“We are talking about an approach based on listening rather than speaking, where doubt and amazement are welcome factors along with scientific inquiry and the deductive method of the detective.”

Carlina Rinaldi
Municipal Preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy

We value collaboration from everyone! The Reggio Emilia Approach advocates that teachers and children become co-learners, co-researchers and co-constructors of their education. We all ask questions and research collaboratively. Everything a child touches becomes a learning experience. The collaboration that happens between the children and teachers creates a rich environment of support and flexibility where learning happens effortlessly.

The children express questions they have about the world through daily play and activities. After collecting questions, discussions and thoughts the children have had through group meetings, the teachers are able to help the children explore the direction in which a project may go. Project work can include all the children, but often consists of a few who lead the project and a few who are interested in exploring. It takes a strong teaching staff to be able to create a curriculum that is interesting and applicable to the children’s ideas. This approach keeps teachers and children involved and active in the education process.

We have an emergent curriculum. What exactly does this mean? This curriculum is an opportunity for playful inquiry-based learning of the arts and sciences. We (both children and teachers as co-learners) use two basic kinds of inquiry. We seek out information and look for facts, but we also value wondering and playing with possibilities. All children are naturally curious and need to create with all of their senses. The children are in a setting where they know they are welcome to ask questions. These educational moments happen in a encouraging, open setting, and build pathways in the brain by allowing children to be authors of their own world.

Children are Capable!

The children at OCP are able to explore and wonder openly because they are supported by teachers and an environment that is created just for them. They have an opportunity to take ownership of the school through replenishing the environment. Sorting materials, cleaning up after play and a daily job chart offer some of these opportunities. Offering children the chance to be caretakers of the school gives them a sense of ownership and pride.