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RIC hosts Rhode Island’s first Reggio Emilia Institute

Lella Gandini delivers a keynote address at the Reggio Emilia Institute at RIC on Oct. 29

Lella Gandini delivers a keynote address at the Reggio Emilia Institute at RIC on Oct. 29
The Reggio Emilia Institute at Rhode Island College – “Learning, Connections, and Threads of Research” – was held on campus Oct. 29-31. It was the first Reggio Emilia Institute held in Rhode Island.

The event was sponsored by the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development and the Early Childhood Education Program.

The North American Reggio Emilia Alliance (NAREA) has as its tagline: “Envisioning a world where all children are honored and respected for their potential, capabilities, and humanity.”

The institute explored the fundamental principles of the Reggio Emilia Approach – observation, documentation, the role of the teacher, literacy, professional development, the arts, learning and values.

Karen Haigh of Columbia College, Chicago, speaks to attendees
of the Reggio Emilia Institute on Oct. 29
Lella Gandini, U.S. liaison for the dissemination of the Reggio Emilia Approach, Karen M. Haigh, assistant professor of early childhood education at Columbia College, Chicago, and Kristin Brizzolara, a consulting educator and artist, were featured speakers at the institute.

They provided several keynote addresses, among them, “The Fundamental Values of the Reggio Emilia Approach,” “The Interpretation of the Fundamental Principles of Reggio Emilia within Chicago Area Programs” and “Listening, Observation, Documentation and Interpretation: Constructing Meaningful and Respectful Learning Experiences.”

In addition, discussions and breakout sessions were held throughout the institute.

The Reggio Emilia Institute at Rhode Island College was a great success,” said Mary Ellen McGuire-Schwartz, a RIC associate professor who helped organize the event. “The institute provided professional development and learning opportunities in the Reggio Emilia Approach in early childhood education for students, faculty, and early childhood educators. Participants came mainly from Rhode Island, but were also from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New York, New Jersey, and as far away as Washington state. The Institute was attended by over 100 participants.”