"Oh yes, Reggio Emilia....I've heard of that......Now what exactly is Reggio Emilia?" Yes, this is a common reaction. Well, in all fairness mentioning "Waldorf" can prompt some funny looks as well, but on a much smaller scale, and it's a topic for another time.The gist of Reggio Emilia is the following: Focus is on the child, not only as a learner but also as a guide. The teacher not only facilitates but is a learner as well. When the teacher observes how a child acquires information, ergo knowledge, the teacher can better understand how that particular child learns and can structure a true individualized curriculum and environment. How is this brought about? With a lot of work and a surprising amount of structure! The portfolio method of evaluation is absolutely essential, and the teacher needs to have a tight enough grip on his ego to allow the child to guide himself. A hands-off approach is not as easy to develop as one might think. After the approach is underway, though, there becomes a natural flow to the activities of the day that, while focused, are completely fluid.
Brainstorming by the individual child (or by the class) initiates a topic. The curriculum then is developed by focusing on a particular topic and evolves into a multi-dimensional project. Therefore Reggio Emilia in this country is often referred to as "Project Approach". A project concept is thoroughly researched over days, weeks and often over months. It all depends on the level of interest and the amount of detail invested. In this approach there is little emphasis on information memorization, but rather in the art of learning from new situations that present themselves and from schema (a multi-faceted perceptual model) rather than the isolated presentation of facts.
A Reggio class will display art that results from their careful investigation of the topic of interest. Learning is made evident by the art displayed. In essence, the environment becomes another means of evaluation and is in reality a diagnostic tool. These are, of course, just a few of the characteristics of Reggio style, and as I'm sure you see, can easily be incorporated into any teaching model to enhance an already existing program.
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South Korea ferry captain rushed back to bridge as ship listed-crewman
18 Apr 2014 | 4:24 am
By Jungmin Jang and Ju-min Park MOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - The captain of a South Korean ferry that capsized two days ago rushed back to the bridge after it started listing severely and tried in vain to right the vessel, one of the helmsmen on the ship said on Friday. A junior officer was steering the Sewol ferry when it capsized on Wednesday, leaving 28 people officially declared dead and 268 missing, almost all of them high school students.
Strike calls expected at teacher conferences
18 Apr 2014 | 1:08 am
Representatives from the country's two biggest teachers' unions are gathering in Brighton and Birmingham for this weekend's annual conferences, which are expected to hear calls for action over pay and pensions. The National Union of Teachers (NUT) will meet in Brighton while members of NASUWT will gather in Birmingham. Following last month's NUT action which closed schools in England and Wales, there are expected to be more calls for strikes. NUT general secretary Christine Blower warned that "teacher morale is at a dangerously low ebb" while NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said the government had waged a "relentless assault on public education and the teaching profession".
Sallie Mae faces probe for massively ripping off soldiers on federal student loans
17 Apr 2014 | 11:18 pm
Sallie Mae is in danger of losing lucrative loan servicing contracts with the U.S. Department of Education and some of its high-level employees may face criminal penalties pending the outcome of a probe involving evidence that the student-loan behemoth has cheated active-duty soldiers who have taken out federal student loans. The investigation into how Sallie Mae treats soldiers was initially revealed by the company in August, according to The Huffington Post. However, the inquiry was initially focused on private loans, not the federal student loans that are guaranteed and subsidized by American taxpayers. On Wednesday, a Sallie Mae news release about quarterly earnings addressed the probe.
Neighbors rushed in vain to help in California bus crash that killed 10
17 Apr 2014 | 9:58 pm
By Sharon Bernstein ORLAND, California (Reuters) - Newly released recordings of 911 emergency calls revealed the helplessness of stunned residents in the California town of Orland who witnessed the aftermath of last week's fiery crash between a FedEx truck and a tour bus that killed 10 people. The California Highway Patrol made the recordings public on Thursday as investigators returned to the scene of the accident, painstakingly driving a pristine white tour bus back and forth over the charred and bubbled surface of Interstate 5 in an effort to reconstruct the April 10 collision. I'm running over to see what it is." Five high school students and five adults, including the two drivers, died when the FedEx tractor trailer swerved across the highway median and slammed head-on into a motor coach filled with about 50 Los Angeles-area teenagers on their way to visit Humboldt State University in Arcata, California. A blast unleashed by the impact was so loud that it was heard throughout nearby Orland, an agricultural community about 90 miles north of Sacramento.
911 calls capture chaos after truck-on-bus crash
17 Apr 2014 | 9:34 pm
ORLAND, Calif. (AP) — With shrieks in the background, a shocked passenger struggled to recount to an emergency dispatcher how a FedEx tractor-trailer smashed into a tour bus carrying high school students. In other 911 calls released Thursday, other witnesses described explosions after the fiery wreck that left 10 people dead.
Michelle Obama: High school diploma is not enough
17 Apr 2014 | 3:53 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — It may be a few years before the first daughters head to college, but Michelle Obama is already brainstorming a dorm room checklist while encouraging high school students to dream big about their education beyond graduation.
Investigators reconstruct bus crash in California
17 Apr 2014 | 3:42 pm
ORLAND, Calif. (AP) — Accident investigators with the California Highway Patrol are reconstructing how fast a bus carrying high school students was going before its fiery collision with a FedEx truck that left 10 people dead.
Study: Obama's College Rating Plan May Not Reach Low-Income Students
17 Apr 2014 | 8:30 am
A new study from a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association concludes that it's misplaced for the federal college ratings plan, announced last year by President Barack Obama, to try to enhance consumer access and institutional accountability through one tool. Calling the strategy "well-intentioned but poorly devised," the study's authors, Lorelle L. Espinosa, Jennifer R. Crandall, and Malika Tukibayeva, all from the American Council on Education, presented their findings in an issue brief from the council's Center for Policy, Research and Strategy called " Rankings, Institutional Behavior, and College and University Choice: Framing the National Dialogue on Obama's Ratings Plan." The purpose of the paper, according to a release from the organization, was to provide analysis that could be part of the ongoing discussions and debate about the administration's proposed college ratings. -- That college rankings like the U.S. News Best Colleges have become influential in university decision-making.
Saudi conservatives protest against Westernization
17 Apr 2014 | 5:33 am
Saudi Arabian conservatives have staged a rare protest outside the Royal Court in Riyadh against "Westernizing" reforms including moves to allow physical education for schoolgirls, local media reported on Thursday. Photographs in the Saudi edition of pan-Arab daily al-Hayat showed dozens of men in traditional garb walking towards the court, the seat of government, and sitting on the grass outside as they demonstrated against social change. Last week the consultative Shoura Council decided to urge the government to look into allowing sports classes for girls in state schools, something that many conservatives have long opposed. Most private schools for girls already offer physical education.
Heartbreaking texts from students on sinking S. Korea ferry
17 Apr 2014 | 2:40 am
Heart-wrenching messages of fear, love and despair, sent by high school students from a sinking South Korean ferry, added extra emotional weight Thursday to a tragedy that has stunned the nation. Nearly 300 people -- most of them students on a high school trip to a holiday island -- are still missing after the ferry capsized and sank on Wednesday morning. Mom, I love you," student Shin Young-Jin said in a text to his mother that was widely circulated in the South Korean media. Another student, 16-year-old Kim Woong-Ki, sent a desperate text for help to his elder brother as the ship listed violently over to one side.
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