The Reggio Emilia approach, developed in the town of Reggio Emilia, Italy shortly after World War II, values an extraordinary consideration of children’s agency when developing an educational environment, both inside and outside the classroom. The Reggio approach has been hailed as an exemplary model of early childhood education. It shows what is possible when schools are built on respect, careful listening, and thoughtful responses to children’s ideas.
Here are just three of many key elements that make the Reggio Emilia approach stand out:
- It holds that children’s questions and interests are the best foundation for constructive lessons. Children are competent, curious, creative, and capable of helping to guide the way they are taught. They are to be trusted, listened to and respected.
- It places a great deal of value on the transformative possibilities of ordinary recycled objects and natural materials, and on the capacity for phenomena like shadow and light, and senses like smell and sound, to guide the way children discover the world around them.
- It believes that children express themselves through many languages: not just the ones they speak or write, but the myriad ways in which they interact with others and perceive the world as only a child can.
Luckily, parents and children in NYC can experience the Reggio Emilia approach for themselves at The Wonder of Learning: The Hundred Languages of Children, an exhibit now open in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, at the Williamsburg Northside School. This is the first time in 25 years that the international traveling exhibit is in New York. Children can spend hours in the exhibit’s two discovery-based ateliers, interacting with other children as they play and learn with natural materials and experiment with shadow and light. Photos of children experiencing the exhibit can be found here.
Witness for yourself the power and beauty of children’s thinking!
The Wonder of Learning is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 12-6pm at the Williamsburg Northside School at 299 North 7th Street in Brooklyn.
By subway, you can get to the Northside School via the L to Bedford Av. or Lorimer St.; the G to Metropolitan Av. Parking lots are located at 510 Driggs Ave., 568 Union Ave. and 101 Bedford Ave.
To learn more, please visit http://www.