What we believe about children, learning and knowledge dictates how we teach. What we say we believe and what we believe may not be the same. Choices about how to teaching and what to teach, are constantly being made. These choices are based on our values and the image we hold of children, learning and knowledge.
Learning is the key factor on which a new way of teaching should be based, becoming a complementary resource to the child and offering multiple options, suggestive ideas and sources of support.
Learning and teaching should not stand on opposite banks and just watch the river flow by; instead, they should embark together on a journey down the water. Through an active, reciprocal exchange, teaching can strengthen learning and how to learn.
Malaguzzi, L. 1998, ‘History, ideas and philosophy’, in Edwards, C. Gandini, L. and Forman, G. 1998, The Hundred Languages of Children: The Reggio Emilia Approach, Ablex Publishing, Greenwich p83
Learning is not the transmission of a defined body of knowledge, what Malaguzzi refers to as a ‘small’ pedagogy. It is constructive, the subject constructing her or his own knowledge – but always in democratic relationships with others and being open to different ways of seeing, since individual knowledge is always partial and provisional. From this perspective, learning is a process of constructing, testing and reconstructing theories, constantly creating new knowledge. Teachers as well as children are constantly learning. Learning itself is a subject for constant research, and as such must be made visible.
Rinaldi, C. and Moss, P. What is Reggio? In Children in Europe: Celebrating 40 years of Reggio Emilia-the pedagogical thought and practice underlying the world renowned early services in Italy. March 2004. Scotland. Children in Scotland p 2