“To make a lovable school, industrious, inventive, liveable, documentable and communicable, a place of research, learning, re-cognition and reflection, where children, teachers and families feel well - is our point of arrival.”
Principles of the educational project
Children are equipped with extraordinary potentials for learning that are made manifest in an unceasing exchange with the cultural and social context.
Every child is the subject of rights. Every child, individually and in their relations with the group, is a constructor of experiences to which they are capable of attributing sense and meaning.
Children as human beings, possess a hundred languages: a hundred ways of thinking, expressing, understanding, of encountering otherness through a way of thinking that weaves together and does not separate the various dimensions of experience. The hundred languages are a metaphor for the extraordinary potentials of children, their knowledge-building and creative processes, the myriad forms with which life is manifested and knowledge is constructed.
It is the responsibility of the infant-toddler centre and the preschool to valorise all verbal and non-verbal languages with equal dignity
Participation is the educational strategy that is constructed and lived in encounter and relations day after day. Participation valorises and makes use of the hundred languages of children and human beings, understood as plurality of points of view and of cultures.
Participation generates and informs the feelings and culture of solidarity, responsibility and inclusion, and produces change and new cultures.
Every child, like every human being, is the constructor of knowledges, competencies, and autonomies.
The process of learning privileges research strategies, exchange and discussion, and participating with others.
Research is one of the essential dimensions of life for children and adults, the tension towards knowledge to be recognized and valorised. Priority is given to research between adults and children as an everyday praxis, a necessary attitude for interpreting the complexity of the world, and a powerful instrument of renewal in education.
Research, made visible through documentation, constructs learning, reformulates knowledge, is at the foundation of professional quality, and on national and international levels it becomes an element and guarantor of pedagogical innovation.
Documentation is an integral part of the educational theories and practices and gives them structure.
It renders the nature of learning processes visible and evaluable, subjective and in groups, in children and in adults, and turns them into a shared common legacy.
Educational action is shaped through progettazione/designing of didactics, of environments, of participation, of the professional growth of personnel, and not by means of applying pre-defined programmes.
Progettazione/design is realized through the close synergy between how work is organised and educational research.
The organisation of work, of spaces, of the times of children and adults, are structurally part of the values and choices of the educational project.
The organising constructs a network of responsibilities that are co-shared at the levels of administration, politics, and pedagogy. Working conditions and forms of contract that are conducive to stability, continuity, and a sense of belonging acquire particular relevance.
The interior and exterior spaces of the infant-toddler centres and preschools are designed and organised in interconnected forms, and are offered to children and adults as places to live together and research. The environment interacts, modifies, and takes shape in relation to the projects and learning experiences, in a constant dialogue between architecture and pedagogy.
Care of the furniture, the objects, and the activity spaces is an educational act that generates psychological wellbeing, a sense of familiarity and belonging, aesthetic sense, and the pleasure of inhabiting. These are also primary premises and conditions for safety in the environments, a quality generated by dialogue and shared elaboration between the different professionals profiles who have to concern themselves and take care of this aspect.
Professional growth/formation is the right and duty of single workers and of the group, included and considered as part of the working hours, and collegially organised in content, form, and each single person’s ways of participating.
Professional development is developed in the synergy between staff ‘update’ meetings in single preschools and infant-toddler centres, the plan for formation/professional growth in the city’s system of educational services, and educational and cultural opportunities in the city, nationally and internationally.
Evaluation is a process that structures the experience of education and of running the schools, part of every aspect of school life, and understood as a public act of dialogue and interpretation.
With this objective in mind the infant-toddler centres and preschools are equipped with tools – the Charter of Services, the City Childhood Councils, the pedagogical coordination group, the school collective work group, and the co-presence of co-responsible and co-entitled workers – and with practices, such as documentation, participation by families and the local community, and participation in the city's integrated public system.
Reggio Children promotes several study groups annually as professional development initiatives on the Reggio Emilia Approach®. These offer study opportunities for deeper investigation of the concepts, contents, and values which are part of the educational project of the Reggio Emilia's Municipal Infant-toddler Centre and Preschool project.