What Is the Reggio Emilia Approach?

You want the right day care and preschool for your child — you want them to learn and grow, have fun, make friends, and get ready to take that big step up to kindergarten. The question becomes: how do you choose the right place for your kids? Here at the Creative Learning Arts School in Bethesda, we want to give all our kids the best possible learning experience, which is why we have adapted the Reggio Emilia approach. Continue reading to learn why that makes us a stand-out choice for your child’s early education and contact us today to explore your options, including preschool, summer programs, and more!

The History of Reggio Emilia

Reggio Emilia is a region in Italy where this approach first took root. Post World War II, there was a move toward more progressive early childhood education, and Reggio Emilia was the first municipality to really put it into practice. Schools and pre-K programs had the opportunity to develop independent programs, and the positive results have helped spread the idea around the world.

The Approach

One of the key things to understand about the Reggio Emilia approach is that it is not a method. You cannot train to be a Reggio Emilia teacher, because there is no one-size-fits-all formula for creating the ideal learning environment. Instead, the Reggio Emilia approach encourages each school and community to put the kids first and adapt activities to their needs and interests. It is a collaborative effort among the teachers, the parents, the community, and even the environment, and the flexibility to improvise and tailor every program is important to Reggio Emilia schools like the Creative Learning Arts School.

Our Guiding Principles

Instead of instructions on how to best help a child learn and foster connections, the Reggio Emilia approach utilizes guiding principles to help guide participating programs while leaving room for interpretation and personalization.

Children Should Be Able to Direct Their Education

Those who believe in the Reggio Emilia approach believe that children have an inherent curiosity that drives them to learn. They are interested in the world and they want to explore. With this approach, kids are treated much like apprentices, and are given some control over the direction of their education. Rather than planning a rigid curriculum, our educators value the opportunity to change and adapt, embracing a more child-led project approach that is tailored the experiences and interests of every student.

Kids Learn Through Experience

One popular idea you may hear in association with the Reggio Emilia approach is that children know a hundred languages. They may not be languages we know or understand, but dancing, painting, and playing are all ways kids express themselves. There are hundreds of ways for them to explore and investigate the world around them, and early childhood education centers like the Creative Learning Arts School wants to give them the change to use all their senses and abilities to engage with their interests and the people around them.

The Learning Environment Matters

Another common saying with the Reggio Emilia approach is “the environment is the third teacher.” Reggio-inspired schools really concentrate on the environment in which your child is learning to make it as welcoming and interesting as possible. Open spaces and natural light are both important elements in a Reggio Emilia preschool or program. It encourages collaboration and exploration, giving your child the space and the opportunity to pursue their interests and make connections with others.

Developing Relationships is Important

For Reggio-inspired programs like that at the Creative Learning Arts School, we really do believe that it takes a village to raise a child. Not only do we want your child to make friends, we also want them to interact with all the important adults in their life during the learning process. Parents are an integrative part of early childhood education and Creative Learning Arts, and we believe that educators should act like mentors in this space, cultivating your child’s skills and interests, instead of forcing them into a specific program and triggering a dislike of learning or school. The Reggio Emilia approach also encourages group projects where kids can communicate freely, and their thoughts and feelings are all given the appropriate amount of attention and consideration.

Register Today!

Does the Reggio Emilia approach sound like the right strategy for your child’s early education? Contact the Creative Learning Arts School today to sign up! We offer a broad selection of programs to fit your family’s needs, including after-school programs and summer camps. Give your child the chance to explore art classes, music, and sports, as well as immersive language learning classes for Spanish, French, and Russian.

You want to give your kids the best possible start to life, and with a Reggio Emilia school like the Creative Learning Arts School, you can rest assured that they are getting the attention and instruction they need to learn and grow. Let them play and explore and get them ready for the years ahead with our fun, engaging program. Enroll today!