Reggio Emilia is a small town in Northern Italy where a community has dedicated its life work to what may be regarded as a long term educational research project. At the municipal infant-toddler centers and preschools in Reggio Emilia children and adults learn, co-construct and research alongside each other.
Fundamental to the approach in Reggio Emilia is the image of the child, being rich in potential, strong, powerful and competent. The approach also has a history deeply rooted in politics and is inexplicably woven into the social and cultural fabric of the town and its community. It is a place where democracy, collegiality and participation are paramount.
Connected to the image of the child is the belief asserted by Loris Malaguzzi (regarded as being the inspiration behind the Reggio approach) that children use many different languages to express themselves. In this context, each language is expressed in a creative rather than a linguistic sense, explained by the poem written by Malaguzzi, “No way. The hundred is there.”
By upholding Malaguzzi’s vision of the image of the child, we validate a child’s thoughts, ideas and aspirations. Furthermore, through supporting children during the learning process, we deepen their perception of the world, enabling them to research and to test theories, so that they can evolve into the next generation of free thinkers.