It was deeply felt that children should be given firsthand experience of their surroundings, and that they should explore and establish relationships with the world around them using their own natural curiosity, instincts and gifted abilities; instead of being taught about the world with a preset curriculum. “One of the focal points of the Reggio Emilia philosophy... develops a complex system of abilities, learning strategies and ways of organizing relationships.” (Rinaldi, 2006, p. 83).
My experience in Reggio Emilia convinced me that all children have the right to work and play with a wide range of the highest-quality materials in the highest quality settings in their daily life in school. It is in this way that children are able to build rich and complex relationships with the world, which will grow and evolve over time. (Cadwell, 1997, p. 72).
The Reggio philosophy was based upon giving the children the freedom and the right to set their own curriculum, according to their individual needs and interests; it incorporated parents as partners, and teachers as learners.
The teacher in Reggio Emilia is not viewed as the expert or sole dispenser of information; rather, the role of the teacher becomes one that is shared among members of the group... The teacher’s role is to create a partnership with the learners ... and begin the process of the co-construction of knowledge. (Fraser & Gestwicky, 2002, p. 46-47).
She always directs their attention back to the essence of their own lives [and invites them] to turn their own language upon this world...At the same time she knows that she is initiator at the outset... if the children are to take over, it is because she has opened up the possibilities and established the tone. (Connie & Harold Rosen, 1973, p. 64)
A very important aspect of the Reggio philosophy is the use of documentation of the child’s progress and development through various critical