Even in the 21st century, children are bound to a predefined curriculum and set environment from an early age, they do not get an opportunity to live their very natural self – ‘creative, curious and confident.’
All work and little play are becoming a huge concern amongst parents who are worried about the effects of high academic expectations on their little ones too early.
More parents are choosing different educational approaches that support the wholesome development of their child. One such teaching method for early childhood appreciated by parents is the Reggio Emilia approach. But what is it all about?
The Heart of the Reggio Emilia Philosophy
The competence of a child is the heart of every Reggio Emilia philosophy. This innovative approach to learning believes that each child starts developing a unique personality during the very early years of development and they express their thoughts and interests in many different ways, often referred to as the One Hundred Languages.
One Hundred Languages is the belief that children express their thoughts through creativity, express curiosity differently and understand the world in a different sense. This means your child ‘speaks’ through plenty of activities like drawing, painting, sculpting, music, drama, pretend-play, dance and movement, and so many more.
Reggio Emilia is not a specific teaching method. The curriculum of Reggio Emilia is flexible and emerges from the very thoughts and curiosity of a child. The approach ensures a loving and secure environment for a child where parents and teachers are co-learners whereas the environment is considered as the third teacher of the child. It emphasises the social development of the children where they learn to build relationships, starting with their friends, family and teachers.
Most importantly, it empowers the thoughts, interests and questions of a child to foster a lifelong love of learning.
Belief in the Immense Potential of a Child
The Reggio Emilia philosophy believes that your child is competent, curious, creative and capable. Children are not seen as empty boxes to be filled in with countless information. Rather, they are motivated to be researchers in the learning process, gaining knowledge through their many explorations.
They equally participate in the learning process, taking part in different projects and group activities which are majorly based on their curiosities and interests. The projects can range anywhere from a few days to a few months and exposes children to the very basics of history, geography, culture, language, science, mathematics and creativity.
Children are encouraged to be communicators, where their questions and thoughts are not only respected and valued but highly encouraged as well.
The ideas and questions are carefully observed by the teachers who come up with learning explorations and projects accordingly. Teachers in Reggio Emilia are not instructors in a traditional sense but facilitators and equal partners in your child’s learning journey. They encourage the children to interact with different materials, friends, parents and community, thereby making the learning process fun and interesting.
Looking for Reggio Emilia Schools in Malaysia?
Established in the year 2014, Odyssey, The Global Preschool offers an international award-winning curriculum in a well-equipped Reggio inspired campus located at Setia Eco Park, Selangor.
First developed in Singapore, Odyssey’s ethos of Learning without Boundaries encompasses what parents in Malaysia look for in early education. Our approach is a balanced amalgamation of play, skills and interactions based on a compendium of learning objectives for each level of children from 18 months to 6 years. Our innovative curriculum evolves and accommodates interests initiated by the children’s responses while accomplishing the expectations of formal school readiness.
Know More About the Curriculum at Odyssey
We believe that children learn best from interactions with the environment, with materials and with people. This is why Odyssey’s curriculum considers the children’s total development. Our team of educators in each class plan activities purposefully tailored to individuals and groups of children through projects, the skills framework, learning corners and language immersion.
Our Art Odyssey and Music Odyssey Programmes harness a child’s proclivity to express themselves in a multitude of ways. We also believe that it is essential that children learn in the real world; using real-world contexts and real-world materials to explore, discover, solve problems, think critically, interact, engage and come to age-appropriate conclusions. Children are encouraged to put these skills to work, not just in the preschool, but in their many years of formal school that will follow. As such, there are different kinds of projects that the children get involved in each year. The projects range from Little Chef Project (life skills) to Colours of Odyssey (art), Outdoor Learning Project (environment) to the Children’s Theatre (performance) and more.
Apart from this, Odyssey’s Fitness Fun Programme also promotes children’s physical development proficiencies. Skills, like balancing, throwing, hopping and object manipulation, based on a comprehensive set of learning ensure that the children are developed in all aspects of physical abilities.
With an award-winning curriculum and unique facilities directed towards the individual needs of your child, you can be assured of your child’s all-round development at Odyssey.