The focus of our research was to gain a better understanding of how we can implement Reggio Emilia teaching practices within the public-school system. We also wanted to find practical ways in which to support teachers who are immersed in the new BC curriculum. We worked with a group of children in a Kindergarten/Grade 1 split class, as well as with a group of preschoolers aged 18 months to four years old.
The most significant learning was that this approach to teaching is highly motivating for the students. When given free choice time they engaged with the project related materials. It was also interesting for us to compare the differences and similarities in how the younger preschoolers (who have been working with open ended materials in an inquiry based setting for some time) and the older students (who had only recently been given these opportunities) approached the project. As teachers, we need to allow for flexibility in our planning and daily schedule.
Going forward we feel that we will be better prepared for how to plan, set up provocations, and document the children’s learning. Developing systems will make this aspect of our work more manageable. We are also excited to see how documentation displayed for the students and their families might impact future projects and inquiries.