Reggio Emilia Approach: Learning by Doing
La Scuola International School is the only Reggio Emilia Inspired, International Baccalaureate and Italian language immersion school in the world! Our mission is to inspire brave learners to shape the future.
Children feel confident in their ideas, trust their instincts to ask questions and learn to be connected and aware of the nuances of their environment.
The Reggio Emilia Approach and philosophy evolves from the methods practiced in schools in Reggio Emilia, the town in northern Italy. After World War II Loris Malaguzzi further developed the philosophy which now serves as the foundation for progressive education. Reggio Emilia-inspired education provides an innovative stance on education emphasizing the interaction of children within the context of their community and lives.
La Scuola teachers provide materials and provocations to help children develop a deep and connected understanding of the world. Environments are set up to entice the children to explore and experiment in order to host and participate in debate, discussion, and inquiry. “It is all about Intentionality” says Head of School Valentina Imbeni.
La Scuola inquiry-based learning is aimed at provoking children’s creative and innovative thinking and problem-solving and we are open to different avenues of exploration. This approach to learning requires dynamic thinking and constant adjustments by teachers as they shape the daily and weekly curriculum within the themes and central ideas explored.
Curriculum planning and implementation of the Plan of Inquiry are supported by the reciprocal nature of teacher-directed and child-initiated activity. teacher-child ratios are small to ensure teachers can instruct children at varying levels of Italian language proficiency, individualized learning, and foster self-discovery. As children proceed through an inquiry, generating and testing their hypotheses, they are encouraged to depict their understanding through one of many symbolic languages, including drawing, sculpture, dramatic play, and writing.
The Role of the Environment
The classroom environment is considered a "third teacher". They are set up to a high aesthetic standard and to create a feeling of comfort, joy, and practicality.
The Atelier, or studio or workshop, is a unique place to experiment, explore, and discover alongside the Atelierista, a teacher trained specifically to enhance and encourage the children’s discovery through art, science, music and more. The focus in our Early Childhood Atelier program is the process rather than the product. We encourage children to explore material through touch and experimentation.
La Scuola enjoys a truly unique and direct connection with Reggio Children and the schools of Reggio Emilia. La Scuola is also a member of the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance (NAREA) and the Bay Area's ITP (Innovative Teacher Project) consortium of Reggio Emilia Inspired Schools.
One of the elements of La Scuola International School we are most proud of and thrilled to share about is our community of teachers! Being a school that values lifelong learning, all our teachers are enthusiastic, fun, vibrant and inspiring to the students and their fellow faculty.
We wanted to be sure there was a place on our blog highlighting them this week during teacher appreciation week with some of the latest acknowledgements & fun happenings with some of our amazing teachers!
News and Updates on what some of our teachers have been up to!
In April La Scuola's Italian Teachers were recognized by the Italian Consul General at the Annual Italian Teachers meeting at the Italian Institute of Culture! We were all reminded that Italian is now the fourth most studied language in the world! So grateful we are able to share this language through our Italian Immersion Curriculum.
Professional Development is a core value at La Scuola and students directly benefit from teachers' continuous learning and inspiration. Another group of teachers were sent during Spring Break to Emilia-Romagna to the home or the Reggio Emilia Approach at the Loris Malaguzzi International Centre. Here they participated in workshops, seminars and group activities that offered all of them deeper looks into the Reggio Emilia Approach to learning which is the heart of our school here at La Scuola!
“Passion and inspiration are the two words that pop up in my head when I think about Reggio Emilia. You can almost touch the ideas that every single teacher and atelierista and pedagogista have shared with us. They were explaining some of the projects with the children and showing us their work with such a passion that it was impossible to not feel motivated and impatient to go back to school and put into practice what we have learned.
Also, what struck me in a particular way was the TIME given to the children to explore, to learn following their rhythms and interests, the time to get to know (a deep knowledge) every material and really explore every feature through the 100 languages.”
- Roberta Head Teacher & PreK Extended Care Coordinator
Here in the States, teachers have been out “in the field” quite a bit with lots of field trips and outings as well! Our grade 4-5 teachers Michael-James & Melina are recently back from a camping trip with their students to the nearby Redwoods. While two of our Middle School teachers, Matt and Douglas brought their classes out to a ropes course for a day of team building!
To all our teachers who endeavor everyday to reach new ground and new discoveries with our children both inside the classroom and beyond, GRAZIE DI CUORE!!!