How is our nature-based program influenced by Reggio-Emilia?

May 24, 2018

We do take influences from many modalities - primarily Waldorf, Montessori, Charlotte Mason and Reggio.


Influences we take from Reggio:

  • Children have (at least) 100 languages of self expression.  

  • Children form an understanding of themselves and their place in the world through their interactions with others.

  • Children are capable of constructing their own learning experiences.

  • The teachers are there as guides to bounce ideas off of rather teach a predesigned lesson. (You will also find this in our differences- as we do both, not exclusively one.)

  • The environment itself is thought of as a teacher.  The space around the child and their surroundings is profoundly important as a part of their learning environment. 

  • We use provocations for learning, where we set up certain areas in certain ways for observations to take place or as an invitation to play.  We do a little of this- maybe one table in the whole classroom and the rest of the classroom is open-ended for imaginative play.  



Where we differ:

  • Documentation - We believe in a slightly more subdued documentation approach.  The teachers are responsible to notice, track and be aware of the children's processes and keep their own documentation as well as provide the parents with feedback, but 'making learning visible' in the way of documentation boards is not something we do.  We believe this puts too much emphasis on a product based approach to life and builds up too strong a sense of entitlement and attachment to output.  We want the children to lose themselves in the process and keep their sense of wonder and delight in the innocent aspect of pure play.  

  • The teachers are there as guides to bounce ideas off of rather teach a predesigned lesson.  This applies whole-heartedly to our unstructured play time.  However, we also have structured Circle Time, Snack Time and Story Time where the teachers are at the center and are leading that activity.  There are times within those activities where there is active participation from the children, but there is an expectation on behavior at this time and it is a primarily teacher-led activity.  We believe this balance between student-led and teacher-led activities best sets children up for long term success. 

  • We have a stronger emphasis on imaginative play than most Reggio schools, where their primary focus is on unstructured or structured activity.  We look to brain research that shows us the brain is most active during unstructured, imaginative play so we make that the primary focus of our program. 

  • We do have some activities available for children to engage in if they are interested.  However, we see imaginative, cooperative play as the most valuable way a child can spend their time at school.   



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A Nature-based preschool program that combines Waldorf, Montessori, Reggio-Emilia & Charlotte Mason methods.

521  N Alma School Rd.

Mesa, AZ 85201