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.