Study Group from Canada – The Reggio Emilia Approach to Education

Over the course of the next year, our monthly blogs will include individual reflections from the Study Group that attended the Reggio Emilia Study Tour in May 2015.  Each persons reflection will be unique to their experiences.  Please feel free to share your thoughts with us as we share our experiences.

Powerful Language         

Malaguzzi centre outside sign[2]Working with children, families and educators over the years has made us aware of the importance of being intentional and understanding the effect we have on each other by what we say.  Educators think about using positive, authentic language and practice enterprise talk. My trip to Reggio Emilia, Italy reinforced the power that language holds. As the translators turned the poetic Italian words and stories into understandable chunks of inspiration, we franticly wrote down our interpretations. Our journals filled quickly, and each night we tried to digest what we were hearing, seeing and feeling. It was not an easy task to give justice to this profound study tour experience.

 It is difficult to put our experiences into words and yet our experiences there reinforce the importance of putting our thoughts into words. The choice of words, used by the educators of Reggio children, represents thought, questioning and reflection. Choices like using the word “places” instead of “spaces”.  Imagine the feeling that is evoked when we speak of places for children instead of spaces.  For example, ‘This room is a place for 10 toddlers’, instead of ‘this room is licensed for 10 toddler spaces’.  Travelling to a place sounds inviting and exciting; ‘come over to my place’ is welcoming; making connections with our surroundings and our community gives us a sense of place; however space relates to emptiness or maybe a seat on a bus.  Every moment in Reggio brought visibility to the idea that every child has a right to a place instead of a space.  

Submitted by: Dianne Traynor, Pedagogical Leader RECE

To read previously posted Compass ELC Blogs, please click HERE.