Reggio Emilia Approach
The Weaver Child Development Center is dedicated to enriching the lives of children in our classrooms and to providing a foundation of positive values centered in a Christian faith. Inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education, our curriculum primarily emerges from the interests of and questions posed by the children. The environment is child-friendly. Teachers are considered partners in learning; providing thought-provoking and open-ended questions in order to help children learn how to learn. Interests are further fostered through projects and activities that allow for exploration using a multitude of materials and media.
“Reggio Emilia is a city in Italy which is known for its unique approach to educating children. The basic idea in this philosophy is that children are smart, creative individuals who can build theories, test them out, and learn from them alongside their teachers and peers in a safe and comfortable environment. We believe that children learn more efficiently and effectively when they are co-creators of their own knowledge in a hands-on, sensory-rich environment where they are allowed to find their interests, develop ideas, create hypotheses, and experiment to see if they were right. In essence, we believe that children learn best from experiences, not worksheets,” says Susie Clark-Maioriello (Director/Principal of the Weaver CDC). “For example, while learning about Mount Rushmore, our Kindergarten students worked together to build this National Memorial out of paper mache. This type of project-based learning allows for creative thinking and for children to take ownership of their learning.”
The Reggio philosophy seems avant-garde or cutting-edge to those who are accustomed to a traditional educational model. After all, when you walk into a Reggio-inspired classroom, you won’t see desks lined up in rows facing forward. You’ll see students engaged in various projects, games, and experiments. “It’s innovative to some, I suppose. But to us, it’s just common sense,” says Clark-Maioriello. “This environment allows kids to learn at their own pace…and oftentimes, that pace is faster than anyone expected. It is perfect for kids who like to try things, move around, and get involved rather than to just sit and listen to someone else talk.”
The Weaver Child Development Center is the only Reggio-inspired, Christian Preschool & Primary school in the area, and one of only a handful in the state of Ohio.