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Wednesday, February 23, 2011


The Reggio Emilia Approach is a project-based, child-centred approach to learning.  It is widely acknowledged as one of the best methods of early childhood education in Italy.  The teachers or adults in the environment listen to the children and take the cue from them to embark on interesting projects for them to work on.

It is not widely known in Malaysia yet.  I would say that it takes a lot of love, patience and understanding to get this approach moving.  I am learning and trying to integrate this into my Montessori approach.  One of the important factors is a suitable environment for the children to work in.  According to the REA, the environment must be pleasing, open and aesthetically beautiful.  It is a place of joy, serenity and somewhere for children, teachers and parents to meet, talk and build friendships.  The children's learning processes are well-documented and displayed - making learning visible - for parents, teachers and children to ponder on, to's actually what we have been practising all these years.

I've renovated and extended part of Little Beans to make the learning environment even more conducive.  I don't like the idea of having children cooped indoors all the time, not knowing how to work in a natural environment (without air-con).  Hence, I've built an open hall on purpose.  It is basically an extension of our garden, but with a fan and roof to shield from the direct sun.  However, there is plenty of natural light and space for children to roam and explore.  I admit that not all children favour this as compared to an air-con room.  But, the younger children love playing and working here.  The freedom of space appeal to their natural needs.  They, in fact, have been using this place too often, so much so that I have to ask them to use indoors.  The older children would like to have the 'privilege' of working there as well!

Below are some photos of the new extension.  Feel free to drop by for a visit.

The retiled hallway for the children to walk on bare-footed.

Part of the hall

The documentation panels

The whole hall

My two lovely sinks

The most important message of all - The Image of the Child
competent, responsible, expressive, creative, compassionate, independent.
We must keep this image in mind when we work with the children!

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