So, in the spirit of always considering all the options, all the ideas, I looked more carefully into this alternative to the traditional model. I knew some fundamentals, but wanted to look more closely at the details.
All I can say is, really? Maybe it’s clear to me now why Reggio Emelia hasn’t captured the world’s attention. I’m all for the value of exploration, following a child’s natural interest – letting them BECOME themselves, etc. But this approach seems to go far astray, as if to suggest that the adult knows nothing, that the teacher ha nothing of value to contribute.
From what I can tell, and if someone feels this is an unfair characterization I;m sure they’ll jump in with a comment, a Reggio teacher doesn’t even begin with an idea about what will be covered… it’s fully “to be revealed” as the child directs.
One peculiarity of the Reggio penchant for avoiding definition, and “pre-determination” of any sort, is the very idea of even defining too carefully just WHAT “The Reggio approach” is. Indeed, they apparently eschew being called a “model” of education because that suggests that they can be defined, and to be defined is to be limited to a something, which in turn means that you can’t be “just whatever you want”. And this is held up as a model for reform to improve the lives of children?
Until I see something that shows that this has produces marvelous results, I fail to understand why anyone would wish to adopt this “approach”…
But- we DO need reform. We do need to change the education conversation. Perhaps the Montessori model: tested, defined, and proven is worthy of consideration?