The Heart Of The Reggio Emilia Philosophy
October 30, 2020
At the heart of the Reggio Emilia philosophy underpinning the TIGS Prep approach is a learning environment driven by collaboration, communication and self- expression. The educators set up provocations and assume the role of the researcher, always listening, observing and responding to the children’s interests and then guiding them in meaningful interactions and conversations which promote questioning, extend thinking, and build understanding.
Focussing on collaboration and team-building encourages the children to have different opinions on the topics they are discussing, building in each child a belief and knowledge that no one view is more valuable or accurate than another. This allows the children to test their thoughts and theories with others, without fear of judgement, whilst at the same time encouraging our children to respect and value the opinions of others.
During this term in Elanora, the class has focused on the Primary Years Programme (PYP) Unit of Inquiry which comes from the transdisciplinary theme of ‘How we organise ourselves’ with the Central Idea of ‘Journeys can lead to many destinations‘. Using the children’s interests as the starting platform for our learning, we talked about a variety of journeys, thinking about what a journey is as well as where a journey can take us.
The children have shared their understanding of the word ‘journey’ which has given us a basis for current knowledge and an insight into their perception.
As a starting point, we have been looking at journeys in stories and began by reading the story ‘Alexander’s Outing’ by Pamela Allen. We read the story together and discovered he had quite an adventure! The children were each encouraged to draw an element of the story in their books and talked about what happened. This was a great experience in recalling a story and retelling a part of it pictorially, supporting the children in their developing language and literacy skills.
To complement the drawing, the children had the opportunity of taking part in a cutting and ordering experience. Each child was given three pictures of Alexander rising up in the water and asked to order the water level. This experience was a great opportunity to enhance the children’s cutting skills as well as develop visual and thinking skills surrounding size.
We have also read the story ‘On the Road with Mavis and Marge’, a cow and a chicken out looking for adventure. We have talked about the different modes of transport the animals used and related these to journeys we have been on – with each child having the opportunity to share their own experiences. Language and communication are important skills to develop, and through a variety of experiences such as this, the Prep children are developing their confidence in these areas.
The children have also developed their sorting skills by organising types of transport by common attributes, enhancing their thinking and observational skills. In addition, they have gone on to design their own modes of transport, using their imaginations and demonstrating creativity and enthusiasm as they express their ideas using mixed media.
As the term progresses we will be talking about our journey to Kindergarten and relating this concept to our feelings and emotions surrounding this next step in the children’s learning journey.