Reggio Emilia

Educational Approach for Preschools and Primary Education

What is Reggio Emilia?

  • The Reggio Emilia Approach is an educational philosophy focused on preschool and primary education.
  • It was developed by Loris Malaguzzi who was a teacher himself, and the parents of the villages around Reggio Emilia in Italy.


  • Children must have some control over the direction of their learning
  • Children must be able to learn through experiences of touching, moving, listening, and observing
  • Children have a relationship with other children and with material items in the world that children must be allowed to explore
  • Children must have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves.

The Role of Teachers

  • The Teacher is considered a co-learner and collaborator with the child and not just an instructor
  • Teachers are encouraged to facilitate the child’s learning by planning activities and lessons based on the child’s interests, asking questions to further understanding, and actively engaging in the activities alongside the child
  • Teachers’ long-term commitment to enhancing their understanding of children
  • The teacher needs to maintain an active, mutual participation in the activity to help ensure that the child clearly understands what is being “taught”.

The Role of the Environment

  • Integration of each classroom with the rest of the school, and the school with the surrounding community
  • Use of mirrors (on the walls, floors, and ceilings), photographs, and children’s work accompanied by transcriptions of their discussions
  • In each classroom, there are studio spaces in the form of a large, centrally located atelier and a smaller mini-atelier, and clearly designated spaces for large and small-group activities.
  • Groups of children will stay with one particular teacher for a two-year period, creating consistency and an environment where there are no added pressures from having to form new relationships.

Parental Involvement

Parents are expected to take part in discussions about school policy, child development concerns, and curriculum planning and evaluation.