Reggio Workshop Inspires Villa Teaching Staff

Reggio Workshop Inspires Villa Teaching Staff
Posted on 05/11/2018
Teachers listen to presentation

The teachers and staff of Sacred Heart Villa were treated to a special presentation on the Reggio inspired teaching philosophy at a workshop in the staff room on the evening of May 9.  Presenters, Uchenna Ogu and Kathryn Bruntrager, both teachers at the College School in Webster Groves, showed video and slides of their students working on projects that demonstrate the Reggio philosophy.  This method began in the Reggio Emilia region of Italy, and has spread world-wide.  It is inquiry-based learning led by a trained teacher who introduces a class project that is of particular interest to the students.  The work on the project involves using science, math, art, writing and other skills.  The students are encouraged to collaborate with each other, ask questions, and make observations as they complete the project. 

 The learning environment is also an important component in the Reggio style.  The Villa’s certified outdoor classroom is a perfect example of the use of nature to inspire, teach and encourage children to use their imagination to dream and explore.

 Reggio is recognized as a way to promote 21st century skills of critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity among young students.

 At the workshop, the presenters brought a variety of materials from paper and paint to beads and wire for the teachers and staff to “become students” themsleves, as they created, played, and shared ideas with one another, following the Reggio philosophy. 
Presenters of workshop

 Both speakers are extensively trained in the Reggio philosophy.  Uchenna (photo, right) has worked with leading educators of this style in Reggio Emilia, Italy.  She has been teaching for over 20 years, and has been honored with an Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award, and the Independent Schools of Saint Louis Teacher of Distinction Award.

 Kathryn has been teaching in a Reggio inspired classroom for 7 years.  She has presented at conferences, including the Association for Experiential Education International Conference, and has attended the Reggio Emilia Alliance Conference in South Carolina and the International Study Group in Reggio Emilia, Italy.

 More information will be coming as Sacred Heart Villa continues to implement the Reggio philosophy throughout the school.