Study Groups

About Study Groups

Study Groups to Reggio Emilia fall within a range of Reggio-related professional development opportunities that are available to North American educators. Those who participate in general Study Groups are expected to have some knowledge about the Reggio Emilia experience, its theories and values through readings, attendance at Reggio-related conferences, visiting “The Hundred Languages of Children – The Wonder of Learning” exhibit, and through their own practice individually and collegially.

Some general Study Groups are exclusively for North American educators. At times, there may be available spaces in International Study Groups allocated to North American educators.


There are also Study Groups with a particular focus and specific criteria for participants. Examples include: “Architecture and Pedagogy in Dialogue”; “Documentation and the Action of Listening”; and “The Atelier and Languages of Materials”.

Regional Study Groups can be organized for participants from areas/states/schools that have been in dialogue with the Reggio experience for a long period of time, and have an advanced level of understanding and knowledge of the Reggio experience as well as knowledge of each other’s contexts and experiences. There is a Students and Professors Study Tour organized annually in March.

“The study group visit to Reggio Emilia was extremely eye-opening for me in a number of ways. Listening to presentations, visiting schools, and speaking with teachers all revealed new dimensions of the Reggio approach that I simply could not understand through reading alone.”

− Linda Wood, 2016 Study Tour Participant, Intern from Boulder Journey School

Study Group Registration & Participation

Reggio Children along with the Municipality of Reggio Emilia Istituzione sets the schedule for international initiatives and professional development offerings, including dates for Study Groups. Each year, they receive hundreds of requests for Study Groups and proposals for projects from around the world. Many factors are carefully considered as they create their calendar each school year. When dates for U.S. or North American Study Groups are determined, Angela Ferrario, the Reggio Children Liaison in the U.S. for Study Groups and Reggio Children International Network Representative, works with Reggio Children to make the arrangements, develop registration materials, and manage the registration process.

Angela is available throughout the process, working with individuals and groups to coordinate the study group experience and to support the professional development, collaboration, dialogue, and collegiality among participants. After the completion of a Study Group, requests for the following year are held in an electronic file. When information for the next Study Group becomes available, Angela sends it to those in the current file. Checking the NAREA website regularly will keep you informed about upcoming Study Groups.

Study Group Program

Study Groups meet at the Loris Malaguzzi International Center and have access to the Center’s resources including the exhibition hall, the auditorium and meeting rooms, the atelier/workshop spaces, and the Center for Documentation and Educational Research. The Study Group program includes:

• History of the Reggio Emilia educational project and projections toward the future

• Visits to preschools and infant-toddler centers of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia Istituzione  

• Presentations/seminars by pedagogistas, teachers, and atelieristas on the values and principles of the Reggio philosophy

• Presentations of research projects carried out in the Reggio Emilia infant-toddler centers and preschools

• Topics including: the image of the competent child; teachers as researchers; observation, interpretation and documentation; children with special rights; the role of the environment; the pedagogy of listening; materials and the 100 languages of children; parents’ involvement in the life of the school; and Remida Recycling Center for recycled materials

• Time and space to interact with other participants and Reggio educators on specific occasions when opportunities will be given to dialogue and exchange experiences and reflections

• Cultural encounters within the city of Reggio Emilia

The program gives visibility to the values of the philosophy through a combination of visits to schools, presentations, meetings and exchanges of experiences. Large group sessions are balanced with smaller ones. These take the following forms:

• Orientation session and plenary sessions – whole group

• Visitations to schools – usually 20-25 people in a group

• Presentations by Reggio educators – approximately 40 people in a group

• Reflection groups – 15-40 people in a group

• Spontaneous or self-scheduled interest evening discussion groups – group size varies

• Dinners with friends for debriefing and sharing ideas

• Conversations with educators in schools – can be 1-on-1 or slightly larger (translators are present in each school to facilitate these exchanges)

The infant-toddler centers do not permit visitors while class is in session; therefore, visitation is usually in the early evening, often parent representatives as well as educators are present. Group typically visit a preschool while class is in session. This visit consists of a meeting with some of the school’s educators to understand a little about the unique history and context of that school, followed by about 1 1/2 hours of observation in the school. Then the group reconvenes for questions and discussion with the educators.

Study Group schedules are full days; typically the day begins at 8:30-9:00 a.m. and ends between 5:30-7:30 p.m. with a lunch break midday. Some evening options are scheduled as well.

Current Study Groups

Contact for Study Groups

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