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The Image of the Child is the primary principle of a Reggio-inspired approach. Children must be seen as curious, capable, and creative individuals. Children must be active participants in constructing their own learning and experiences, with guidance and support from others around them. Children should be provided opportunities to grow in creativity, self-expression, communication, logical thinking, and problem-solving.
One of the teacher's primary roles is to be guide and resource for children. The teacher is NOT all-knowing. The teacher observes and tracks the growth of the children and reflects on how they can provide opportunities for new connections and learning.
The classroom environment is known as the "third teacher". The environment is set up to encourage creative exploration, interaction, and communication. The materials are accessible to the children so they can construct their own learning and experiences.
Parents are invited to be active participants in the school and classroom environment. Parents are also encouraged to extend and reinforce learning at home.
The emergent curriculum will be based on the children's ideas and discussions. After observing and documenting the classroom, the teacher(s) will create ways for students to explore their interests through carefully planned materials, activities, and projects. The teacher will also find ways to encourage community-based learning, where children, parents, and community members become involved in the learning environment.
Projects are an integral part of the emergent curriculum. The project based instruction approach provides opportunities for children to study their areas of interests. Teachers become the facilitators and help children decide how they want to approach their projects. Children also create representations to demonstrate their learning of the content researched. Projects can last from 1 week to several weeks.
Observation and Documentation is on-going and plays an integral role in the classroom environment. The teacher uses observation to determine students areas of interests and areas of growth. Documentation is key in the classroom environment. Photos of the children, anecdotal notes (from the teacher and/or child perspective), and samples help the teacher and parents learn more about how the child learns and grows.
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