Next Steps Toward Teaching the Reggio Way: Accepting the Challenge to Change

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9780130496577: Next Steps Toward Teaching the Reggio Way: Accepting the Challenge to Change

More than a presentation of the Reggio Emilia philosophy, yet not a "how to do it" volume, this book is a progress report of the steps American and Canadian teachers have taken in the last six years toward teaching the Reggio Emilia way. Comprising chapters by the leading advocates of the Reggio Emilia approach, it examines how real teachers in real classrooms are applying the principles of Reggio Emilia on an everyday basis. By combining discussion of Reggio Emilia concepts with examples of their application in American schools, it explores this emergent curriculum and helps future teachers see how to advocate for it in their own school or program. Discusses the Reggio system's support for the rights of the very young; Multicultural coverage guides readers to an understanding of the delicate balance between school and community—gives them practical strategies for building strong community bonds; Two chapters on working with parents examine the role of parents in children's educational development and the interplay between them and their children's teachers. Illustrates through examples the Reggio Emilia approach as it happens in American schools—highlights similarities and differences between the Italian curriculum and the American, as well as between American and Italian attitudes on education, children, parents, community, and other topics. For teachers or future teachers interested in learning more about the Reggio Emilia philosophy.

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Next Steps Toward Teaching the Reggio Way is, in part, a progress report documenting new steps toward teaching the Reggio way that American and Canadian teachers have taken in the 6 years since First Steps Toward Teaching the Reggio Way was published.

For the first time, it is possible to include chapters on relationships that range from recognizing the rights of infants and toddlers while using the Reggio Approach to creating respectful adult relationships in a multicultural community and enfolding parents into the learning environment. There are several down-to-earth chapters demonstrating how teachers actually construct curriculum as a joint enterprise between them and the children, and also chapters on documenting the results of that curriculum as well as suggestions for creating appropriate settings for learning. There are even chapters describing an experimental attempt to apply the Reggio principles in a number of elementary schools, and one on detailing ways to advocate for the philosophy.

All this new material is supported by a solid explanation of the Reggio Emilia philosophy by Lella Gandini, a leading authority on that subject, and stimulated by a series of challenging questions proposed by the inimitable Lilian Katz. Finally, there is a chapter particularly dear to my heart that recounts a first time visit to Reggio by a group of students majoring in early childhood education.

A note of caution: Next Steps Toward Teaching the Reggio Way is a practical book filled with inspiring, yet practical descriptions of ways various teachers have incorporated different aspects of the Reggio Emilia Approach into their early childhood classrooms. But it is NOT a handbook intended to meet the demands of the person in an audience who recently said to me, "Don't tell me all that stuff about philosophy—just get to the bottom line—tell me how to do Reggio and I'll do it!"

The truth is there is no way "to do Reggio." Nor is there any author in this book who would maintain that their way is the way, or the ideal way, or perhaps the only way "to do Reggio. " Instead, the following chapters recount individual stories not about "how-to-do-it;" but more about "how-we-do-it:' It is up to the readers to garner for themselves whatever thoughts and ideas resonate within their own hearts and then begin the long and exciting adventure of incorporating these ideas into their own milieus.

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