Pedagogy of Reggio Emilia

Reggio Emilia is a pedagogical approach developed in the Italian city of Reggio Emilia. Loris Malaguzzi was the founder of this method. The method is widely used in primary schools, childcare and playgroups. The emphasis is on listening rather than telling. We look at what children can do, instead of what they cannot do.

Reggio Emilia

Loris Malaguzzi (1920-1994) was an Italian philosopher and the founder of this method. The Reggio Emilia approach is the pedagogy of listening and is a method that is part of practice. The emphasis is on listening rather than telling. The children, group leaders, pedagogues and artists are part of this approach. The supervisor focuses on what children can do, instead of what they cannot do.

In the town of Reggio Emilia they have been working this way for a long time. There is an artist and pedagogue at each childcare center. The Reggio approach has existed for over 50 years and is still being further developed by children, parents, pedagogues, artists, citizens and politicians of the city. Various primary schools, childcare and playgroups also work with this method in the Netherlands. More and more schools in the Netherlands are also delving into this philosophy.

Three principles

  1. Space: Children need to be challenged so that they experiment and discover. Inside and outside are often connected.
  2. Material: Inspire children to shape their discoveries and ideas. Free materials and mirrors are used extensively.
  3. Watching and listening: Supervisors focus on the development of the child’s own identity, independence and creative skills. Developments are tracked through documentation.



Source: PublicDomainPictures, Pixabay

Everything is mainly focused on communication. Children can express themselves in a hundred ways and in a hundred languages. It is our job to understand that. Young children in particular cannot yet express themselves in spoken or written language, but they can express themselves through dance, music, drawing, clay, movement or sound. Children can do much more than we think and every child is unique.
We must first learn to look at the child, build a bond, before we get to know the child. A quote from Loris Malaguzzi is: ,A child has a hundred languages, but the school and society steal ninety-nine of them,.
Everything matters and Reggio Emilia emphasizes all possibilities of expression. Children are the researchers.

A child is surrounded by three pedagogues:

  • 1st pedagogue: Children learn a lot from each other.
  • 2nd pedagogue: Adults, parents, leaders, artists, teachers.
  • 3rd Pedagogue: Environment: The room is used as a third teacher.



As a supervisor you create situations where children can make themselves heard and express themselves. You must be able to listen well, actively participate in activities and observe. All observations are recorded in a file. The children themselves indicate what they want, so you don’t have to prepare much. You should always be open to something new, something creative. We look at how they learn and adjust our activities accordingly. We stimulate the child’s creativity and independence.

How is the room furnished?

Space is the most important factor. The space must be challenging and creativity must be stimulated. This includes design, light, color, furniture and materials. All rooms have their own function. There are various areas such as a craft corner or a play corner. There is also a central space where everyone meets and the outside and inside are connected. Each residence also has a studio where children can work independently and where an artist is present. They often use free materials such as: rope, fabric, wood. Artists can encourage and guide them in this. There are many mirrors throughout the room, so children can see themselves clearly. All the works are also hanging on the walls, so that everyone can admire them.


The child’s developments are well monitored through documentation. This way you can discover what they find interesting and what occupies the child. Each child has their own file with papers, photos and videos. Many situations are captured on camera. This way the parents can also see what they are doing. All work is kept from the children.

read more

  • The Gordon Method
  • The influence of Friedrich Fröbel

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