Our Approach

The approach aligns with our philosophy and is based upon the following principles:

Children are competent and naturally curious learners

Emergent Curriculum

Through an emergent curriculum, which is one that builds upon the interests of children, children are naturally equipped with curiosity to foster their innate potential for learning. Topics for study are developed through observations of children, their interests, and their words, instead of becoming passive observers, registering a superficial appearance of things often resulting from a pre-determined curriculum. By utilizing the interests of the children as a catalyst for learning, they are more engaged and able to build explanatory systems, otherwise known as implicit theories, that organize their knowledge.

Project Work

Projects, also emergent in nature, are in depth studies of concepts, ideas and interests which arise within the group. Considered as an adventure, projects may last one week or could continue throughout the school year. Throughout a project, teachers help children make decisions about the direction of the study, the ways in which the group will research the topic, the representational medium that will demonstrate and showcase the topic, and the selection of materials needed to represent the work.

Representational Development

Consistent with Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences, the Reggio Emilia approach promotes the integration of the graphic arts as tools for cognitive, linguistic, and social development. Presentation of concepts and hypotheses in multiple forms of representation -- print, art, construction, drama, music, puppetry, and shadow play -- are viewed as essential to children's understanding of experience. It is believed that children have 100 languages, a key principle of the Reggio-inspired approach, and as such they should have appropriate outlets to display their knowledge through these multiple symbolic languages.


Documentation of children's work in progression is viewed as an important tool in the learning process for children, teachers, and parents. Pictures of children engaged in experiences, their words as they explain what they are doing, feeling, and thinking, and the children's interpretation of experience through visual media are displayed as graphic representations of the dynamics of learning. Documentation is used as an assessment tool and evidence of learning.

Teachers as Researchers

The teacher's role within the Reggio-inspired approach is complex. Working as co-researchers, the role of the teacher is first and foremost to be that of a learner alongside the children. The teacher is a resource and guide on the journey of education. Within such a teacher-researcher role, educators carefully listen, observe, and document children's work. As such, they can provoke, co-construct, and stimulate thinking, and children's collaboration with peers. Teachers are committed to reflection about their own teaching and learning.


Collaborative group work, both large and small, is considered valuable and necessary to advance cognitive development. Students are encouraged to dialogue, critique, compare, negotiate, hypothesize, and problem solve through group work. The Reggio-inspired approach to collaboration promotes an understanding of various perspectives, a sense of group membership, and the uniqueness of self. There is a strong emphasis on the collaboration amongst the home and school communities to support the learning of the child.


Within the Reggio-inspired schools, great attention is given to the look and feel of the classroom. Environment is considered the "third teacher”. Teachers carefully construct and organize spaces for various sized group projects, as well as purposeful, cozy spaces for small groups of children. Documentation of children's work, elements of the natural world, and collections that children have made during classroom activities are displayed both at the children's and adult eye level. “The environment interacts, modifies, and takes shape in relation to the projects and learning experiences, in a constant dialogue between architecture and pedagogy.” (Reggio Children, 2022)

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