A group of 29 educators embarked on a journey to reinforce and deepen their understanding of the Reggio Emilia approach, right at the city where its name was derived.
"The study trip allowed me to gain a better understanding of the Reggio Emilia approach through immersing in the culture and history. It gives me an insight to their perspective of the approach."
- Sharifah Omar, Centre Leader,
E-Bridge Pre-School Rivervale Crescent
Nothing beats hearing directly from the practitioners in Reggio Emilia! Be it new or experienced in the approach, participants all had something to take away from the presentations.
"The concept of the 100 Languages of Reggio Emilia has left a profound impact on me. I was impressed by how Reggio educators recognise and celebrate the unique ways in which children communicate and express themselves. This reinforced my belief that every child has a valuable voice, and it is our responsibility as educators to create opportunities for them to share their ideas and perspectives."
- Qian Xiaoli, Senior Chinese Language Specialist,
PAP Community Foundation
Participants, He Hua and Sim Jianing, with the Principal of Nilde Lotti infant-toddler centre
"I was able to experience first-hand strong respect that teachers have for children, and how they place a great emphasis on children's expression."
- Chao Daijing, Lead Curriculum Specialist,
MY World Preschool
"The learning environment, the documentation and interpretations of children's learning, as well as some of the projects that they have showcased was a direct lens into their approach."
- Madihah Tahar, Senior Centre Leader,
Participants got to visit municipal infant-toddler centres, such as Nilde Lotti and Panda, and municipal preschools like Michelangelo. This was the highlight for many participants as they could connect to what was shared in the lectures and see for themselves how the learning was being supported and made visible.
Ray of Light Atelier at Loris Malaguzzi International Centre
Apart from just listening and watching, participants were given the opportunity to join an atelier, facilitated by Reggio Children atelieristas, for a first-hand experience! These are some of the ateliers offered:
"The sight of the space and set up of the atelier was enticing and exciting for me, everything in it seemed to be inviting me to lay hands and explore. During the workshop, what surprised me was the assignment of uncommon project ideas, like making an object roll up a ramp. My first impression of it was - How is it possible? But we were supported with thought-provoking questions, the easily accessible materials also helped my group to conduct various experiments in search of the endless possibilities to achieve the task. It was in this process of finding answers that I realised we have discovered beyond more that we wanted to know."
- Sim Jianing, Mandarin Teacher,
EtonHouse Zhong Hua Pre-School
The concept of Loose Parts is nothing new, but the range of materials available at Remida was definitely eye-opening. The Remida centre recovers about 20 tons of "waste materials" from local companies every year, which are then offered as resources to schools and associations.
"The Remida waste recycling station is both environmentally friendly and artistic. Although this requires a lot of resources and support from the community I hope that one day we can have our own recycling station in Singapore."
- Li Tingting, Mandarin Teacher,
EtonHouse Pre-School Mountbatten 717
Part of the success of the educational project in Reggio Emilia goes to strong commitment and cooperation from the community (e.g. teachers, parents and school staff). Through these conversations, participants were able to learn and understand how the whole community comes together for children.
"After the study trip, I learnt and understand that we can never bring and implement the whole approach back here because of cultural differences. However, what we can do is instead blend elements of it into our curriculum."
- Heng Leyi, Class Teacher,
EtonHouse Pre-School Mountbatten 223
Participants attended a pre-trip dialogue, where REACH facilitators helped them get prepared for the intensive five-day study group. Facilitators shared their past experiences and briefed the participants on what to take note of in order to get the most out of the trip. After the trip, naturally, the participants came back with lots of ideas and questions; REACH facilitators helped to unpack some of the questions and gave suggestions on how to turn their ideas into reality.