There is nothing more important to a parent than providing their children with access to a learning environment where they can achieve the greatest scholarly potential. All children have unique learning styles and not all classroom environments are conducive to all children’s needs. That is where a Reggio Emilia school stands out. It provides children with unique learning environments and tailored curricula based on their unique learning styles. A Reggio inspired classroom focuses on building the cognitive, social, language, creative, and physical skills that empower students to be knowledge bearers and researchers in their own learning experiences.
If you are a Connecticut parent interested in learning more about a Reggio inspired school for your child, Riverside Magnet School in East Hartford may be the perfect fit. Riverside Magnet School is an early childhood magnet school with the Reggio Emilia approach at its heart. Here, we focus on creating a nurturing and motivating learning environment for all children, from pre-K through grade 5.
Children are full of curiosity and creativity, and in a Reggio inspired classroom, these qualities are consistently emphasized. A Reggio-inspired curriculum is always flexible and will change based on the children’s ideas, thoughts and observations. For this reason, teachers in a Reggio inspired classroom do not follow a specific or fixed curriculum. Instead, they create an evolving learning environment that empowers students’ curiosity, exploration, and response. Children can pursue topics that interest them, while educators can facilitate that learning. Each Reggio Emilia classroom has fully certified teachers who are trained to customize learning based on the children’s unique needs and interests.
The Reggio Emilia approach also depends on a relationship-driven learning environment. Essentially, students create the curriculum and educators are seen as co-learners and observers; the classroom itself becomes a “third teacher.”
A Reggio inspired classroom is a nontraditional learning environment where there are no assigned seats. Children have easy access to supplies and learning material, and are consistently inspired and encouraged to direct their own learning. Because students learn directly from their learning environment, a Reggio inspired classroom is set up in a way that is meant to be a reflection of the culture that the child lives in.
The Reggio Emilia approach, founded by Loris Malaguzzi, is based on the concept that “The Child has a Hundred Languages.” Students are encouraged to use all their senses beyond verbal and written communication. This approach allows children to express themselves in any way they feel comfortable—whether that be by specific movements like dancing, making music, or even playing pretend. This places power in other methods of expression other than the standard written and verbal forms of communication.
Collaboration and team-thinking are also a big focus in a Reggio inspired classroom. This allows teachers to help children build their communication and response skills. For example, if children have different opinions about a specific topic, the teacher will encourage all opinions and ideas and never insinuate one idea is more accurate than the other. Rather, she will facilitate a supportive discussion amongst the children so they can learn how to constructively communicate with their peers. This approach encourages students to be open to others’ thoughts and theories, as well as to develop a sense of respect and self-confidence in their own opinions.
The Reggio Emilia community at Riverside Magnet School in East Hartford is one of respect and responsibility, between children, teachers and parents – and it could be a great fit for your child!