Friday, September 5, 2008

Reggio Emilia

For many who contemplate which teaching method is best for their child; Waldorf, Montessori, or Progressive Learning the process could not be harder. But I am tossing in another choice that may not be available yet in your area but to keep your eyes out for, Reggio Emilio which was developed in the municipal school system. "The town’s approach to early childhood education was born in the 1940s when a young journalist and psychologist named Loris Malaguzzi decided to rebuild the war-ravaged school system."

The NYTimes did a piece on the Garlanded School and the devout following of parents and teachers. It reminds me a bit of the Waldorf but the children are encourage to document their efforts with photos and text and are directed to learn how to stay focused on projects of their own choosing. There is also a "Atrium" central room (like in so many Italian homes) for the children to gather and exchange thoughts and ideas. They even have a separate room for a resident art teacher and the children's creations, photos, and other are prominently displayed throughout the rooms.

It is less structured and does not spend a lot of time on the testing requierments for many competitive kindergartens. You would have to make up that difference at home or with a tutor.

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