Why are there so few Reggio school for older kids? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 15 Old 09-28-2006, 06:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Older as in "non-preschool." I don't get it.
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#2 of 15 Old 09-28-2006, 11:12 PM
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I'm no expert, but my understanding is that Reggio was/is intended by the original school for preschool and below. I believe it was originally developed as a community to provide care for small children who had both parents working. . . .
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#3 of 15 Old 09-28-2006, 11:21 PM
 
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Because it isn't intended for older children and it is remarkably difficult to directly transfer the pedagogy to older children. You can transfer portions, like making learning visible, teacher as researcher but as a whole doesn't really work out. There are just some things a child needs to learn in elementary school that might not come up it the curriculum was completely student driven. Like fractions, or even reading and writing. The schools in Reggio are "just" the municipal, public preschools so those children go on to the very academic and rigorous municipal public elementary schools when they outgrow the preschools.

The Italians (Carlina, Amelia, a couple of the first reggio teachers) think its nuts that people in the USA have applied their ideas to older children. I think it can work to a certain existent but really the Reggio idea in older schools is just the "Free School" movement of the 1960's in the UK...which failed miserably and did the opposite of what it intened...proved that teacher direction is indeed needed in certain aspects of schooling.

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#4 of 15 Old 09-29-2006, 09:15 PM
 
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We have a combo at our school and it works beautifully! Certain subjects are addressed specifically and teacher directed and the rest is child-led and integrated through discovery...it is extremely expensive and requires a very low teacher/student ratio (attributes that are hard for most schools to reconcile).
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#5 of 15 Old 09-30-2006, 08:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by BathrobeGoddess View Post
You can transfer portions, like making learning visible, teacher as researcher but as a whole doesn't really work out. There are just some things a child needs to learn in elementary school that might not come up it the curriculum was completely student driven. Like fractions, or even reading and writing.
See, I don't buy this at all. Reading, writing, and fractions not only came up but took off in my son's Reggio "pre-school." And it certainly comes up for unschoolers, who are completely child-driven.

There is one school an hour or so away from here that successfully implements Reggio up to the 3rd grade so far (they're intending to continue adding one grade on each year).

I can understand that Reggio ideas/techniques likely wouldn't transfer well - fully, anyway - into public schools, what with Standards of Learning, larger classes, and the abundance of paperwork and accommodations (not saying the accommodations are bad, by the way, just that they are plentiful and work-intensive). But it's surprising to me that there are not more small, private elementary schools that have adopted Reggio techniques on a wider scale.
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#6 of 15 Old 10-01-2006, 01:02 AM
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Just wanted to mention that my son's Reggio school is a public school. And he is a special education student--they believe strongly in inclusion and provide the only inclusion public preschool in our city. So I wouldn't automatically assume that Reggio doesn't translate into public schools or that they can't make accomodations.

Catherine
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#7 of 15 Old 10-01-2006, 10:52 AM
 
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But it's surprising to me that there are not more small, private elementary schools that have adopted Reggio techniques on a wider scale.
There isn't the support from Reggio Children or the research to back up the success of this type of schooling for older children. Like I said before, the Free School movement in the 1960's was such a failure that many, many educators are very apprehensive to begin schools that use the same sort of ideas. However, British Primary, the next step that really grew out of the Free School movement, has been wildly successful and there are tons of private schools in the USA that use this method.

I think that it is interesting that you remarked about a school up to third grade since that is still considered early childhood. My school goes up to 2nd grade and my license is early childhood but also says grades infant to 3rd on it. I also think what makes Reggio so hard in the older years is the small group work. I mean fractions might come up for a group of children but philosophically the teacher should not be translating that to children not originally involved in the exploration...i.e. they have their own projects that they are working on.

There is one Reggio inspired elementary around here and I have been there a couple times. I would say that they are much more of a blend of Reggio, British Primary and Montessori. They do great work but the classroom is more structured than mine is. They use center work, something I would never do in my class, and they do have large group literacy time...again something I don't do in my class.

