More Working in the Reggio Way was a quick and easy read and allowed me to easily apply Reggio-inspired thinking to the early childhood education system we have here in the United States. The book offered easy to understand explanations and descriptions of the basic tenets of Reggio-inspired practice, as well as suggestions for addressing and reflecting on the challenges of bringing Reggio-inspired practice into American classrooms.
While Dr. Wurm addressed a whole list of cultural barriers in the book, there were a few that really stood out to me.
Children develop along a unique timeline. We must leave behind the notion that all children evolve in an orderly fashion and in the same sequence.
Adding "Reggio" objects to the environment does not make a Reggio-inspired program. Objects should be added to the environment based on the children.
Emergent curriculum is not just free play. It requires intentionality on the part of the teacher. Placing materials in the environment and leaving children to simply explore them without some type of to and fro interaction can only go so far.
Giving young children more freedom is not a bad thing. A significant tenet of the American education system is the attempt to completely or greatly control student behavior and choice.
More rules do not solve all problems, but rather rules should result from a demonstrated need or condition.
With each challenge that Wurm addresses, she offers ideas for how the American classroom teacher can apply the Reggio tenet to his or her own classroom. I have now gone back to read Wurman's first book Working in the Reggio Way: A Beginner's Guide for American Teachers to gain an even clearer understanding of the way to bring Reggio-inspiration into the classrooms I am working with.
I am excited to say that I have a copy of More Working in the Reggio Way to give away to one lucky blogger. This book has been such a great and inspiring read that I am super excited about sharing it with someone. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below with your name and email address in it. The giveaway ends Saturday, December 6th at midnight.
In in my search to learn more about incorporating Reggio-inspired practices into the American early childhood classroom I have also created a Reggio-Inspired Pinterest board. You can check it out here.