The Beauty of the Reggio Emilia Approach to Learning

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. 

Head of School Valentina Imbeni with a student as she creates in the Atelier at La Scuola!

Head of School Valentina Imbeni with a student as she creates in the Atelier at La Scuola!

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.

Serena Morelli, our Prek Atelierista, works alongside some students exploring with light!

Serena Morelli, our Prek Atelierista, works alongside some students exploring with light!

Classroom set up at our Alamo Square Campus

Classroom set up at our Alamo Square Campus

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.