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ERIC Number: ED381264
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Mar
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Early Childhood Education and Beyond: Can We Adapt the Practices and Philosophies from the Preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy into Our Elementary Schools in America?
Firlik, Russell
The model presented by the preschools in Reggio Emilia, Italy, is one of cooperation and collaborations among teachers, parents, and children; curriculum based on the "project approach," and constructivist learning philosophy, which states that children construct their knowledge and values as a result of interactions with and action on the physical and social world. American early childhood educators and researchers have expressed notable interest in the Reggio Emilia programs; however differences in the American and European thinking attitudes within a macro society, and cultural conventions make adapting or transporting methods with European roots difficult at best. An example of differences in thinking would be the way Americans have discarded European traditions of evaluating ideas and systems of thought according to "intellectual consistency" or aesthetic appeal. Cultural differences include: individualism versus collectivism; the American emphasis on "equalitarianism"; forms of activity of doing rather than being; the separation of work and play; and the dichotomy between competition and affiliation. Several elements need to be in place in American schools before any successful transitions from preschool to elementary school can take place, including preparation of children for such transitions, involvement of parents in each step of the process, and continuity of program through developmentally diverse and age/individual appropriate curricula. Although the Reggio Emilia schools do not have administrators or head teachers, their programs support the administrator's practical role in promoting development. Administrators must promote teachers and children to be curriculum makers; invite parents to be part of the classroom; allow time for observing the project process; allow planning time for teachers; and encourage and support practitioners by giving them time to develop. Contains nine references. (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A