The Guardian Curriculum has been deeply inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach. This educational philosophy was founded by Loris Malaguzzi in Italy in the mid 20th Century and views children as strong, capable and resilient, with the capacity for complex thinking and unique perspectives.
In 1990 US Weekly brought the Reggio Emilia approach onto the world stage proclaiming it as the best early learning curriculum in the world. This accolade propelled the Reggio Emilia approach into the spotlight with numerous early learning centres around the world inspired by this type of curriculum – including Guardian Early Learning Group.
“Reggio Emilia is a city, it is a learning environment that evokes an emotive response. Like the environments in our centres and in our communities, it is a place of research that offers memories, and opportunities for beauty, creativity, innovation and exploration.” Kathryn Waugh, Head of Curriculum
The Reggio Emilia approach places importance on these distinct characteristics:
- Family participation
- Role of the educators
- Educational environment
- A presence of the atelier
- In-school kitchen
As part of the Reggio Emilia approach, children must have some control over the direction of their learning and be able to learn through a range of experiences which include touching, moving, listening, and observing. They are to have relationships with other children and with material items in the world that they should be allowed to explore as well as endless ways and opportunities to express themselves.
The Guardian Curriculum has been influenced by the theories and philosophies of the Reggio Emilia approach as well as those of the Boulder Journey School, and adapted to the Australian culture and environment.
Reflections on Reggio
To support our educators in their own professional development, Guardian offers yearly study trips to Reggio Emilia to immerse themselves in this approach. This allows educators to not only further their own learning but to bring the knowledge and inspiration gained back to their centres.
The Hundred Languages of Children
In the schools of Reggio Emilia, the hundred languages refers to the endless number of children’s potentials, and their ability to wonder and to inquire. The hundred languages remind us that there are multiple ways of seeing and being, and to listen to and respect these multiple views.
By listening to children through their hundred languages, we instil a sense of empowerment and self-identity as they understand that their unique ways of viewing and being in the world will be supported.