The aeioTU Educational Experience is characterized by the accompanying of the children in order to find the meaning of life in a natural and joyful manner. aeioTU is inspired on Reggio Emilia, an education philosophy that considers the child as the active main character of his/her own learning. The Reggio Emilia philosophy is recommended by the European Union and the University of Harvard and is recognized by UNESCO as the best pedagogy in the world for early childhood.
Our commitment is to develop the full potential of every child. We believe in our children. We take care and educate them in spaces especially designed by us to maximize their learning. Based on our experience and knowledge, we developed a curriculum cartography that empowers the teacher with pedagogical instruments designed to potentiate the learning of each child. This curriculum has been nominated to the WISE award that recognizes innovative projects that can generate a great impact in global education.
The Reggio Emilia educational philosophy
aeioTU is inspired in the Reggio Emilia educational philosophy because it recognizes the child as the protagonist of its learning. Howard Gardner, from Harvard University, refers to the educational centers of Reggio Emilia as "schools where the minds, bodies and spirits of the youngest children are treated with outstanding seriousness and respect; and where, at the same time, they experience pleasure, fun, beauty and lasting learning. "
We see the educational philosophy of Reggio Emilia as an inspiration and not as a model to copy. We recognize the particularities of our context, our communities and their diversity of ideologies, cultures, religions and idiosyncrasies; updating the concepts and translating them in accordance with our country´s peculiarities.
The principles of the educational project of Reggio Emilia
Children as protagonists of their growth processes: they are seen as unique, strong beings, with their own identity, full of rights and potential; valuable members of the community, builders of knowledge, wanting to explore the world through their senses and perceptions, using creativity and curiosity as tools and vehicles of possibilities and experiences.
Environment, spaces and relationships: the organization and design of the environment within the centers have a very important role as they are arranged in a way that enables and invites exploration, play, amazement and research. They are modified to take shape as the projects or learning processes are configured, providing new meaning and value to them.
The hundred languages of children: the diversity of languages and codes used by children to express what they feel, perceive and think is valued. It is in this way, in the constant comings and goings in which verbal and non-verbal languages intersect, they make infinite connections demonstrating their extraordinary potential.
The educational documentation: it is the means by which the learning and the construction of the knowledge that are developed in the classrooms and in each one of the spaces are made visible; it is the systematization of the advances, anecdotes and achievements of children.
Educational research: is seen as an active factor of learning and an essential element in the daily experiences of children and adults, allowing them to better understand processes and make knowledge more complex by becoming visible through documentation.
Listening: enables permanent dialogues between children, adults and the environment. Listening favors reflection and sensitivity.
Participation: means in which all members of the educational project interact, allowing them to recognize and value the particularities of everyone in the midst of diversity and multiculturalism; essential elements for the construction of a sense of community and democracy.
The organization: refers to the shared responsibilities -from the pedagogical to the administrative- guaranteing the stability of the children, the service offered and the evidence of the educational project of Reggio Emilia.
Vocational training: aimed at educators as facilitators of learning and sociocultural mediators. Moving forward in vocational training allows us to construct new meanings for education. In addition, it promotes reflection and the generation of deep processes of analysis on its praxis.
Progettazione (design): this principle has to do with the design or strategy of union and interrelation of children's interests, the stimuli provided by the environment and materials, concepts, theories and hypotheses, ideas and questions that arise from said cross-linking. These become the means that enables thought, accepting error as learning, uncertainty and doubt that allows constant evolution.
Evaluation: relates to the continuous reflection of processes, children´s learning, professional development, organization, educational research and service quality . It helps to analyze each element, reconfigure it, transform it, return to it and create new ways and ways of doing.
Learning as a process of subjective and group construction: from the relationships with the environment, peers and adults, children build meanings, concepts and realities that allow them to understand the world around them.
History of the educational project in Reggio Emilia
Reggio Emilia is a city in northern Italy where, at the end of the Second World War, a movement was created in favor of children, with a view to transforming society through early childhood education. Parents, educators and others who survived the barbarism of the war concentrated their efforts on the construction of a municipal service to provide education with quality. The first schools were self-managed by the villagers. Some of them succeded and others had to be closed. After 20 years, in 1963, the municipal management of a first school was achieved. Thus, the construction of an education service with higher quality, comprehensive care for early childhood including health and nutrition began.
The schools promoted an educational model that gave the possibility of democratically learning within an educational community. They recognized the rights of children, their preparation and their intelligence. Loris Malaguzzi was the initiator and inspirer of the Reggio Emilia educational adventure. A teacher and pedagogue who dedicated his entire life to building an educational quality experience promoting listening, respect and consideration of the potential of children, which could recognize their right to be educated in a proper context.
Early childhood centers in Reggio Emilia
Early childhood centers are part of a public system of educational services and have been recognized as centers of innovation and inspiration worldwide; Sso much so that Newsweek magazine declared the Diana School the "best in the world". Today, following the guidelines of Loris Malaguzzi -who died in 1994- the educational services network of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia includes around thirteen infant centers and twenty-one preschools.
Reggio Children is the International Center for the defense and promotion of the rights and potential of children. It was established in 1994 as a public-private company which purpose is to publicize and put into practice the results developed during the thirty years of educational experience of the nursery and preschool centers of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia. Among the objectives of Reggio Children are to communicate the culture of childhood, respecting their rights and their potential; and promote research about children's learning processes, their creative and constructive experiences. Reggio Children is an entity that brings together many teachers, organizations, foundations and other entities working for children and concerned about the quality of their education in their early years.
aeioTU and Reggio Children
aeioTU is a proud member of the Reggio Children International Network; and as such, participates annually in the different study groups and professional development programs promoted by the Network. All the learning built by aeioTU members that meet annually in Italy to strengthen their knowledge and apprehension of the educational philosophy; is then shared with the pedagogical team of our centers.
Additionally, different educators from the municipal schools of Reggio Emilia visit us to share their experiences and knowledge with our team of educators and with different educators from the AeioTU Learning Community and from the aeioTU Network. These professional development initiatives allow educators to strengthen their being, which is reflected in their daily work with children.
Our aeioTU Nogal educational center leads a close relationship with Reggio Children through which it annually receives a specific consultancy about the exploration processes and research projects carried out by the children. The information that the team of this educational center receives during the accompaniment of Reggio Emilia is then shared with the educators of the different aeioTU centers, thus achieving a multiplying effect of the learning.