Our Reggio Emilia Based Philosophy

“Each time one prematurely teaches a child something he could have discovered for himself, that child is kept from inventing it and, consequently, from understanding it completely. – Jean Piaget

Our Philosophy
International interest in Italy’s Reggio Emilia schools exploded when Newsweek
magazine dubbed them “the best preschools in the world” in 1991. The beautiful philosophy has many educational concepts we value deeply at THE HILLS SCHOOL AND ATELIER and it inspires our important work with children.

We have:
• Faith in parents: To be informed and cooperative members of the team
• Faith in children: To be interested in what is worth knowing
• Faith in teachers: To solicit multiple points of view, respecting children where they are on their learning journey

We believe:
• Children are born with rights
• Children are competent
• Children use many “languages” to communicate their experience
• Children are not empty vessels to fill with facts, figures and dates but come to school with ideas, preferences and hypotheses to explore
• In the child as protagonist, collaborator, and communicator
• Children learn best through loving, authentic relationships
• Child development and current brain research best informs our practice
• In Arizona’s Early Learning Standards and being ready for all styles of Kindergartens but with a spirit of joyfulness that promotes curiosity, problem-solving and openmindedness for a lifetime of learning

We support:
• Emergent curricula that comes from children’s ideas, thoughts and observations
• Documentation as communication (pictures, quotes, journals, projects, portfolios)
• The teacher as researcher, partner, nurturer and guide
• The environment as a “third teacher”, aesthetically -pleasing and connected to nature
• Play and playfulness

We aim:
• For peaceful, unhurried childhoods and parenthoods
• To be connected with the natural world
• For “Nothing Without Joy!” (Loris Malaguzzi)

Click on our “What Is Reggio Emilia?” page for some great videos and articles about the Reggio Emilia approach to education.