What is Regio Emila?

I am sure that many of you are wondering what is Regio Emila? When I first walked into my practicum classroom last year I was thinking the same thing. I felt calm immediately as I walked in the door of the room. The lights were half off, there was calm music in the background and the placement of everything in the room clearly had a purpose. I knew immediately that I wanted my room to be exactly like this. When my sponsor teacher told me she followed a Regio Emila inspired classroom I just stared at her.  She told me to go home and do some research and let her know how I felt about it.  The next day I showed up and was over the moon! All of a sudden everything in her classroom made so much sense. Every beautiful little detail had a purpose.

Regio Emila approach is named for a school in a village in Italy that was formed just after WW2. Residents of Regio Emila saw all the destruction of the war and wanted to bring a new sense of joy and happiness to the children would not have to live through the same horrors they saw. Regio Emila as a pedagogy is student-centred and constructivist. It uses self-directed, experiential learning in relationship driven environments. The program is based on respect, responsibility, and community through exploration and discovery using a self-guided curriculum. One of the main beliefs of Regio Emilia is that students have  “a hundred languages” in which they can show their learning and what they want to know. Some of these languages are drawing, painting, sculpting, drama, building etc. These languages are used to help teachers and students to better understand each other.

Another important aspect of Regio Emila is the role of the three teachers. The first of which are adults, the second is the other children, the last being the classroom itself. The classroom would incorporate natural light and indoor plants as a way of bringing the outside world. The classroom incorporates aspects that increase the aesthetics of the classroom that increase the chances of students being drawn into the learning that will be happening.

Throughout the rest of my inquiry, I will be looking at how this looks in an actual classroom as well as if I am able to bring it to higher grades.

6 Replies to “What is Regio Emila?”

  1. Hi Brae! I love that you chose this topic, it is something that I am very interested in learning more about, I love how you worded this blog post, it was very personalized and gave us a connection to your last practicum! Is there a specific website you used to gather this information or was it all just from your personal experience? Thanks for posting! I look forward to learning more!

  2. This topic is going to be so interesting! I’ve heard a little bit about this before and all the teachers who were talking about it seemed super into it! I think that experiential learning is so important for and is also so much more enjoyable and engaging for the learners. I don’t think I’ve seen any classrooms set up with this, I would love to see how it actually looks in a typical classroom. I wonder if having a classroom like this would be expensive to implement?

  3. I think this post is very well written and an awesome topic! One of the Kindergarten teachers at my last practicum school followed this approach but I wasn’t really sure what it was either so I am looking forward to learning more from you! I love how you said you are going to look into higher grades and how it looks in a classroom! Do you think this approach will be just as effective in higher grades? Thanks for sharing!

  4. Brae!!

    I’m so excited to learn about this topic with you. I had absolutely no idea what it was until I read your post, but I think it is so interesting and absolutely true! I completely agree that the environment you are in can affect your mood, and your ability to learn. It is so awesome that you got to see this first hand in a classroom setting, but I am so excited to hear about everything that you learn! Thanks for sharing. Do you think that this would work in an intermediate setting, or does is it mainly to help primary students with self-regulation?

  5. Thank you for doing this research! Your sponsor teacher’s classroom is gorgeous, and I could clearly see the effects Regio Emilia had on that particular group of students. I am looking forward to learning how this might be applied to intermediate levels. I can already see some clear connections that could be very useful in my 6/7 class. This topic also connects to my ‘multi-modal’ learning inquiry, as well as to our place-based learning. Using Regio Emilia as a method of connecting the strategies to physical and multi-modal learning for young students is a great idea, and one that I am looking forward to trying out myself. How do you think a teacher could implement Regio Emilia without a lot of school and financial support?

  6. Love this!! I had never heard of Regio Emilia before coming across your post – but it makes so much sense! Having a purpose for everything in the room seems like it would be very beneficial to student’s learning, as they would not be distracted by too many things on the walls or unnecessary decorations around the room. I wonder if this goes hand-in hand with practicing mindfulness? Incorporating soft music and dim lighting would definitely create a positive, calm learning environment. Can’t wait to learn more, thanks for sharing!

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