To be a Young Child at Cathedral Oaks Preschool is to be truly heard.
Join Us in Discovering the Reggio Emilia Approach to Education
The Reggio Emilia approach focuses on fostering relationships among children, teachers, parents, and community. It builds on the premise that each child has the desire to connect with others, to engage in learning, and to enter into a relationship with his or her environment. An integral part of the approach is hands-on and minds-on exploration of materials and media.
Relationships are the core of our early childhood program. Children learn in a safe and secure environment. Through respectful observations and reflection, teachers plan meaningful explorations and activities. The environment plays an important role in the children’s development. It is aesthetically pleasing and welcoming. Planning the environment thoughtfully and carefully inspires the children’s intellect, responds to their sense of wonder, and promotes a sense of belonging.
We are dedicated to the idea that all children are capable learners who need to be challenged by their school to learn and to be confident enough to take risks. Our goal is to bring out the special talents of each child and to allow them to realize their highest potential.
The Fundamentals of Reggio
• The image of the child - the adults see each child as unique, strong, and full of potential.
• The image of the teacher - the teacher is a partner in learning alongside the child carefully observing and documenting their ideas so that they can best provide the child with the tools and opportunities, respect, and the time they need to develop fully.
• The image of the school environment - which is a teaching laboratory of creative spaces that motivate learning, engage curiosity, inspire creativity, emphasize small group work, support problem solving amongst peers, promotes social encounters and a child’s strong sense of self and security.
• The hundred languages of children – there are a variety of ways that children communicate and represent their ideas, feelings, and creative selves. Children are encouraged to use many different mediums and materials for expression and exploration. They are provided with a variety of art media, including paint, clay, wire, collage and photography as well as musical instruments, construction materials, props for dramatic play, and writing materials.
• The Project Approach - (In depth studies of concepts, ideas, and interests) Children learn best when they are actively exploring a question of their own choosing especially when this process includes interacting with other people. Our curriculum emerges from these children’s interests and investigations. There is a collaboration of ideas between the children and teachers. They work together to formulate a hypothesis of a project, decide on the materials needed, and possible parent/community support. The children are given opportunities to represent their ideas and emotions through the many languages of learning, such as cognitive, communicative, logical, imaginative, and creative. Projects allow the children the opportunity to apply basic skills in meaningful ways, as well as a chance to develop new skills. This natural approach to education also cultivates social competence, encourages physical development, and fosters a child’s sense of self worth. Since the projects are not preplanned, they can last days, weeks, and months, depending on the interest of the children.
The Reggio Approach: Bringing Learning to Life
The Hundred Languages of Children The child is made of one hundred The child has a hundred languages a hundred hands a hundred thoughts a hundred ways of thinking, of playing, of speaking a hundred, always a hundred ways of listening, of marveling, of loving a hundred joys for singing and understanding a hundred worlds to discover a hundred worlds to invent a hundred worlds to dream
The child has a hundred languages (and a hundred hundred hundred more) but they steal ninety-nine the school and the culture separate the head from the body
They tell the child to think without hands to do without head to listen and not speak to understand without joy to love and marvel only at Easter and Christmas
They tell the child to discover the world already there and of the hundred they steal ninety-nine
They tell the child that work and play, reality and imagination, sky and earth, reason and dreams are things that do not belong together
And thus, they tell the child that the hundred is not there The child says: No way, the hundred is there!
Loris Malaguzzi - (the founder of the Reggio Approach to Education) (translated by Lella Gandini)