What is Reggio Emilia?
Reggio Emilia is an educational philosophy led by Loris Malaguzzi founded in post-WWII Italy. The Reggio Emilia approach is distinguished by the following elements:
* Focus on collaborative play
* Short and long-term projects as the foundation of the cirriculum
* An inspiring and productive school environment ("the third teacher")
* Ongoing documentation as a means of evaluation
* A supportive community of parents and teachers
* Child-directed learning
* Emphasis on the arts
* Teachers as co-learners
To learn more about the Reggio Emilia approach, see our recommended reading.
What is project-based learning?
Project-based learning is an approach to education that involves a deep exploration of all subjects through a common theme. We use this integrated, thematic curriculum as a way to foster a greater and more meaningful understanding of all subjects. For example, using the theme of oceans and river systems, Primaria students learn to read and write stories about real and mythical ocean creatures, integrate water themes into their yoga practice, and learn about life cycles, temperature, and time by raising salmon from eggs and eventually releasing them into the Sacramento river. Because all subjects can be explored through any theme, we can use the children's interests as the foundation of short and long-term projects. Project-based learning is essentially the next step of Reggio-Emilia and is the foundation of our elementary program.
How is Peregrine School different from Montessori schools?
While the Peregrine School's early childhood philosophy is influenced mainly by Reggio Emilia, we also draw inspiration from the Montessori and Waldorf approaches and philosophers John Dewey, Howard Gardner and Daniel Pink. Reggio Emilia and Montessori methods can be seen as sister philosophies. One important difference is the role of the teacher. In a Montessori environment, the teacher takes an unobtrusive role, holding a space in which children direct their own learning. In a Reggio environment, the teacher takes on the role of co-learner, exploring and guiding children through their education. This delicate balance is achieved through continual evaluation of individual students and the class as a whole, and is enriched by daily small group work.
Without grades, how will I know how my child is doing?
Instead of using grades to evaluate our students' progress, we keep portfolios on every student. The strength of portfolios is that each child's progress is measured against his/her own development. Since material is added to student portfolios constantly, portfolios give a more detailed and more accurate picture of your child's development than a grade. While grades attempt to measure a student's academic ability by tallying test scores and homework assignments, we document the growth of our student's entire academic, social, and emotional progress.