Why Reggio Emilia Philosophy?
The Reggio Emilia philosophy of early education has been a strong inspiration for the faculty at L'Atelier. It provokes us to think about what does it mean to educate nowadays? Reggio envisions the school as a place of culture, where each one’s identity can be renewed and new thinking can take place.
Since the school was born we shared the common belief that children have enormous potential and curiosity. They strive to understand the world, making their own theories about how it functions. From the educators in Reggio Emilia, we learned that the word to educate derives from the latin word exducere, which means to bring out.
"children's knowledge deserves to be brought out, rather than filled in" The faculty at L’Atelier analyzed this concept and believes that children's knowledge deserves to be brought out, rather than filled in; opening in this way not only opportunities for growth but also a sense of protagonism, individuality and awareness of how learning is constructed. Children are in the center of their learning process as they co-construct knowledge along with adults (teachers and parents). From Reggio we became inspired by "the image of the child”. They see children as a strong, competent and sociable human being. Carlina Rinaldi's concept of listening to the child (and to the parent, the environment, the context, the teacher) has been for the faculty of the school a strong provocation to re-examine how children learn and how teachers teach. Children construct their knowledge from direct interaction with the environment and in social groups.
Learning takes place when ideas, concepts and theories are shared among others. The constructivist theory of Jean Piaget and socio-constructivism of Lev Vygotsky are important concepts we study to understand and support children's learning.
Our approach is not a specific cognitive one, it is a way of perceiving children, relating with them (and not to them) by respecting their considerations, differences and own rhythms. This approach demands a high level of teacher understanding, study, involvement and commitment.