Quote:
Just wanted to mention that my son's Reggio school is a public school. And he is a special education student--they believe strongly in inclusion and provide the only inclusion public preschool in our city. So I wouldn't automatically assume that Reggio doesn't translate into public schools or that they can't make accommodations.
I would love a link to this! I would love to see what this looks like in practice! The municipal schools in Reggio also made children with special needs a priority. If two children are competing for a space, the child with special needs is always taken first. My school is also highly inclusive and I can't imagine it any other way!

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#8 of 15 Old 10-01-2006, 04:13 PM
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Bathrobegoddess,
I pmed you.
Catherine
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#9 of 15 Old 10-03-2006, 01:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BathrobeGoddess View Post
There isn't the support from Reggio Children or the research to back up the success of this type of schooling for older children. Like I said before, the Free School movement in the 1960's was such a failure that many, many educators are very apprehensive to begin schools that use the same sort of ideas. However, British Primary, the next step that really grew out of the Free School movement, has been wildly successful and there are tons of private schools in the USA that use this method.
Hmmm, I'm not quite sure I see a strong correlation between Reggio Emilia and Free Schools. The preschools I've observed and pedagogies seem extremely different to me. A closer correlation seems to be Reggio Emilia and the inquiry-based method, to me. There is an extremely popular inquiry-based method school in my city (private) that certainly integrates aspects of Reggio into the curriculum and is very influenced as far as the environmental aspects.
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#10 of 15 Old 10-04-2006, 04:24 PM
 
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The Reggio Emila schools in Italy are for very young children and infants. It is possible to find schools with a similar approach, in fact schools with a certain degree of freedom and staffed by dedicated and innovative professionals have created environments quite similar just by seeing areas of need and filling them. The Reggio Emilia wave is in its first stages though the approach was identified in 1991 as being the best for young learners- in other words, given more time it may catch on for schools serving older stdents. When looking for the right school, learn as much as you can about culture and curriculum. Happy children are the best indicator as to whether or not the school is getting it right.

Has anyone researched Human Scale Education?
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#11 of 15 Old 11-29-2006, 07:55 PM
 
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My ds attends a reggio charter school at the Children's Museum in Portland, OR. It's preschool thru 5th grade. This is the schools 6th year of operation. The school has become quite the shining light of the school district. They have groups of teachers come and observe a couple times of year and they have a huge symposium every June.

www.portlandcm.org
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#12 of 15 Old 11-29-2006, 10:39 PM
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That looks like a really cool charter school! Thanks for sharing the link.

Catherine
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#13 of 15 Old 11-29-2006, 11:11 PM
 
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I saw the light table last time I was there at CM2 and thought it looked very reggio...much of the whole museum seems reggio - so how lucky that your child attends!
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#14 of 15 Old 02-28-2007, 01:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawaiibabylovex2 View Post
My ds attends a reggio charter school at the Children's Museum in Portland, OR. It's preschool thru 5th grade. This is the schools 6th year of operation. The school has become quite the shining light of the school district. They have groups of teachers come and observe a couple times of year and they have a huge symposium every June.

www.portlandcm.org
As an early childhood educator, I feel very lucky to have the Opal School in my town! The symposiums are hugely sucessful; we had Amelia Gambetti out from Italy for the last one...my understanding is that many of the Italians feel that Reggio methods applied to the education of older children is exciting and ambitious, not that we're "nuts."
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#15 of 15 Old 03-11-2007, 12:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
Older as in "non-preschool." I don't get it.
It's because even in Reggio Italy, the children start a more "traditional" school in elementary grades. In my state (vermont) we have a private school called "school house" and it is an alternative school that is sort of "reggio-ish" if that makes sense!

me, dh and 2 boys = our family (oh and a cat...who is also a male...lol)
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