Innovations in Early Education: The International Reggio Emilia Exchange is a quarterly periodical published by the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance (NAREA) that focuses on the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education. Innovations was developed in 1992 through an agreement with Loris Malaguzzi, founder of the Reggio Emilia educational project, and continues to be developed in solidarity with the Preschools and Infant-toddler Centers, Istituzione of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia, Italy; Reggio Children; and the Reggio Children – Loris Malaguzzi Center Foundation. The mission of Innovations is to provide an ongoing professional development resource that respectfully represents the values and educational principles of the municipal infant-toddler centers and preschools in Reggio Emilia as well as those of educators in schools, centers, universities, and colleges in North America and beyond who are actively engaged in the study of the Reggio Emilia approach with children, colleagues, and families in their community.
In an effort to include more and diverse voices in an increasingly democratic dialogue among early childhood educators who are engaged in the study of the Reggio Emilia approach, Innovations will publish one peer-reviewed issue annually. This annual peer-reviewed issue will include articles that are meant to support collaboration among teachers by integrating reflection and analysis of the shared and reciprocal research and inquiry of teachers, children, and families. In addition, the peer-reviewed issue will include reflections related to each article, written by one of the consulting editors with the goal of inviting readers to relate to their own contexts what they have read and experienced as members of a collaborative. Our intention is to support the work of Reggio-inspired teachers in North America by thinking together through deeper and more complex analysis of and reflection on our own work and that of our colleagues. The peer review process has been designed to reflect a shared view of learning as a process of individual and group construction and to support the learning processes of children and adults through educational documentation, which includes listening, observation, and interpretation. Our goal is to establish collaborative partnerships among educators, children, families, and community members for systems change and social justice that recognizes the rights of children to quality education.
“Stand aside for a while and leave room for learning, observe carefully what children do, and then, if you have understood well, perhaps teaching will be different from before.” – Loris Malaguzzi (Gandini, 2012, p.57)
In recognition and honor of the upcoming 100th birthday of Loris Malaguzzi, the focus for the 2020 peer-reviewed issue will be on the daily life of children and adults engaged in moments of shared research and discovery that reflect the JOY AND WONDER OF CO-INQUIRY AND INVENTION.
In the past, Innovations peer-reviewed issues have focused on articles that feature long-term experiences that have unfolded over weeks, months, or even years. The 2020 peer-reviewed issue will be dedicated to articles that detail, analyze, and reflect on singular events or moments that occur within educational settings in the daily lives of children and adults (teachers, family members, pedagogistas, atelieristas, cooks, etc.). Educational settings may refer to the classroom, outdoor spaces, or other areas of the school in which children and adults are engaged in a state of co-inquiry.
The importance of a single moment as a source of reflection for educators in Reggio Emilia is detailed in the publication The Hundred Languages in Ministories: Told by Teachers and Children in Reggio Emilia:
Loris Malaguzzi chose several “ministories” to illustrate the extraordinary events that occur in the everyday moments in classrooms to introduce the philosophy and practice of Reggio Emilia in the first exhibit titled, The Hundred Languages of Children: Narrative of the Possible. In 1995, the Italian translation of the first edition of The Hundred Languages of Children appeared in print, one year after the death of Loris Malaguzzi. The publication included a collection of similar “ministories” told through images and words as an homage to Malaguzzi’s enthusiasm for making visible “the life experiences that were often utterly unexpected and yet capable of giving witness to memories, gestures, and ways of thinking from a world of childhood too often overlooked or forgotten when speaking about children and learning.” (2016, p. xv)
Malaguzzi celebrated these documented small, yet extraordinary, moments from the classroom that “allow us to see and observe children and perceive the image of the teachers being attentive and competent in constructing meaningful experiences.” (2016, p. xii)
Through this documentation, the relationship between teachers and children as co-inquirers and co-investigators is made visible. Deeper meanings are revealed when the documentation is shared with colleagues. Spaggiari states, “it is more and more essential that those who work in education learn to observe, to document, and to interpret, never getting tired of comparing and discussing with one another the possible meanings that could offer interpretations about what has happened.” (2016, p. xiv)
When we document, and pause to reflect and interpret the everyday life of our educational contexts, windows are opened to new understandings regarding what it means for adults and children to learn alongside each other. We wish to share and celebrate the JOY AND WONDER OF CO-INQUIRY AND INVENTION in the 2020 peer-reviewed issue.
The following are guiding questions to consider in your work to help illustrate the topic:
As in the past, we are asking authors to submit a proposal describing the context, focus, and key elements of the experience that will be more fully discussed and analyzed in their manuscript. Interested educators must submit a proposal to Thresa Grove by October 1, 2019. Those submitting will receive responses regarding the status of their proposal by November 15, 2019.
Proposals must include:
Authors of accepted proposals must submit their manuscript by January 15, 2020. We ask you to submit a manuscript that includes information detailed in the proposal (see above) as well as the following additional elements:
Additionally, please follow these formatting guidelines:
Details of the September 2020 issue peer-review process will be published in the Summer 2019 issue of Innovations and posted on the Peer-Review Process page of the NAREA website.
Gandini, L. (2012). History, ideas, and basic principles: An interview with Loris Malaguzzi. In C. Edwards, L. Gandini, and G. Forman (Eds.), The hundred languages of children: The Reggio Emilia experience in transformation, (3rd ed., pp. 27-71). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.
McKeag, J., Nicholson, M., & Kun, T. (Eds.). (2016). The hundred languages in ministories: Told by teachers and children from Reggio Emilia. Worcester, MA: Davis Publications..
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