On Display: A Place called Reggio Emilia

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.

A photo similar to this one taken
during my trip to Reggio Emilia, Italy
is what I have selected to use as my
profile picture. It was a very
significant and an intentional
choice for this blog!

"The beginning of the story 

coincides with the aftermath of 
war.  There was a wish to rebuild 
what had been destroyed and above 
all the sense of power you have
when coming through some terrible
catastrophe.  You feel strong, you are
inevitably tempered." 

-Loris Malaguzzi

"Once a week we would transport 
the school to town.  Literally 
we would pack ourselves, the 
children, and our tools into a 
truck and we would teach school 
and show exhibits in the open air, 
in the square, in public parks, or 
under the colonnade of the municipal 
theatre. The children were happy.  
The people saw; they were surprised 
and they asked questions." 
-Loris Malaguzzi

Study Group Participants

"Children-teachers-parents are 

competent co-authors in/of 
a community of learning." 
-Daniela Lanzi

Light tables made out of recycled
garbage cans at the REMIDA.

"Light provokes wonder, 

marvelling and curiosity, 
to stimulate creativity and
deepen investigation."
-Ray of Light Atelier

"You don't understand the schools 
in Reggio Emilia if you don't 
understand the city and community."
-Jerome Bruner

"Every culture makes its own 
definition of the child...
determines tasks and choices 
we make...our pedagogy...There
are many different notions of 

the child (image of the child)...
requires great awareness...
determines how we teach, 
our choices, our expectations,
and the culture of the school..."
-Daniela Lanzi

"But the educator in Reggio Emilia is, 
in my understanding, a reflective and 
democratic professional; she is 
committed to the values of research, 
dialogue and participation; she
recognizes and welcomes education as 
an inescapably interpretive and 
subjective activity." -Peter Moss

"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.

Share your thoughts :

  1. Amazing! I would love to visit someday. Wish my classroom environment and pedagogy could be more Reggio-inspired! Thanks for sharing : )