Thursday, January 10, 2013

Working in the Reggio Way: A Book Review

About The Book:

Are you curious about the Reggio Emilia approach but not quite sure where to begin?Working in the Reggio Way helps early childhood teachers bring the reflective, high-quality practices of Reggio Emilia to American programs. Based on an American teacher's experience observing and working in the schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, this book informs you about the practical, day-to-day elements of Reggio-inspired ways. 

You will learn about the: 

• Physical environment and space in which children learn
• Organization of both the children's and teacher's time
• Reggio approach to curriculum through progettazione, or projects
• Observation, documentation, and questioning that give life to the curriculum 
• Participation of family and community in the learning process 

Working in the Reggio Way asks you to reexamine your view of the child, and to align your program with your values, the hallmark of Reggio practice. It also includes interactive activities for individual or group reflection to help transform your work with Reggio tools. Softbound, 224 pgs.

Read the table of contents or a sample chapter of this book! 

About The Author:

Julianne Wurm is the author of a best-selling book entitled, Working in the Reggio Way: A Beginner's Guide for American Teachers, based on three years of living in Italy and original research she conducted in the famous schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy. She is currently at work on her next 2 books, exploring a more complex set of questions involved in working in Reggio-inspired ways and focusing attention on the 0-3 component of the Reggio approach, the Nido. As well, Ms. Wurm is documenting her own work with a number of schools as their process unfolds and the teachers and families engage in teaching and learning using Reggio-inspired ways. Ms. Wurm’s career started as a member of Teach for America teaching in inner-city Houston, East Los Angeles and the Bronx, New York. She taught for 10 years, served as a teacher coach as well as a school administrator in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ms. Wurm holds a bachelors degree in Political Science from California State University, Chico and both a Masters of Arts and a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Teaching from Columbia University, Teachers College. Ms. Wurm is currently attending the Teachers College at Columbia University working on her EdD in Early Childhood Education. 

My Review:

Over the years I have spent in the field of Early Childhood Education, I have been exposed to several different philosophies of child care. One such philosophy is Reggio Emilia. Wikipedia describes the philosophy like this:

The Reggio Emilia Approach is an educational philosophy focused on preschool and primary education. It was started by Loris Malaguzzi, who was a teacher himself, and the parents of the villages around Reggio Emilia in Italy after World War II. The destruction from the war, parents believed, necessitated a new, quick approach to teaching their children. They felt that it is in the early years of development that children form who they are as individuals. This led to creation of a program based on the principles of respect, responsibility, and community through exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment based on the interests of the children through a self-guided curriculum.

Working in the Reggio Way is not a definitive textbook on the philosophy, nor is it the authors journey. Actually its a little of both. There is not a lot of theory though. It's written in such a way that the reader will reflect a lot on their own journey in the field of early childhood education and why they do what they do and how. Is it for us or for the children we teach? A great question that I find myself asking frequently, as I teach through my home. 

The book is wonderfully written, encouraging and inspiring. It needs to be read by all those that work in the field of early childhood education and its a great way to learn about the basics of the philosophy of education found in the method of Reggio Emilia.

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase Working in the Reggio Way online through Red Leaf Press

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Red Leaf Press, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

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