"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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Why Nelson Mandela Was So Beloved
5 Dec 2013 | 4:48 pm
Nelson Mandela will be remembered as a beloved leader, a moral authority and an extraordinary human being. Imprisoned for 27 years for opposing the racist institution of apartheid, Mandela later became the first black president of South Africa, where he brought about a peaceful transition from the white-dominated government to a multiracial democracy. "He stood for something very simple, which was for equality and fairness," said David James Smith, author of the biography "Young Mandela: The Revolutionary Years" (Little, Brown and Company, 2010). Mandela became a symbol of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, Smith told LiveScience.
Remembering Nelson Mandela: A tribute in photos and prose
5 Dec 2013 | 10:58 am
Nelson Mandela, the one-time revolutionary who ushered South Africa out of Apartheid, died on Thursday at the age of 95. The beloved leader and freedom fighter will doubtless inspire pages of eulogies even with just part of his resume — South Africa's first democratically elected president, Nobel Peace Prize winner, philanthropist. And it was this thoughtful and mature Mandela who would lead South Africa into democracy, after the abolition of Apartheid in the early 1990s. At the end of his term in 1999, instead of launching a political personality cult from his popular presidency, Mandela opted to step down, thereby signaling that South Africa should be a government of the people rather than of a single leader.
Montana teachers take pension argument to court
5 Dec 2013 | 9:16 am
A judge told teachers in Montana Wednesday that he hopes to make a decision before the start of the year on their request to maintain pension inflationary increases until their challenge to pending cuts ...
Teachers union chief offers four steps to boost US results on PISA test
4 Dec 2013 | 4:49 pm
The United States placed well out of the lead in an international test of 15-year-old students in science, math, and reading whose results were released this week. At a Monitor-hosted breakfast for reporters on Wednesday, Randi Weingarten, president of the 1.5-million-member American Federation of Teachers, offered four steps for improving the nation’s performance on future versions of the Program for International Assessment (PISA) test. Results from of the 2012 PISA test given to 510,000 students in 65 countries showed that 29 countries or education systems had higher math scores than the US, while in science American 15-year-olds were outranked by their counterparts in 22 countries, and in reading by teens in 19 nations. Ms. Weingarten, who previously taught history at Clara Barton High School in Brooklyn, N.Y., began her list by noting that “the countries that out-compete us actually really value, deeply respect, and value public education.” She argued that the PISA results offer “a big caution flag” for policies where public schools have to compete with other choices.
Suspect in custody after Fla. school shooting
4 Dec 2013 | 4:39 pm
WINTER GARDEN, Fla. (AP) — Two Orlando-area high school students got into fight Wednesday at the bus pickup area and one of them opened fire, wounding the other, police said.
Student debt report: More graduates have it ... and have more of it
4 Dec 2013 | 1:23 pm
Among the class of 2012, 71 percent graduated with debt – and of those, the average burden carried forward was $29,400, estimates the Project on Student Debt at The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS), a nonprofit group with offices in Washington, D.C., and Oakland, Calif. That’s up from 68 percent indebted in 2008, with the average debt rising about 6 percent a year. President Obama has proposed a college rating system to highlight affordability and value, and discussions are under way in Congress and among higher education institutions about how to rein in costs and the growing reliance on student loans. “Despite discouraging headlines, a college degree remains the best route to finding a job in this tight market. But students and families need to know that debt levels can vary widely from college to college,” TICAS president Lauren Asher said in a statement Wednesday. One sign of the continued value of college: The unemployment rate for those with only a high school degree in 2012 was more than double the unemployment of those with a college degree (17.9 percent versus 7.7 percent).
Pa. House debates economic furloughs at schools
3 Dec 2013 | 2:16 pm
Pennsylvania public schools would have wider latitude to furlough employees during tough economic times and would not have to start with the least senior workers under proposals that were debated Tuesday ...
Obama targets young voters with Dec. 11 college summit
3 Dec 2013 | 9:00 am
President Barack Obama is summoning college presidents and business leaders to a daylong Dec. 11 summit at the White House to discuss specific ways to make higher education more accessible to low-income students, Yahoo News has learned.
Health insurance for Alabama educators has big gap
3 Dec 2013 | 8:42 am
Alabama's health insurance program for education employees is looking at a $220 million shortfall in funding for the next fiscal year, which may have to be made up by requiring many participants to pay ...
Police subdue Ohio student armed with pellet gun
2 Dec 2013 | 11:50 am
A Toledo, Ohio student, armed with a pellet gun and holed up by himself at a high school was taken into custody on Monday after police used a non-lethal "bean bag" projectile to end a standoff, authorities said. The 14-year-old Scott High School student displayed a pellet gun, but did not threaten anyone with it, Toledo Police Lieutenant Mark King said. "It was a pellet gun, but it looked real," King said in a telephone interview. Toledo Public Schools spokeswoman Patty Mazur said no shots were fired by the student and no injuries were reported in the incident that began at about 8:45 a.m. ET (1345 GMT).
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