Articles & Book Chapters
Amiable Space in the Schools of Reggio Emilia: An Interview with Lella Gandini
Sheridan Bartlett and Lella Gandini
The early childhood schools of Reggio Emilia in the north of Italy have been acclaimed in recent years as one of the best programs in the world. Young children here are encouraged to work together exploring their world and to express their ideas and understanding through a variety of symbolic. . .
Bartlett, S. (1993). Amiable space in the schools of Reggio Emilia: An interview with Lella Gandini. Children’s Environments, 10(2), 113–125. https://www.jstor.org/stable/41514885?refreqid=excelsior%3A75775af417d525c270f67c23a7768b81
Reflections on Reggio Emilia
Inspired by the early childhood schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, this article offers six challenges to American educators to reclaim the image of the competent child, promote conceptual integrity of programs for children, refine the definition of developmental appropriateness, balance standard-setting with questioning, reflect on professional development, and expand teacher roles.
Bredekamp, S. (1993). Reflections on Reggio Emilia. Young Children, 49(1), 4–8. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ474756
Promoting Creativity for Life Using Open-Ended Materials
Walter F. Drew and Baji Rankin
Creative art is so many things! It is flower drawings and wire flower sculptures in clay pots created by kindergartners after visiting a flower show. It is a spontaneous leap for joy that shows up in a series of tempera paintings, pencil drawings of tadpoles turning into frogs, 3-D skyscrapers built from cardboard boxes or wooden blocks. It can be the movement and dance our bodies portray, the rhythmic sound of pie-pan cymbals and paper towel tube trumpets played by 4-year-olds in their marching parade, the construction of spaceships and birthday cakes.
Drew, W. F., & Rankin, B. (2004). Promoting creativity for life using open-ended materials. Young Children, 59(4), 38–45. https://cpin.us/sites/default/files/CC/VPA/docs/visual/promoting_creativity_for_life_youngchild.pdf
Extending the Dance: Relationship-Based Approaches to Infant/Toddler Care and Education
Carolyn P. Edwards and Helen Raikes
In Lincoln, Nebraska, 18-month-old Cole has established a warm and loving relationship with his parents. He looks to them for support in new situations, greets them with glee after a day in child care, shares his discoveries with them, and seeks comfort from them when hurt. Observing Cole and his mother—how they move together, exchange looks and glances, and take turns in communication—one almost has the feeling that their close relationship is like a dance. That dance, although mostly smooth and harmonious, also includes moments of surprise and catch-up when the dancers momentaritly get out of sync with each other for one reason or another. Over time, new elements are incorporated into an ever-widening repertoire of steps, rhythms, moods, and tempos. The relationship graducally becomes a performance with many acts and many layers of meaning and interpretation. Cole grows in confidence as well as competence and becomes able to lead and follow in an increasing numbers of arenas—social, cognitive, and communicative.
Edwards, C. P., & Raikes, H. (2002). Extending the dance: Relationship-based approaches to infant-toddler care and education. Young Children, 57(4), 10–17. https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1015&context=famconfacpub
Inviting Children Into Project Work
Carolyn P. Edwards and Kay Springate
Projects combine two things that teachers love dearly—play and investigation (Katz and Chard, 1989). Here is a narrative that illustrates the valuable learning experiences that projects can provide: One day after a rainstorm 5-year-old children noticed a large puddle in the schoolyard and asked to go outside to play. As they explored the puddle, stamping their boots, floating leaves, and making circles by casting pebbles, they noticed that their reflections were upside down. This discovery surprised them and led them to pose many questions and hypotheses.
Edwards, C. P., & Springate, K. (1993). Inviting children into project work. Southern Early Childhood Association Dimensions of Early Childhood, 22(1), 9–12. https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/famconfacpub/109/
Emergent Environments: Involving Children in Classroom Design
As teachers and directors, we have a growing awareness of the need to design environments for young children that are aesthetically pleasing, inviting, and nurturing, in addition to being functional and safe. Taking our cue from the comforts of our own homes and from the careful attention to beauty we see in schools like those of Reggio Emilia, Italy, many of us are replacing molded plastic furniture and mass-produced décor with softer materials, wicker baskets, collections of attractive treasures, and elements from the natural world.
Felstiner, S. (2004). Emergent environments: Involving children in classroom design. Child Care Information Exchange, 157, 41–43. https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/emergent-environments-involving-children-in-classroom-design/5015741/
Questions for Collaboration: Lessons from Reggio Emilia
This article identifies questions teachers are learning to ask themselves and each other as they move toward a negotiated, co-constructed, and systematic approach that places documentation at the heart of an emergent curriculum. It discusses these questions in terms of documentation, discourse, and design, three components that define a dynamic system of learning seen in the schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy.
