Have you ever travelled to a place that felt like your home away from home? A place where you were overwhelmingly happy and could not stop smiling? A place that both intrigued and inspired you? That place for me was Reggio Emilia, Italy. There really is no other place in the world quite like it, especially if you are an educator passionate about the Early Years!
According to Edwards, Gandini, and Forman (2012),
Reggio Emilia is a small city in Northern Italy that shines with a bright light for what it has accomplished and what it stands for in the field of education. For the past 50 years, educators, working together with parents and citizens, have built a public system of child care and education long recognized as a centre of innovation in Europe and now widely recognized as a point of reference and resources and inspiration to educators around the world. (p. 5)
A couple of years ago, I had the privilege of participating in a study group in Reggio Emilia, Italy. This wonderful and thought provoking experience was arranged by NAREA (North American Reggio Emilia Alliance), where educators had daily lectures and school visits. Within this post I have included various photographs from the town of Reggio Emilia, and a few quotes that resonated with me during my stay there. Unfortunately, we could not capture any photographs within the enchanting/extraordinary schools, but I was able to purchase a number of resources to remind me of what I saw.
|Study Group Participants|
competent co-authors in/of
a community of learning."
|Light tables made out of recycled|
garbage cans at the REMIDA.
"Light provokes wonder,
marvelling and curiosity,
to stimulate creativity and
-Ray of Light Atelier
|"You don't understand the schools |
in Reggio Emilia if you don't
understand the city and community."
|"I cannot imagine an educator who works |
without hope or who ceases to seek
freedom." -Paulo Freire
|"Teachers should not be seen as |
an object of study but as
interpreters of educational
phenomena." -David Hawkins
Learning about the Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education in Reggio Emilia, Italy was both unforgettable and undeniably inspiring! My deep admiration for the time, care, and attention to detail that the Italian educators provided when designing their learning environments and provocations will CERTAINLY bring me back there again soon... I would return to this wondrous place in a heartbeat... Until next time... Ciao :)
Edwards, Gandini & Forman (Eds). (2012). The hundred languages of children the Reggio Emilia experience in transformation. 3rd ed. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.
Lanzi, D. (2011). Lectures for NAREA Study Group. Reggio Emilia, Italy.