Reggio Inspired Practice
It is extremely important to understand the difference between the practice of the schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy and Reggio Inspired Practice. The Reggio Approach was developed in the small city of Reggio Emilia, Italy over the past 75 years. It was developed based on long held beliefs about how children learn, progressive education philosophies, and alongside cultural values and the context of this city. For this reason, it simply isn't possible to replicate the approach in the United States nor should you want to. We don't live in Italy and we do not share the same value systems or context when it comes to our culture. Instead we should study the approach examining it based on our own culture and our school context. Then we are able to see how the approach can inspire our own practice.
Only the educators in Reggio Emilia Italy can claim to be experts in this approach and we (CEY) would never claim otherwise. Our expertise instead lies in supporting schools in their study of the approach and discovering how their schools can best be inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach. We work with schools to examine their own culture and context and use that as a catalyst to study key aspects of the Reggio Approach that fit with their school.
We also help schools develop and understanding of the foundational concepts of the Reggio Emilia Approach, which came out of the work of John Dewey, Jerome Bruner, David Hawkins, Howard Gardner, Lev Vygotsky, etc. Interestingly most of the educational philosophers who are key to the Reggio Emilia Approach are American Educational Philosophers. Though these philosophers are highly regarded in America, it was Reggio Emilia that brought all their philosophies together and again combined them with Italian culture and context. This is where CEY's expertise really shines. Our company was founded in Chicago, Il, which was the home of John Dewey and the Progressive Ed movement which sparked the Reggio Emilia Approach.