Reggio Emilia Preschool
This curriculum was developed in Reggio Emilia, Italy. It combines some characteristics of both developmental programs and Montessori. The central element in this approach is the emphasis on a child's symbolic language such as drawing, dramatic play, and writing. This is considered an extension of the "whole language" approach. In a Reggio Emilia classroom the environment plays a key role, as it is often considered another "teacher." In the classroom there is a conscious use color, natural light, and space. Children are taught to value and respect their environment.
Another important factor is parental involvement. School and home are considered a partnership. The classroom is very child directed and projects tend to follow a child's interest. It is unusual to find a time limit on any one project. This philosophy believes that projects are developed over time and children should be able to go back and revisit their work. This is believed to develop forms of self-expression.