Fyfe, B. (1998). Questions for collaboration: Lessons from Reggio Emilia. Canadian Children, 23(1), 20–22. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ602081
Making Choices for Learning Through Relationships and Interactions
Loris Malaguzzi wrote in the introduction of the book The Fountains, “Carrying out a project means predicting and anticipating ideas and facts (which may be modified due to chance or intentionally during the course of the project) in view of reaching an objective. It is a rigorous and hypothetical game that the children know how to confront as a group with a high level of concentration and often with incredible ability.
Gambetti, A. (2001). Making choices for learning through relationships and interactions. Child Care Information Exchange, 141. https://exchangepress.com/article/making-choices-for-learning-through-relationships-and-interactions/5014145/
Fundamentals of the Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education
This article describes the experimental preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, providing a brief history and an overview of their guiding educational philosophy. It notes their distinguishing features, including an image of the child’s social construction of learning, cognizance of children’s sense of time, involvement of parents and the community, collaboration among teachers, a studio atmosphere, group projects, and extensive documentation.
Gandini, L. (1993). Fundamentals of the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education. Young Children, 49(1), 4–8. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ474815
The Diary of Laura: Perspective on a Reggio Emilia Diary
Carolyn Edwards and Carlina Rinaldi
An assemblage of affectionately written notes and photographs, Story of Laura, the original diary, chronicles the journey of one child’s first months in an infant-toddler program in Reggio Emilia, Italy. It details the progression of 11-month-old Laura’s growth and milestones in the program and offers a unique perspective on her early child care experience.
Beautifully presented, The Diary of Laura includes a reproduction of the Italian diary, first published in 1983, next to the new English translation. Many of you will recognize the last entry—Laura’s notable discoveries about a watch.
One of the few Reggio Emilia books focused on the infant and toddler years, the diary is a powerful tool for early childhood students and professionals. This account of Reggio-based care is an insightful model for observation and reflection.
Edwards, C., & Rinaldi, C. (Eds.). (2009). The diary of Laura: Perspectives on a Reggio Emilia diary. Redleaf Press. https://www.store.reggioalliance.org/collections/frontpage/products/the-diary-of-laura-perspectives-on-a-reggio-emilia-diary
First Step Toward Teaching the Reggio Way
The first book of its kind, this timely, hands-on guide examines how real teachers in real schools are working to grasp the principles of the Reggio Emilia approach and apply them in their everyday classroom settings. Written for practicing and future teachers by leading advocates of the Reggio philosophy, it explores the most essential features of this emergent and constructive Italian curriculum by combining discussions of Reggio concepts with examples of their application in American schools. Written in simple, clear language by foremost American and Italian authorities in the field, the book answers the burgeoning need for information on this emergent, inquiry-based, project approach philosophy in early childhood education. Offering practical, real-life examples and advice, it shares experiences of ordinary teachers working to apply the Reggio Approach in their own classrooms and demonstrates its wide applicability by discussing its implementation in a variety of teaching settings—including preschool, elementary school, with inner city children, in children’s museums, and more. Authors include college professors and practicing teachers in early childhood education, or home economics.
Hendrick, J. (Ed.). (1997). First steps toward teaching the Reggio way. Prentice Hall. https://www.amazon.com/First-Steps-Toward-Teaching-Reggio/dp/0134373022
Reflections: Reggio Emilia Principles Within Australian Contexts
The first Australian book on Reggio Emilia principles and the impact they have upon Australian early childhood services. It is an excellent introduction for early childhood practitioners and students to the teaching principles of Reggio Emilia and the implications for care and education of young children in Australia. Central to the book’s success is a synthesis of a number of discussions involving educators across Australia. Stories contributed by early childhood practitioners share individual responses to implementing Reggio Emilia principles within a variety of settings and across age groups.
Milliken, J. (2003). Reflections: Reggio Emilia principles within Australian contexts. Pademelon Press. https://www.pademelonpress.com.au/reflections.html
Poking, Pinching & Pretending: Documenting Toddlers’ Exploration With Clay
Dee Smith and Jeanne Goldhaber
Poking, Pinching & Pretending investigates how one group of toddlers learns about clay as an early “language.” Inspired by the “child-originated and teacher-framed” approach synonymous with Reggio Emilia, this resource encourages educators to share the questions and theories that come from observing and documenting children’s interactions with clay to heighten their understanding of how toddlers explore, represent, and learn.
Smith, D., & Goldhaber, J. (2004). Poking, pinching and pretending: Documenting toddlers’ explorations with clay. Redleaf Press. https://www.abebooks.com/Poking-Pinching-Pretending-Documenting-Toddlers-Explorations/22871603202/bd
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