Our Image of the Child
What is Reggio and why in the heck are you doing it ?
No one has really asked me ” why in the heck ” I have adopted the Reggio philosophy but I might have asked myself that a time or two. Many might look at Reggio in action and think — well, how are the kids learning ? What are they learning and why in the world isn’t the teacher TEACHING?
We have made it though the 7 powers of Conscious Discipline so now we will begin looking at the hows and whys of what our day looks like . We will dissect the Reggio philosophy piece by piece so that when YOU have to explain how your child is learning and why we teach the way that we do – you will be armed with information !
First lets look at how we view children.
” The image of the child. All children have preparedness, potential, curiosity; they have interest in relationship, in constructing their own learning, and in negotiating with everything the environment brings to them. Children should be considered as active citizens with rights, as contributing members, with their families, of their local community. ” -Lila Gandini
“There are hundreds of different images of the child. Each one of you has inside yourself an image of the child that directs you as you begin to relate to a child. This theory within you pushes you to behave in certain ways; it orients you as you talk to the child, listen to the child, observe the child. It is very difficult for you to act contrary to this internal image. For example, if your image is that boys and girls are very different from one another, you will behave differently in your interactions with each of them.”
Professor Loris Malaguzzi in Reggio Emilia, Italy, June 1993.
Children should be seen and not heard. If I believe that adults should demand quiet and respect for children my room would be controlled and eerily quiet. Is our room controlled or are our children allowed to roam and make choices ? Is there a deafening quiet in our home ? Short answer. No.
We also have to think about how we view our relationship with the child. I do not believe I am the transmitter of information. I believe more I am a connector . I believe I connect my children with other people so they can learn and grow socially and emotionally. I believe it is my job to connect my children with things , animals and with nature. That is how they learn. I believe it is my job to connect children to themselves – to becoming aware of what they feel, what they see and what they do.
I view children as capable and strong and brave . This is one of the reasons we have adopted family style dining . We allow the children to hop from stump to stump. I allow children to take risks. I believe they can do whatever they can imagine ( with my safe supervision ) and I believe in the long run that prepares them for life’s up and downs and the hard choices they might have to make. Children can do most things until someone tells them they can’t .
I believe that children can construct their own learning. Think about all the amazing discoveries that have been made that have made our world a better place . Did someone TEACH them to find that discovery or did their curiously and drive to FIND an answer lead them there ? I hope to grow ” finders ” more than ” listeners .”
So, my view of the child , your child, is different than typical structured classroom teachers. When you visit our home / school you will see and hear differences. Hopefully you will FEEL differences. Are we learning ? Yes. Are we teaching ? Yes. Both ways though… The littles are learning and teaching. As teachers we are learning and teaching.
It really makes for a beautiful world.
What is your view of a child ?