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If our education system is to evolve, our educators must too. Here’s why.

If our education system is to evolve, our educators must too. Here’s why.

The Reggio Emilia approach is an early childhood education approach that views young children as individuals who are curious about their world and have the powerful potential to learn from their surroundings. In this approach, the teacher, referred to as an educator or co-learner, exposes the child to methods that encourage self-expression, communication, logical thinking, and problem-solving.

A quaint aspect of this approach is the conversion of a teacher to a learner. The primary role of a teacher in this ideology is not to draft prepared lessons for a packed class, but to observe students and create projects best suited for them. In this way, they are learners in their own right, taking on this journey of education as a guide.

As part of the learning module, the educators encourage students to explore their natural inquisitivity, to come back to the question of why, again and again; ; to answer thea question and then, question the answer. In this process, the educator too, repeatedly applies this process to their work. Instead of the same lesson, given week after week and year after year to a different set of students, the teacher learns to utilise their sense of curiosity, inquisitivity and observation to draft lessons for a student. The freedom that comes when the shackles of status quo fall apart gives way to the true teacher within an educator.

Through collaborative efforts with parents and experiences with children within their group whom the educator recognises as a distinct individual, with their own interests and challenges helps the teacher evaluate their class as a whole. Traditional teaching methods, however, ignore the variance within students in a group, which serves as a barrier in the teacher’s own evolution, bringing in a sense of monotony to the teaching method.

Within the Reggio Emilia approach the teacher is a resource to guide students by, and the liberation and freedom of this approach ensures that this resource is continuously expanding, in both their personal and professional capacities. The student, as they say, becomes the teacher.