Our History. Our Philosophy. Our Impact.
What is the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance?
We exist to closely connect the practices and philosophies of the town of Reggio Emilia, Italy, to its advocates and education professionals in the United States and Canada and those individuals to each other. We do it through sharing knowledge, community-based professional development, and a unique, direct relationship with Reggio Emilia’s resident experts. We are a network of educators, parents, and advocates seeking to elevate both the quality of life and the quality of schools and centers for young children. We envision a world where all children are honored and respected for their potential, capabilities, and humanity. Our mission is to build a diverse community of advocates and educators to promote and defend the rights of children, families, and teachers of all cultures through pedagogy that innovates.
Our Conviction is Childhood Matters
There are many images of young children from which to choose. The image of the child we have chosen recognizes that, from birth, children are eager and biologically equipped to learn and to relate. They seek to examine, experience, and connect with the people and phenomena surrounding them. In education and in life, children thrive within complex environments and experiences where there is time for the pleasure of learning and being, reciprocity, exchange, a strong sense of belonging, and optimism for the future.
We base our efforts on Reggio Emilia’s early education project and the city’s wider vision of continually investing in the learning of citizens of all ages. NAREA offers experiences for deepening knowledge to educators and others. We believe, as did Loris Malaguzzi, visionary first director of their municipal education project, that intelligent children deserve intelligent teachers. Through knowing children well and bearing witness to the strategies of children’s thinking, we can learn more about our roles as adults in children’s lives.
What is the Reggio Emilia Approach?
Principles and Values
The Reggio Emilia Approach refers to the early childhood education project that originated in Reggio Emilia, Italy, following the destruction of World War II. Reggio Emilia is a town of approximately 175,000 citizens still thriving today, more than 60 years since the first gestures of rebuilding and advancing were made.
Our Guiding Principles:
Who was Loris Malaguzzi?
Collaborator, Visionary, Researcher, Communicator
Loris Malaguzzi lived an eclectic and highly participating life. He was an active and influential citizen within Reggio Emilia, within Italy, and within the global community of education. Born in 1920 in Correggio, a village in the outskirts of Reggio Emilia, his childhood corresponded to the 22 years when Mussolini’s fascist regime governed Italy. His strong community and collegial leanings were characterized initially when he joined the citizens of Villa Cella as they built a school for children “brick by brick” when WWII ended. He was 24.
From that moment through the end of his life, he was a passionate promoter of children’s rights to a good education. He both traveled the world meeting key scholars and invited them to Reggio Emilia—a tradition of exchange that remains a cornerstone of Reggio Emilia today. More important, he brought together citizens of Reggio Emilia in the creation of a municipally-financed and municipally-valued system of infant-toddler centers and preschools—not just any system, but one that sought to revolutionize the current thinking of the time. Today, Reggio Emilia’s approach to early education remains known as a pedagogy that continually innovates.
A history of reggio emilia
A New Philosophy Begins
The Reggio Emilia project of early childhood education has its origins in a particular place and time, namely the village of Villa Cella just outside Reggio Emilia, Italy, in 1945, at the end of the World War II.
Reggio Emilia Opens The First Municipal Preschool
In 1963, existing preschools are transferred to the city government, thanks to the strength, initiative, and imagination of workers, farmers, and a famous group of the time, the Union of Italian Women (U.D.I.).
Reggio Emilia Creates The First Exhibition
The first exhibition brought the work of the children and adults into view for the citizens of Reggio Emilia. Soon after, upon the request of Swedish educators who had seen the exhibition, it moved to Sweden, opening at the Modern Museum in Stockholm.
THE FIRST EXHIBITION in THE U.S.
As part of a variety of exhibits about the products, crafts, and art of the Emilia Romagna region of Italy, The Hundred Languages of Children exhibition was displayed in Ghirardelli Square.
Reggio Children Founded
Following the untimely death of Loris Malaguzzi on January 30, 1994, Reggio Children is founded to promote his vision, and to support the infant-toddler centers and preschools of Reggio Emilia.
With the participation of Reggio Children representatives, NAREA is launched at a meeting during the NAEYC conference in New York City.
Reggio Emilia Forms Instituzione
Aware of the civil and cultural wealth represented by Reggio’s educational services, the municipality of Reggio Emilia manages this network of services through the work of a specific body called, Istituzione Scuole e Nidi d’Infanzia.
First Conference with Reggio Children
NAREA hosts its first summer conference in collaboration with Reggio Children.
Reggio Children Forms the International Network
The Reggio Children International Network is founded with NAREA as one of the participating networks.
Dialogues for Quality in Education Initiative Started
NAREA launches “Dialogues for Quality in Education,” an initiative connected to an updated version of the exhibition in North America, The Wonder of Learning—The Hundred Languages of Children, a mutual project with Reggio Children.
The 1st NAREA Winter Conference
302 participants joined NAREA and Reggio representatives, Amelia Gambetti and Lella Gambetti, in Boston, Massachusetts.
Reggio Emilia Forms FONDAZIONE
Fondazione Reggio Children – Centro Loris Malaguzzi is established as a non-profit with NAREA as one of three promoting partners from the International Network.
NAREA Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Swedish colleagues from the International Network traveled to Atlanta in celebration. Lella and Amelia offered historic reflections on North American efforts.
The 1st NAREA Fall Conference
164 participants joined NAREA and Reggio representatives, Tiziana Filippini and Mirella Ruozzi, in a livestream event.
NAREA CELEBRATES 20th ANNIVERSARY
Possibilities are renewed, multiplied, and celebrated as the global pandemic recedes.
We have supported more than 320,000 educators and advocates in schools and organizations throughout the United States, Canada, and beyond. We are investing in a new image of education that empowers children and adults to reach their potential through learning contexts that are coherent with a contemporary, professional body of knowledge.
Together, we are empowering exceptional education.