The Reggio Emilia model is based on multi-sensory, child-directed learning. Founded in 1963 by Loris Malaguzzi, an Italian pedagogist in Reggio Emilia, a city in North Italy, this approach “fosters children’s intellectual development through a systematic focus on symbolic representation, including words, movements, drawing, painting, building, sculpture, shadow play, collage, dramatic play and music, which leads children to surprising levels of communication, symbolic skills and creativity” (Edwards et al., 1993).
“Children have the right to use materials in order to discover and communicate what they know, understand, wonder about, question, feel and imagine. In this way, they make their thinking visible through their many natural languages.” (Bringing Reggio Emilia Home, Louise Boyd Cadwell, 1997.)
The Scuola Italiana di Portland is a member of NAREA (North American Reggio Emilia Alliance).