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The Fundamental Principles Of The Reggio Emilia Approach

The Fundamental Principles of the Reggio Emilia Approach

The Reggio Emilia approach is an educational philosophy originating from the town of Reggio Emilia, Italy. It emphasizes child-centered learning, creativity, and collaboration. The approach values the importance of the environment and promotes hands-on experiences, expressive arts, and documentation of children’s learning. It encourages children to explore their interests and engage in meaningful projects.

At SIS PREP children are seen as inquirers, researchers, and curious beings with high potential, who have the ability to construct knowledge of the world by interacting with it. We believe that environment – the child’s surroundings is the third teacher; first being the child himself and second being his teacher at SIS PREP.

What are the core values of reggio emilia

The core values of the Reggio Emilia approach include respect for children as capable and competent individuals, the belief in the importance of a supportive and enriching environment, and the recognition of the role of collaboration and social interaction in learning. It values the child’s natural curiosity, creativity, and ability to construct knowledge through hands-on experiences. The approach also emphasizes the importance of documentation as a means of making children’s thinking visible and fostering reflection and dialogue among teachers, children, and parents.

For us, the child is a young adult who deserves respect just as any of us, who can make decisions and problem solve if given opportunity and support.

We follow a unique approach called Reggio Emilia which was originated in Italy and now is held high by many educators who value child-led education. SIS PREP has a strong relationship with Reggio Children, (Italy) an organization that promotes and supports this approach.  Reggio Emilia (India) Foundation is an initiative by SIS in supporting Reggio Children (Italy) in its mission. 

what are the 5 principles of reggio emilia

The Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education is lauded for its progressive philosophy that views children as competent, capable, and full of potential. First developed in the town of Reggio Emilia, Italy after World War II, this innovative educational method is based on five key principles.

These fundamental principles of this approach that define and differentiate this approach of education for young children from any other methodology:

1. Child as Protagonist

In Reggio classrooms, the child is viewed as the protagonist and lead actor in his or her own learning. Children direct the learning process through their interests, capabilities, and questions. Rather than following a structured curriculum, studies emerge based on the innate curiosities of the child. Their self-initiated play and exploration builds knowledge.

2. Environment as the Third Teacher

Great care and thought is given to the physical environment of Reggio schools. The classrooms feature open spaces, natural lighting, plants, and access to the outdoors. Resources are carefully chosen and organized to allow children to interact with materials in a meaningful way. The environment acts as the “third teacher”, fostering learning and engagement.

3. The Hundred Languages of Children

This poetic term refers to the many ways children express themselves including spoken language, body movement, drawing, painting, building, clay work, shadow play, and more. Reggio teachers provide children opportunities to learn in diverse ways tailored to their unique skills and interests. All of these languages are valued.

4. Collaborative Work Between Teachers, Children, and Parents

Reggio philosophy emphasizes collaborative relationships between teachers, children, and families. Teachers respect parents as the child’s first teacher and involve them in the educational process. They continually communicate and exchange perspectives to support the child’s growth.

5. Teacher as Researcher and Co-learner

Teachers take on the role as researcher and co-learner along with the child, carefully observing them, facilitating their work, and probing their thinking with questions. They follow the child’s interests and co-construct projects and studies with them as partners in the learning process.

With its focus on the child’s wonder and potential, the Reggio approach fosters confident, engaged learners. These five principles offer guidance to teachers looking to implement Reggio-inspired practices and enhance early childhood education.


March 13, 2023