Using the physical environment as the third Teacher
I would like to start with a quote from Loris Malaguzzi the founder of Reggio Emilia.
Learning and teaching should not stand on opposite banks and just watch the river flow but instead they should embark together on a journey down the water.
The physical environment is an important part of this journey and how we can assist can make this journey a memorable and inspiring one.
Using the outside physical environment as the third teacher is a big part of the Reggio Emilia approach.
All different types of buildings are purchased to run a reggio centre, these range from old houses to purpose built centres. A lot of these buildings come with natural gardens and instead of ripping these out and adding new clean fresh fixtures Reggio works with the natural environment and looks at what they can add to facilitate children's learning for the outdoor experience.
The Reggio approach to the outside environment aims to foster children's curiosity , imagination and exploration.To facilitate and enhance childrens learning and independence using the natural elements .The outside environment should allow children to have the chances to experiment and try out new possibilities and new challenges.
Children explore the world using their hands ,feet, fingers, finger tips , eyes and senses , and by giving them a spacious natural environment to explore we are enabling them to become aware of their physical self their capabilities and the opportunity to experiment with these.
A child's body is memory learning journal - lets give the children all the tools, experiences ,encouragement and opportunities to make this journey an amazing one as they go through life.
How do we do this ?
having a natural environment ,
seating areas made from trees, cushions or tyres
open ended loose parts manmade and natural
We can then help facilitate childrens learning and exploration by adding
pieces of materials, sheets ,curtains, and scarves
outdoor mud kitchens
child appropriate work tools
and so much more.
remember the outside environments must work for the families and the educators as well as the children. Have families , educators and children make critical reflections of the environment and be a part of the decision making .
Invite families into your outdoor environments , have working bees and hold parent events in these amazing areas.
I would now like to share with you some pictures of an outside environment from the Scuola comunale dell'infanzia which is in La Villetta ,Italy.
Please remember our children are not only our future but they are our present .
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Public - 5/15/16, 9:47 AM