This Reggio Emilia approach, which is based on education through social and cultural involvement, received public acclaim following a travelling exhibition of children’s creative works. The Italian educators shared their knowledge throughout the world but always emphasised that they were not providing a recipe for others to follow, as all practice must be shaped by the specific context and culture of the school, the community, and the broader society.
The Indicators of the schools of Reggio Emilia have grown over time and in 2010 they articulated their views in the booklet, ‘Indications Preschools and Infant-Toddler Centres of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia’.
The booklet identifies three main areas for discussion:
1/ Identity and aims of the Infant Toddler Centres and Preschools
2/ Principles of the educational project
3/ Essential elements for the operation of the infant toddler centres and pre schools.
For educators in a context other than the Municipality of Reggio Emilia the main inspirations from Reggio Emilia are embedded in the second area, Principles of the educational project. At Bold Park we believe that ALL children deserve the respect, which inclusion of the following principles demand.
Children are active protagonists of their own learning : children possess extraordinary potential for learning and change.
The Hundred Languages: Learning is not confined to a few senses or modalities – there are many many different ways to learn, know and communicate.
Participation: Participation is essential for the development of community.
Listening: Active listening is an ongoing process which makes us aware of others, our world and our responsibilities.
Learning as a process of individual and group construction: Learning from and with others is the key to constructing knowledge and competencies.
Educational Research: Research is the work of children and adults alike. It is the necessary process for the ethical interpretation of everyday life.
Educational Documentation: Documentation makes the learning of the community visible giving it value and respect.
Progettazione: The process of planning and designing teaching and learning; a strategy of thought and action respectful of the community and participants involved.
Organisation: The co-ordination of the work, time and spaces which make up a learning environment. A shared responsibility to foster stability, continuity and a sense of belonging.
Environment, space and relations: The careful engagement of the spaces, furniture and objects of the interior and exterior spaces to generate a sense of well being, belonging and aesthetics which will create a ‘safe’ learning environment.
Professional Development: The process of building understanding of the educational project through shared responsibility of the individual and the system.