The Reggio Emilia philosophy provides the basis for the aeioTU Educational Experience and the values that we bring to life. The Reggio Emilia approach respects children’s rights, acknowledges their abilities and accompanies child develop their full potential.
Reggio Emilia is a city located to the north of Italy, at became the home of a movement that started after the end of the Second World War to transforming society through childhood education. Reggio Emilia has gained worlwide recognition- Howard Gardner, a Project Zero researcher from Harvard University, refers to Reggio Emilia centers as “schools where the minds, bodies and spirits of younger children are treated with outstanding seriousness and respect; and where they experience pleasure, fun, beauty and learning at the same time.” The Reggio Emilia philosophy has been a source of inspiration for hundreds of early childhood centers that adapt the approach to their specific contexts.
All Reggio Emilia inspired centers share certain common elements:
• Acknowledgement of the child as the protagonist of his/her own learning processes
• Teachers as learners; teachers are researchers and facilitators of both the children’s learning processes and their own
• The importance of the environment for the child's learning process
• The importance of the relationships between children, families, the community, and their participation in the educational experience.
The Loris Malaguzzi International Center
The Loris Malaguzzi Center was opened in February 2006. It was created to give greater value to a strong and distinctive characteristic of Reggio Emilia; the ability to lend listening, visibility and support to the rights and requests of children, young people, families and teachers. The center is a dedicated meeting place where professional development and research intersect for people in Reggio Emilia, Italy and the world who wish to innovate in education and culture.
Preschools and Infant-toddler Centers: Istituzione of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia
These services for early childhood transform into an everyday reality, providing an educational project for children aged 0-6 years old based on the image of a child equipped with enormous potential and individual rights. Children receive close attention, with observation and documentation of learning processes, ideas exchange and discussion.
Other distinctive traits include: collegial and relation-based organization of work, the importance accredited to environments and spaces, intense co-participation in school management by families, relationships with culture in the city and the most lively research experiences in Italy and abroad, atelier spaces and atelierista educators for valuing children’s creativity.
Since October 2003 early childhood services in the Municipality of Reggio Emilia have been run through a specific body called the Istituzione. This body has autonomy on educational, pedagogical and administrative issues, its own independent budget and its own mayor-nominated staff. Objectives of the Istituzione include organising, managing and increasing activities necessary for the functioning and qualification of Infant-toddler Centres and Preschools in the Municipality of Reggio Emilia. The Istituzione is intended not simply as an organ of effective management but also exists to safeguard and renew qualities and values in Reggio Emilia educational services.
Reggio Children was founded in 1994 to promote and defend children's rights and to organise the pedagogical and cultural exchanges already taking place between Reggio Emilia's municipal early childhood centers and teachers, academics and researchers from around the world. On local, national and international levels Reggio Children through its International Network:
Promotes research projects together with universities, foundations, government ministries and companies working in various fields
Carries out educational consulting activities
Collaborates with NGOs in co-operation initiatives with institutions for early childhood in various countries
Publishes literature translated into 14 languages
Runs the The Hundred Languages of Children exhibition that has been travelling for 25 years across five continents invited by governments, museums, universities and art galleries
Since 2006 Reggio Children has also managed and coordinated activities and projects at the Loris Malguzzi International Center with a dedicated managerial group in collaboration with Reggio Emilia Istituzione of Schools and Infant-toddler Centers and the Friends of Reggio Children Association.
Friends of Reggio Children International Association
The Association was founded on 24 May 1994 and is a not-for-profit organisation with over 1,000 members in Italy and other countries around the world. The Associationís many activities are made possible by the generosity and passion of its volunteers and donations from supporters.
The Association's aim is to promote the rights, resources and potential of early childhood. With Reggio Children, the Istituzione of Schools and Infant-toddler Centres and the pedagogical experience of Reggio's municipal schools and infant-toddler centers the Association shares a commitment to promoting Loris Malaguzzi's work and ideas. The Association collaborates in the planning and organisation of several educational and cultural initiatives. Since 1996 it has also managed the Remida Creative Recycling Centre. The Centre organises collection of discarded materials provided by local companies and factories and makes these available to infant-toddler centers, play centers and schools.
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