A Reggio school is a special kind of place, one in which young human beings are invited to grow in mind, in sensibility, and in belonging to a broader community.
Cognitive psychologist and theorist
The Reggio Approach is world-renowned for its innovative and research-based philosophy of teaching and learning. The approach is rooted in social justice and democracy, and a belief that children learn best in rich environments where their voices and thinking are driving forces in the curriculum and the daily life of the school and community. At Two Birds, children have the opportunity to explore and research the world around them as they build new knowledge through their interactions with teachers, other children, and open-ended materials. As they share their theories and perspectives, in both verbal and non-verbal ways, and listen to those of others, children grow their understanding, develop the skills of collaboration and creativity, and cultivate the disposition to see themselves as lifelong learners.
Children are viewed as competent, capable citizens. They are curious, full of knowledge and potential, and are interested in connecting with the world around them. This image of the child drives teachers’ interactions with the children and their planning.
All learning happens in the context of relationships. There are many types of reciprocal relationships in our school, including among the members of our community, with the environment, and with materials. Exploring these connections provides a foundation for our learning.
Children, families, and teachers join together in a multitude of ways to solve problems and create a deeper understanding through dialogue and sharing of perspectives.
The environment is designed to inspire curiosity, thinking, and questioning. Teachers create engaging spaces with high quality materials to encourage exploration, communication, and collaboration.
Children, families, and teachers are equally important in the life of the school. The system relies on the participation of all of its members having a voice and growing together as individuals, and as a community.
Through experimentation with open-ended and repurposed materials, children build relationships and experiment with their properties and their possibilities. In the Reggio Emilia approach, this concept is referred to as the Hundred Languages, which describes the many means through which children can express their theories about a concept.
Teachers make visible the processes of children’s learning through photos, stories, children’s words, and other artifacts. This type of documentation is essential for planning experiences that connect to children’s understanding and thinking.
Children and teachers partner in researching topics and big ideas from the world around them, chosen based on what teachers believe are areas of interest and curiosity for the children. The topics become vehicles for developing social, emotional, intellectual, and motor skills. The studies are not bound by time, but are ongoing, as new pathways are opened and new connections are made.
Everyday moments such as mealtimes, class meetings, and neighborhood walks, and even washing our hands provide sparks for children’s wonder. Inherent in the daily life of the school are opportunities for exploring, questioning, communicating, and problem solving. Meaningful learning occurs as we look for opportunities to see the extraordinary in the ordinary and the unexpected in the everyday.