A Quick Introduction to the Reggio Emilia Approach
The Reggio Emilia Approach sits at the heart of the MIMMO Play Cafe structure. This holistic philosophy to early childhood education is more than just a strong start to a lifelong love affair with learning. We built our programs and the play area (called the Atelier) with this concept in mind because we wanted to create and connect a community of people that, above all else, shares the same core values and mission – to empower and support the next generation and carve out a solid foundation for their future.
Created in a town bearing the same in the Emilia Romagna province of Italy, Reggio Emilia began as a parent initiative after World War II. The town reached out to educator Loris Malaguzzi to develop what would become a world-class approach to the previously overlooked early childhood education. Today, we regard the schools of Reggio Emilia and its surrounding towns as some of the best in the world.
Each community has different needs and, as such, Reggio Emilia presents itself in different ways to best serve those needs. There are, however, certain core principles that are universal:
● Children are strong, resilient, capable, whole people.
● Children communicate in 100 languages and must be free to explore each.
● Children develop an understanding of themselves through social interactions.
● Children are inherently curious and driven by their own interests.
● The environment is the “third teacher”.
● Adults act as guides in the learning process, not as the givers of knowledge.
● Educators document work to discuss with everyone in the learning process (other educators, adults, and children).
● Parents are active partners in children’s learning experience.
Unlike many other education philosophies and teaching modalities, Reggio Emilia embraces the role of parents in the educational journey. So often, parents feel left out of the learning process, but this approach cordially invites you to take a front row seat. We seek to instill a belief that parents and children are equal partners in learning and discovery. Also, that adults (parents and educators alike) should be regarded as guides rather than givers of knowledge. There is no distinction between when the time to learn begins and ends. We respect that so much learning and personal discovery take place in the home and, for that reason, parents are thought of as the “first teacher”.
Benefits to children whom are steeped in this philosophy are endless. Reggio Emilia embraces a child-led approach that instills a sense of confidence, self-advocacy, interpersonal relationships skills, and voracious curiosity. By providing a well-rounded education that extends beyond the classroom, we help create more mature, creative, self-reliant children. We believe the process begins at birth and that, even then, children should be recognized as whole, capable people.
The benefits of embracing the Reggio Emilia philosophy are numerous and widely varied. It works to set the foundation for a well-rounded, productive, independent member of society. If you believe that education begins long before your child reaches school age, then we invite you and your little one to come to play, discover, and learn with us at the MIMMO Play Cafe