Reggio Emilia Philosophy

The Valley School takes as its influences the best practices, theories and current research in early childhood education to create developmentally appropriate curriculum, experiences and care for young children. This approach to early childhood education is based on the Reggio Emilia Philosophy incorporated within an Emergent Curriculum

At the heart of all that we do is a deep respect for young children as individuals and active learners. We believe that children are curious and active learners from birth. Therefore, the early childhood environment and facilitated experiences are designed to encourage exploration and hands-on learning. We engage your child in meaningful investigations that come after careful observation, conversation, and planning. Investigations arise directly from the interests of your child. Within the framework of investigations, your child will develop the skills needed to become a successful learner.

Young children learn best when they are provided with authentic, hands-on, interactive activities that meet developmental needs as well as incorporating interests. Knowledge is constructed from experiences, exploration, and interactions. Children, Teachers and Parents come together to function as co-learners with the classroom with the playground environment serving as the “classroom outside of the classroom”.

We understand and appreciate the uniqueness of children and encourage each child to reach his or her full potential. We respect individual differences and learning styles and provide a variety of experiences to meet diverse needs. Learning is constructed and scaffolded through daily experiences and interactions. As skills are mastered and knowledge is attained, children are able to move on to the next level at the pace that is right for them.

We partner with parents to create a strong team and we acknowledge parents as their child’s first teacher and the authority on their child. We respect and celebrate the diversity of each family and highly encourage families to share their culture within the school community.


The Reggio Emilia Approach – CNN & Time News Report


100 Languages

The Hundred Languages of Children:  The Reggio Emilia Approach Advanced Reflections, Third EditionCarloyn Edwards, Lella Gandini and George Forman, December 13, 2011.

This book is a comprehensive introduction covering history and philosophy, the parent perspective, curriculum and methods of teaching, school and system  organization, the use of space and physical environments, and adult professional roles including special education.

The Language of ArtThe Language of Art:  Reggio-Inspired Studio Practices in
Early Childhood Settings
, Pelo, 2007
This book includes practical tips for setting up Reggio-inspired studio space in any early childhood environment. This beautifully illustrated book explores using art to expand thinking across curricula and features ideas for using media such as fingerpaint, clay, found objects, and pen and ink.

NAREANorth American Reggio Emilia Alliance (NAREA)


New Jersey Educators Exploring the Practice of Reggio Emilia