Hundred Languages Exhibition

100 languages

The Hundred Languages of Children

Catholic Education SA hosted the Hundred Languages of Children: A Narrative of the Possible Exhibition at the SA Water Building from 28th April – 23rd May

The Hundred Languages of Children exhibition tells the story of an educational adventure that began post World War II, with children 3 months to 6 years of age – a life adventure over many years interweaving experience, thoughts, discussions, and research.

It is the story of an educational adventure where the experiences, thoughts, discussion, theoretical research, ethical and social ideals of many generations of children, teachers and parents from Reggio Emilia, Italy have developed and evolved. The story unfolds through the original and extraordinary representations of learning through the research of children and teachers.

It is an unfinished story of an educational approach that has become a primary reference for childhood across the world.

The exhibition has travelled to hundreds of countries and has been visited by thousands of visitors for over 35 years. In 2013 the exhibition was hosted by the State Library of South Australia and visited by thousands of South Australians.


I went to the exhibition today. So many highlights!!! I love the way the exhibition connects the pedagogy of making meaning happen for the teacher and the students together – most poignant in the water wheel display. I also enjoyed some laughter – not laughing at what students think but just connecting with the gorgeousness of how we as human being make sense of our world and reinterpret its symbols all the time. It made me remember my own attempts to understand some things as a child for example I thought we prayed with our hands together so that Jesus could be inside my hands and hear me whisper to him when I pray. Funny thing is I don’t remember when I stopped thinking that and as a child I didn’t know that I was the only one who thought that! The crowd dialogue was awesome at demonstrating how discussions are a great way for creating meaning and for a teacher to be able to see the learning as it happens – My favourite bit was ‘people don’t walk like that in a crowd – with their arms up. They look like penguins’ – oh it made me giggle!

– Educator


I went to see that exhibition in the SA Water foyer when I was in the area the other day. The thing that resonated most for me was the fact the children are experiencing and absorbing things that many of us adults fail to even see. I was particularly taken by shadows and the intrigue and mystery they hold for little people. There was a poem on the front panel by Loris Malaguzzi that made feel sad; we’ve been conditioned as adults to shut so much out, and take on other things to fill up those places, children have not. I couldn’t help thinking that there are two people living with me who are looking at the world in a very different way to me, and yet by being with me I am gradually shaving away all that wonder about the world. I’m not sure how to arrest the tide, but I think it would be great for you and the other educators to keep reminding us that there is a whole other station going on in our children’s world that we could try to tune into.

– Parent from St Peter’s Girls ELC

  1. We are very grateful to our partners TAFE SA, DECD, EChO and REAIE for their support in making this exhibition available to the people of SA once again.

  2. These reflections are amazing. it was wonderful to be a volunteer at the exhibition and to engage with people from the community, parents, granparents, uncles, aunties and others-the conversations were rich. I have a sense that the exhibtiion reached a wide and varied audience. Be great to hear of others’ experiences as a volunteer.

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