My passion and knowledge of the education of young children has drawn me to the Reggio Emilia philosophy of education. In line with this pedagogy, I view children as strong and capable. Children, teachers and parents work together to learn, grow, research and gain new understandings. I view the classroom and the materials as an important participant in these processes. The following images depict some of my experiences within an infant/toddler co-op.
the classroom environment
Reggio inspired environments are not only aesthetically pleasing, they are set up to inspire learning and support the interests of the children. Intentional classroom design, allows for well-defined spaces to provoke engaging experiences for the children.
the rights of the children
Reggio children are considered to be strong and capable members of a community. Teachers, parents and children work together to co-create. Children are valued, respected and active participants in their own learning.
As Reggio inspired educator, I provide materials out to expand on interests and ideas of the children. Here are three examples of provocations you might see in my infant/toddler classroom.
One of the most important things we can do as educators is listen through observation. When you are present and allow for the children to fully engage with the materials, they will tell you more than they ever could verbally.
These are topics that the children explore, based on the interests of the children, for an undetermined amount of time. I have been involved in many of these long term investigations over the years, but have chosen my two favorites to display here. The first was a light and shadow exploration. To the left are three beautiful images of the children's work during this project. The second was a photography exploration. To the left you can see an image of a young toddler learning to use the digital camera and two incredible photographs the children took.
The work we do as Reggio inspired educators is very important research and we believe it must be shared. This is done through many forms of documentation, such as program portfolios, newsletters, daily diarios and large format panels. These are great ways to open communication within a community and allow the teachers, parents and children to reflect on their work.