In 1991 Newsweek listed the best schools in the world and among their selections were the pre-schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy. Over the past several years, a growing number of innovative pre-schools in the United States are adopting this inspiring approach to early education. However, the Reggio Emilia approach remains a “best kept secret” here in the U.S.
Even more of a secret is that Chicago is now one of the few American cities where the Reggio approach is being adapted in high poverty areas. During the 1990s, Chicago Commons, a neighborhood service organization, began using the approach in its pre-schools in high poverty neighborhoods. It was one of the earlier organizations in the United State to do so. Since then others in Chicago have done the same including Christopher House and several public schools.
This year, Chicago Commons, Columbia College and the City of Chicago are proud to co-host a special exhibit presented by the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance (NAREA) called The Wonder of Learning – The Hundred Languages of Children. The exhibit is a window onto the activities and creativity of children in Reggio Emilia, Italy.
It is a powerful approach to education, one that fosters research and innovation among teachers, administrators, parents and, most important, the children themselves. As we work to re-invent and improve educational systems in the U.S., we would be wise to look for innovative models like the Reggio approach.
The Wonder of Learning Exhibit runs from June 15th through November 30th at the Columbia College Congress Gallery, 33 East Congress. Hours of the exhibit:
Tues, Wed, Fri: 12 noon – 5:00 p.m.
Thurs: 12 noon – 7:00 p.m.
Sat: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.