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Reggio Emilia Approach

Play and Project Based Learning

The Reggio Emilia Approach to early childhood education began in post-WWII Reggio Emilia, Italy as a way for families to rebuilding something progressive and collaborative for their children out of the ruins of war. They people of Reggio Emilia understood the need to create a bright future for the children of the community and out of this experience came the pedagogy for the Reggio Emilia Approach.

Children are viewed as capable learners who are full of potential and eager to connect with the world around them. Because of this, you will see your child working on long-term projects and learning through play experiences. Children are able to work on something that piques their interest to gain a deeper understanding on a variety of topics and skills. Students may leave a project and come back after a day, a week, or a month, pick up where they left off, and have a new understanding and fresh perspective. This is encouraged in the Reggio Emilia Approach, as learning is never really “done” and this new knowledge can be worked into existing projects.

Reggio inspired schools such as ours believe in the Hundred Languages of Children, meaning that children can and do learn in many different ways and our job as educators is to help children find a way to express themselves. We work with children to understand their thinking and construct an engaging learning environment around what children already know and what they’re going to learn. Children can explore their surroundings, experiment with different art media, create and revise hypotheses, and more.

Play, we know, is the deepest form of learning for young children. It is through play they work through their many emotions, try out solutions to problems, and learn about working with others and how to make friends. It is in play that that children take what they have learned and experiment with those ideas and put that knowledge into context. We know the value of play – whether it’s with others, individually, indoors or outdoors. Play is the ultimate form of learning and that’s why we take learning so seriously at Tangerine Schoolhouse!