Highland Educators To Tour Italian Education Facilities Next Month
Preschool in Highland, and Jennifer Young, a lead preschool teacher, are raising funds to participate in a July study tour of Reggio Emilia, Italy’s infant-toddler centers and preschools.
“Pinch us because that’s how we feel. It’s always been a dream,” Gabli said. “When the opportunity presented itself two years ago we were going ‘how are we going to afford to go?’ We’re making a plan. You just have to plan ahead and we’ll be able to make it happen.”
The city of Reggio Emilia in Italy is recognized worldwide for its innovative approach to education. In this approach, there is a belief that children have rights and should be given opportunities to develop their potential.
The Reggio Emilia philosophy is based upon the following set of principals: children must have some control over the direction of their learning; children must be able to learn through experiences of touching, moving, listening, seeing and hearing; and children must have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves.
“A classroom example that comes to mind is when a little girl was painting a green snake on her paper … and she took the green paint and covered up her snake,” Young said. “She told me that she remembered that the snake liked to be in the grass, so she painted the grass. To so many parents it may seem like a green blob on a piece of paper, but when you take the time to ask them their story you make the connection.”
Building Blocks is one of 1,000 U.S. schools practicing the Reggio philosophy. It’s something teachers at the school have been studying for years.
Three years ago the school hosted a two-day workshop with Julianne Wurm, a U.S. teacher who worked as a translator in Reggio and author of “Working in the Reggio Way: A Beginner’s Guide for American Teachers.”
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