The weekend saw me take a quick overnight trip to Melbourne to listen to the inspirational speaker Carla Rinaldi about the Reggio Emilia Approach. Carla worked closely for many years with Loris Malaguzzi (the founder of the approach). The purpose of the conference was to provoke our thinking on how to connect children’s experiences of learning, thinking, understanding and expressing themselves.
Carla talked about
- the rights of children from birth and how we should be promoting this
- how childhood only exists when we allow children rights, duties and responsibilities
- To recognize children are intelligent beings. We as educators need to assist the children to make their intelligence visible
- Children are competent in living, loving and learning
- We must recognize uniqueness and differences in all children.
- We must use documentation to share learning journeys
- We must observe and interpret to see all the small stepping stones being achieved and learned
In listening to Carla it gave me affirmation what we are doing at Acacia Hill is helping the future grow and develop. Being inspired by this approach is not a fad that will dwindle away in a year or two. It is a belief that we are giving the children in our care the best opportunities to build themselves into what they want to be, recognizing and celebrating their uniqueness.