Shir Hadash Early Childhood Center 
Reggio Philosophy

Reggio Philosophy

The Reggio Emilia philosophy and approach to the education of young children began in Reggio Emilia, Italy in the late 1940's - early 1950's.  The late Loris Malaguzzi was the principal innovator and leader in this approach.  Over the years he guided the parents and teachers in Reggio Emilia in the development of the Reggio philosophy.  It is founded in the idea that education is based on relationships--it encompasses the nature of children, learning, and teaching.

The Reggio Emilia approach is built upon a solid foundation of connected philosophical principles and extensive experience. Educators in Reggio Emilia have been inspired by many early childhood psychologists and philosophers, such as Dewey, Piaget, Vygotsky, Gardner and Bruner.

Therefore the Reggio approach is not an early childhood method or set curriculum, but rather a deep knowledge in theory and community-constructed values that have been and are continuously being translated into high quality early childhood practices. As a result, educational theory and practice in Reggio Emilia is strongly connected. To learn more about fundamental principles of the Reggio approach, read Lella Gandini's article, "Fundamentals of the Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education," published in the November 1993 issue of Young Children or in the book Next Steps Toward Teaching the Reggio Way: Accepting the Challenge to Change, edited by Joanne Hendrick.

The Reggio approach seeks to help children connect to the knowledge they already have, expand upon that base of knowing and to internalize the skills of observing, communicating, questioning and information gathering.  Connections to art, music, movement, and nature are built during this process.  Not only are the teachers and children a part of this process, but families and the community are involved as well.

More information can be found at the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance website:

  • portions of this page were paraphrased from the NAREA FAQ and from Working in the Reggio Way, by Julianne P. Wurm, Red Leaf Press, 2005 
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