the child and of all human beings, as possessing strong potentials for development, and as a subject of rights, who learn and grow in their relationships with others.

This global educational project, started in the Municipal Infant-toddler Centers and Preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, has inspired other schools all over the world. It is considered best practice and is based on a number of distinctive characteristics:

  • the participation of families
  • the collegial work of all the personnel
  • the importance of the educational environment
  • the presence of the atelier and the figure of the atelierista
  • the pedagogical coordinating team.

Our children are offered daily opportunities to encounter many types of materials, many expressive languages, many points of view, to work actively with their hands, minds, and emotions, in a context that values the expressiveness and creativity of each child in the group.

Through collaboration, and in keeping with SOEL Values, we build partnerships with families and the community to create opportunities in which children are listened to, respected, mentored and challenged, so that they can be local, national, international and global citizens.

Malaguzzi, Reggio and the Hundred Languages

(Taken from Reggio Children Foundation)

Loris Malaguzzi began his career as a primary school teacher in 1946. In 1950 he established the Municipal Psycho-Pedagogical Medical Center in Reggio Emilia, where he worked for more than twenty years. In 1963 he began collaborating with the city administration for the opening of the first municipal preschools. This network of services, which in 1967 also incorporated the “people’s nursery schools” that had been established in the post-War period, was expanded in 1971 to include the first infant-toddler centers.

Malaguzzi directed these educational services for many years, working alongside other close colleagues. Consultant to the Italian Ministry of Education, director of the education journals Zerosei and Bambini, in 1980 he established the National Early Childhood Group in Reggio Emilia. Malaguzzi untiringly promoted an innovative philosophy of education that would give value to the wealth of potentials and resources of all children, as expressed in the concept of the “hundred languages of children”.

The Hundred Languages of Children

The child is made of one hundred.
The child has a hundred languages
a hundred hands
a hundred thoughts
a hundred ways of thinking
of playing, of speaking.
A hundred.
Always a hundred ways of listening, of marvelling, of loving
a hundred joys for singing and understanding
a hundred worlds to discover
a hundred worlds to invent
a hundred worlds to dream.

The child has a hundred languages
(and a hundred hundred hundred more)
but they steal ninety-nine.
The school and the culture separate the head from the body.
They tell the child:
to think without hands
to do without head
to listen and not to speak
to understand without joy
to love and to marvel only at Easter and at Christmas.

They tell the child:
to discover the world already there
and of the hundred they steal ninety-nine.
They tell the child:
that work and play
reality and fantasy
science and imagination
sky and earth
reason and dream
are things that do not belong together.
And thus they tell the child
that the hundred is not there.
The child says:
“No way! The hundred is there.”

 

– Loris Malaguzzi

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