- The Image of the Child – Adults see children as competent, full of potential and active in constructing their own knowledge through interactions with others. Adults try to understand as fully as possible the child’s point of view and abilities (the child’s “culture”).
- Emphasis on Respect – Respect is the foundation of relationships. Here, adults show respect for children and their families. Children show respect for adults. Everyone shows respect for our environment and materials. This respect manifests in adults allowing children to do things for themselves (respecting their capabilities), using respectful language, documenting and posting children’s work to show them that we value it, planning curriculum based on children’s interests, and scheduling long enough blocks of time to respect children’s need to explore topics in depth and come back to them multiple times.
- Symbolic Representation – Children explore and express themselves through many “languages” — music, movement, dramatic play, puppets, clay, drawing, writing, storytelling, etc. Expressing what they have learned in different ways is an important part of the learning process as it helps children enhance their creative, social, and cognitive development.
- The Role of the Environment – Through conscious use of space, color, natural light, displays of children’s work, and attention to nature and detail, the environment serves as another teacher. The environment serves as an initiation to enter and participate.
- The Role of the Teacher – Teachers facilitate children’s ability to represent what they know and imagine. Teachers mediate between children’s current understanding and what they are on the threshold of understanding.
- The Importance of Time – In Reggio schools, time is not set by the clock, but by the child’s needs and interests. There should be sufficient time for a child to express, learn, explore, extend and revisit a given project.
- The Role of the Parents – The education process involves three equally important participants: children, teachers and parents. The schools welcome parent involvement in a wide range of ways. The ideas and skills that the parents bring to the school and, even more important, the exchange of ideas between parents and teachers, favor the development of a new way of educating