Reggio Emilia – A City of Research

 Monday

Today we were fortunate to begin our study week in the marvellous Loris Malaguzzi International Centre.  The official blurb from the website is as follows:

The Loris Malaguzzi Centre, opened in February 2006, is a dedicated meeting place where professional development and research intersect for people in Reggio Emilia, Italy and the world who wish to innovate education and culture.”

As soon as you walk through the gates of this centre it feels very special. The International centre was described to us by our welcoming hosts as a safe harbour, drawing parallels to an international airport where everyone is on a journey, a meeting place for all, the adventure being one of research, investigation, inquiry, deep thinking and…fun!

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Daniela Lanzi presented on the values, philosophies and history of the Reggio Emilia approach to learning. One of the points that resonated with with me was in the solidarity and subsidiarity approach by the people of Reggio Emilia led by the women in re-establishing a school after the war. A priority for regrowth and a symbol of moving forward ‘brick by brick’.

The exhibitions in the centre reinforce the commitment of the community in accepting the value of education as a transforming force. Children as citizens and as future citizens education as an investment into the future.

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The Loris Malaguzzi International Centre has many areas of exploration and exhibitions to interact with. For me, given the municipalities future plans for the area that once was a cheese factory, the centre is like being present at the beginning of Reggio Emilia’s next major hub, the creation of a contemporary international “new” walled city.

The afternoon visit to the Nilde Iotti Infant-Toddler centre enabled interaction and observation. The purpose built centre was designed by collaboration with many different professional people from the surrounding community and has a cross sector approach in that it is co-operated with the Reggio Emilia Municipality and a private Parent Association. The two share resources across the infant and preschool spaces.

The priority is for learning to be a journey for the children with different pedagogy every day mapping out a journey to knowledge. This learning journey is accepted as the responsibility of the whole team, including the family community.

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Our journey continues tomorrow – a morning with Carla Rinaldi, Atelieristas and more.

Ciao, Karen

 

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