From the Director:
Our program is inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education. The Reggio Emilia approach focuses on each child in relation with others—children, family, teachers, society and environment—and activates and supports these reciprocal relationships. Classroom teachers listen to and observe the students closely, adjusting the curriculum accordingly. Our curriculum is one that builds upon the interests of the children. We believe that children have many different ways of communicating. They represent their thinking through dance, drawing, painting, dramatic play, puppets, etc. Children make their work visible through their many different languages. We have noticed a strong similarity between Loris Malaguzzi’s The Hundred Languages of Children and Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. We offer children many ways of representing their thinking. (Copies of The Hundred Languages of Children by Loris Malaguzzi and The Real Head Start, an article about Reggio, by Howard Gardner are available upon request.) Topics of study and investigation arise from the talk of the children, from teachers’ passions and through community and family events. Our projects are in-depth studies of concepts, ideas and interests. The projects develop as children and adults work together to consider possible methods of exploring a particular topic of interest and work to represent their learning over time. Careful consideration and attention are given to the documentation of the various investigations and projects. Documentation helps to make parents aware of their children’s experience and allows the teachers an opportunity to reflect on their work with the children. Examples of documentation in our school include journey books for each child, documentation panels with photos and transcriptions of children’s verbal language, video clips, bulletin boards and special displays during family events.