Discovery-Based, Reggio Emilia Inspired Learning
Since 1998, the Center for Early Childhood Education at NVCC has been inspired by the Reggio Emilia
Approach to teaching young children. Emergent Curriculum, artistic
explorations and small group work based on negotiations between the
interests of the children and teachers are significant tenets of this
The basic principles of the Reggio Emilia Approach include:
- The Image of the Child~Adults see each
child as having unique strengths and potential. In the classroom,
children are encouraged to construct their own knowledge through
exploration, self-expression, and interactions with their teachers and
- Symbolic Representation~As a means of
enhancing children's cognitive, social, and creative development, a wide
array of media and activities are introduced in the context of an
integrated curriculum. These help children represent their ideas and
emotions through many "languages", including spoken and written words,
visual arts, drama, movement, and more.
- Education Based on Interaction and Collaboration~Education
is experienced as a continuous, cooperative interaction between those
involved in the school community. Collaboration takes place between
teachers and children, children and peers, teachers and other teachers,
teachers and families, and the school and the community. All are
important in the educational process.
- The Project Approach~The children
learn through cooperating with other children and their teachers in long
term projects based on children's interests and the arts as a central
feature of the program. Projects may be based on either teachers' or
childrens' initiatives, but always develop in response to the children's
interests and curiosity as teachers and children engage in the
co-construction of understandings and concepts.
- The Importance of Time~Projects are not fragmented or rigid by a predetermined time frame; rather they
develop and build upon one another over time, as the children "revisit"
their original work and ideas, refining them further through new
experiences, activities, and forms of expression. Time is also important
in building sustaining, collaborative working relationships with peers
- The Role of the Teacher: Teacher as Partner~The
teacher is a partner in learning with the child. The teacher's role is
to act as resource, provocateur, and partner in learning with the
children. Children's work, play and discussions are documented through
notes, photos, tape recordings and videos. These are carefully reviewed
by the teachers and guide their curriculum and project decisions based
on the children's interests, ideas, and developmental readiness to
acquire new skills.
- The Role of the Parents~Parents
are active participants in the activities of the school and in their
children's projects. Parents are welcome into the schools and
collaborate with teachers in curriculum and administrative decisions.
They give of their time and talents and serve as advocates for the
schools in the community.
- The Role of the Environment~Through
conscious use of space, color, natural light, attractive and
appropriate learning materials and displays of children's work, the
environment serves as another teacher and is inviting to children,
teachers, families, and visitors.
this approach the Connecticut State Early Learning and Development
Standards are embedded into children's play; high quality,
child-centered activities, proposals, and provocations; and care and
Teachers collaborate in creating Learning Experience Plans that reflect:
- An emergent curriculum
- Bloom's Taxonomy of higher order thinking
- Early Literacy Skills: Oral Language Development (expressive and
receptive), Alphabetic Code, Print Knowledge and Opportunities for
Varied Reading Experiences
- Musical Experiences including singing, instruments, and movement
- Literacy Experiences including listening to a read story and a telling of a story, Flannel board stories, and acting out stories