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An Alternative Models of Early Childhood Education

Models of Early Childhood Education

There are various alternative models of early childhood education that depart from traditional approaches. One such model is the Reggio Emilia approach, which originated in the town of Reggio Emilia in Italy.

Here are some key features of this alternative model:

  • Child-Centered Learning: The Reggio Emilia approach places a strong emphasis on the child as an active participant in their own learning. Teachers act as facilitators, guiding children’s exploration and discovery rather than dictating what and how they should learn.
  • Project-Based Learning: Learning in this model often takes the form of projects. Children engage in in-depth studies of topics that interest them. And these projects can last for weeks or even months. Projects are seen as a way for children to delve deeply into subjects. Fostering a sense of curiosity and exploration.
  • Collaboration and Communication: The Reggio Emilia approach emphasizes the importance of collaboration among children, teachers, and parents. Communication is seen as a crucial tool for learning. Children are encouraged to express their thoughts. Ideas through various forms, including art, language, and play.
  • Environment as the “Third Teacher”: The learning environment is considered a crucial element in the Reggio Emilia approach. Classrooms are carefully designed to be aesthetically pleasing and to provoke curiosity. The idea is that the environment serves as a “third teacher,” alongside adults and peers.

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  • Documentation of Learning: Teachers in the Reggio Emilia approach document children’s learning through photographs, transcripts, and other forms of record-keeping. This documentation serves multiple purposes, including helping teachers understand the children’s progress, involving parents in the learning process, and reflecting on teaching practices.
  • Cultural and Community Involvement: The approach emphasizes the integration of the local community and culture into the curriculum. Children are encouraged to explore and appreciate their local community. And there is a focus on respecting and valuing diverse perspectives.
  • Holistic Development: Rather than focusing solely on academic skills. The Reggio Emilia approach recognizes the importance of fostering social, emotional, and physical development. The goal is to nurture well-rounded individuals who are equipped with a range of skills and abilities.


It’s important to note that there are various alternative models of early childhood education. Each with its own unique principles and practices. Educators often choose or combine elements from different models to create an approach that aligns with their philosophy and the needs of the children they serve.

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