Innovations Peer-Review

Bridging Borders Innovations September 2018 – Bridging Borders: Children’s Right to Dignity, Civility, and Dialogue NAREA is grateful for the collaborations in North America that give visibility to children, families, teachers, and communities. Too often, adults speak on behalf of children. Here, in this timely and poignant article, listen to the views of children and adults as they go about their daily lives in a community that happens to be located along the US/Mexico border. For the first time, Innovations in Early Education: The International Reggio Emilia Exchange makes one its peer-reviewed articles available to a public audience.

Call for Proposals for the September 2020 Peer-Review Issue of Innovations

About Innovations

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.

An Annual Peer-Reviewed Issue of Innovations: Rationale and Description

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.

Topic for the September 2020 Issue – The Joy and Wonder of Co-Inquiry and Invention

“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:

  • What is revealed regarding the relationships of children and adults through the extraordinary events that occur in the everyday lives of classrooms? How are these moments given deeper meaning when documented, shared, and interpreted with children and colleagues?
  • How does the role of teacher as researcher represent a way of thinking when approaching your partnership with young children?
  • How do we learn alongside children as adults within an educational context?
  • What does it mean to approach learning from a stance of inquiry? What does it mean to engage in co-inquiry with children?
  • How and why do we strive to make children’s ideas visible? What is revealed when we make visible the creative processes of children?
  • How do space, place, and process invite children to engage in dialogue and exchange ideas?
Proposals for Manuscripts

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:

  • A statement regarding whether the manuscript has been submitted or published elsewhere – previously published manuscripts will not be accepted.
  • Title and summary (1-2 pages), which includes information about the author(s); the school, university, or center; and the community that is the context of the manuscript.
    • We hope this issue will represent a variety of contexts, a broad range of ages of children, and multiple perspectives of people who come into and who are part of the children’s world.
    • Examples of singular events or moments may include morning drop off, small group work, encounters with materials, meal times, outdoor experiences, etc.
  • The actual transcript, observation, image(s) and/or artifact(s) that will be analyzed and discussed in the manuscript, such as:
    • a transcript of a conversation (spontaneous or planned) among children, which may or may not include an adult; a conversation between a child and an adult; a child “in conversation” with a material;
    • an observation/image(s) of a child/children negotiating a social-emotional, intellectual, or physical challenge;
    • an observation/image(s) of a child/children exploring and/or investigating classroom materials such as blocks, water, sand, recyclables, objects from the natural world, etc.;
    • an observation/image(s) of a child/children interacting with each other and the natural world; or
    • an observation/image(s) of a child/children’s use of media and corresponding artifact(s).
  • Questions and/or theories the author(s) have concerning the above transcript, observation, image(s), and/or artifact(s).
  • A description of how the above transcript, observation, images(s), and/or artifact(s) will be, or has been shared and analyzed, with colleagues.
Guidelines and Requirements for Submitted Manuscripts

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:

  • A discussion of how you organized your transcript, observation, image(s) and/or artifact(s) to share with colleagues.
  • A transcription of the discussion among you, the author(s), and colleague(s) regarding the transcript, observation, image(s) and/or artifact(s).
  • A discussion/reflection on the major points or big ideas that came out of the discussion. For example, what questions, theories, interpretations were generated through the collaborative exchange of perspectives?
  • A projection of how you, the author(s), might respond to the transcript, observation, image(s), and/or artifact(s) under discussion based on the above reflection.
  • An analysis of the process as a whole, described in the manuscript in terms of your own professional learning and development.

Additionally, please follow these formatting guidelines:

  • Write in an informal, conversational style rather than in an academic style, characteristic of university term papers. Manuscripts written in active voice rather than passive voice are preferred.
  • Submit unformatted, double-spaced manuscript in an electronic Word file in 12-point type. A typical manuscript length is 3,000 – 4,000 words.
  • Include the name of the author(s) as well as title, affiliation, and history of interest in the Reggio Emilia approach. In addition, each author is asked to submit a thumbnail photograph (head and shoulders, 1.25” wide x 1.5” high, 300 dpi in original JPG or TIF file).
  • Any photographs should be submitted in high-resolution images (8” x 10”, 100% @ 300 dpi in original JPG or TIF file). Drawings/representations should also be submitted electronically in JPG or TIF files. Authors must submit written permission for all photographs from parents or legal guardians. The NAREA Photographic Release form is available upon request.
  • Provide accurate and complete information for references and resources formatted in APA style.
Peer-Review Process

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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