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Hundred Languages of Children: The Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education [Paperback]

C. Edwards , L. Gandini , G. Forman
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 10, 1998 156750311X 978-1567503111 2
The city-run early childhood program of Reggio Emilia, Italy, has become recognized and acclaimed as one of the best systems of education in the world. Over the past forty years, educators there have evolved a distinctive innovative approach that supports children's well-being and fosters their intellectual development through a systematic focus on symbolic representation. Young children (from birth to age six) are encouraged to explore their environment and express themselves through many "languages," or modes of expression, including words, movement, drawing, painting, sculpture, shadow play, collage, and music. Leading children to surprising levels of symbolic skill and creativity, the system is not private and elite but rather involves full-day child care open to all, including children with disabilities.

This new Second Edition reflects the growing interest and deepening reflection upon the Reggio approach, as well as increasing sophistication in adaptation to the American context. Included are many entirely new chapters and an updated list of resources, along with original chapters revised and extended. The book represents a dialogue between Italian educators who founded and developed the system and North Americans who have considered its implications for their own settings and issues. The book is a comprehensive introduction covering history and philosophy, the parent perspective, curriculum and methods of teaching, school and system organization, the use of space and physical environments, and adult professional roles including special education. The final section describes implications for American policy and professional development and adaptations in United States primary, preschool, and child care classrooms.

Editorial Reviews


""Advanced Reflections" contributes valuable new perspectives to our ongoing dialogue about the Reggio Emilia experience." -

Early Childhood Research Quarterly --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Reflects the growing interest and deepening reflection upon the Reggio approach, as well as increasing sophistication in adaptation to the American context

Product Details

  • Paperback: 520 pages
  • Publisher: Elsevier Science; 2 edition (June 10, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156750311X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567503111
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 56 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Languages Children Enjoy, but Readers May Not April 17, 2001
By A Customer
This book was assigned to me to read by a masters program professor. Before reading the book, we were prompted by stories of the Reggio Emilia Approach. It sounds phenomenal! The professor liked it so much, his own children took part in the school here in the United States.
The approach itself is an amazing idea for educators. This early childhood program encourages hands-on learning. The teachings behind the children exploring through "languages" or modes of exploration. These languages include drawing, painting, sculpture, physical play, words, and music. It is an approach far from that of traditional schooling. However, it is known for it's amazing results. It binds together the world of teaching, children, and parents exceptionally well.
While the book supports a wonderful approach to schooling, the book itself is one that does not hold the reader's attention. I found myself rereading paragraphs because I was unable to pay attention to the words. The book is a dialog between educators and philosophers from Italy and the United States. While some of the questions posed are thought provoking and interesting, the reader is left bored after pages upon pages of questions.
If you are interested in early childhood development, this book is definitely one that you should read for ideas. However, if you are looking for a light and easy read this book is not for you. This book deserves careful attention, that only the truly patient and interested can give it.
I am glad I was asked to read it because of it's enlightening approach to child development. As an educator, I will take away with me the approach's distinct style of exploration to adapt to my classroom and even think of sending my children there someday. I just wish I would have been able to pay closer attention to it and fight my urge to put the book down.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning From the Interests of Children April 19, 2001
By pickusp
The Hundred Languages of Children presents a fascinating and comprehensive overview of the remarkable schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy. It can also serves as an example of what learning can be like for children when it is focused on their interests and needs. One of the essays, an interview with founder Loris Malaguzzi, offers insight into the history, ideas and philosophy behind the approach. Discussing the environment of the RE schools, Malaguzzi states, "Our objective, which we always will pursue, is to create an amiable environment, where children, families and teachers feel at ease." This comment provides a stark contrast to the lip service many American schools pay to families and teachers. It signifies a deep abiding respect for the developmental nature of children and for childhood itself. Comparing the curriculum of the RE schools to American schools and early childhood programs also reveals fundamental differences. Two things are notable as the curriculum of the RE schools is described: the development of the curriculum project grows out of the teachers' observations of students, "The teachers took note, valuing the interest in dinosaurs as an opportunity to learn more about the children." Another important difference is the role reciprocity plays in curriculum building in RE. "... the teachers decided to begin a journey together with the children and study dinosaurs in depth." "...learn more about children" and "journey together" aren't phrases common to American education. Small phrases that reflect a world of difference. This excellent book offers inspiration to educators starved for a more creative and just approach to teaching and learning. To paraphrase an essay title from the book, what we can learn from Reggio Emilia is how to value the learning experiences of our children.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A necessary read for all educators and parents April 18, 2003
For educators and parents truly interested in school reform, this book is a must read. Educators in the United States have been captivated by the "Reggio Emilia approach" to education since the late 1980s. The extensive documentation of Reggio children's work has toured the world as The Hundred Languages of Children exhibit. This book will allow anyone to see what is truly possible in early education if we are willing to let go of our long-held beliefs about how children learn. The Reggio Emilia approach is much more than "hands-on learning." It is a community effort that involves administrators, teachers, parents, children, and government. Although not a light read, the book is a fascinating dialog among the varied members of the Reggio Emilia community and American researchers and teachers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This book is a must for anyone interested in the Reggio Emilia approach. I have had an opportunity recently to visit Reggio Emilia and study at the Loris Malaguzzi centre. This book expresses the sentiments and understandings of Loris Malaguzzi who has cultivated this highly intellectual yet natual approach to guiding and supporting children as they learn about themselves and the place where they live and are part of. The culture, history and food of this little town can not be separated from the educational approach developed here after the war. This book expresses the dialogue of those involved with Reggio children, firstly Loris Malaguzzi as well as other world renown speakers and educators such as Howard Gardner, Lella Gandini, Carolyn Edwards, George Forman, Lillian Katz, Vea Vecchi and Rebecca New.The role of the Pedagogista is explained and supported in depth. I highly recommend this book above all other resources when exploring the Reggio Emilia approach.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars If you work with kids,you need this book
Reggio Emilio preschools are recognized world wide as the best. Here are the voices of those whose vision(s) and inspirations have brought the programs to us.
Published 3 months ago by margaret butler
4.0 out of 5 stars College Requirement
Normally I never would've gotten this book but I had to and it ended up being an interesting book. It looks brand new. It was delivered quickly. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Nichole Kitler
5.0 out of 5 stars Hundred Languages...
I'm really enjoying the book. The books are great they're in great shape, reasonable cost and good reading. Thank you.
Published 10 months ago by teachece
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 Languages of Children
IF you are a professional or a person interested in early childhood, this is one of the most wonderful books available. Read more
Published on February 19, 2012 by Linda
5.0 out of 5 stars Great service
The book I ordered was received during the holidays and it still arrived before I had expected it to. The book was in better shape than described. Read more
Published on January 2, 2011 by Zahara
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book about the Reggio Emilia approach
This was a very thorough discussion and analysis of the Reggio Emilia approach. It's basically a compilation of individual perspectives - of American and Italian views and... Read more
Published on March 6, 2010 by Wendy
4.0 out of 5 stars Muddle Through for an Inspiring Result
The Hundred Languages of Children is a fascinating philosophy originating in the Italian city of Reggio Emilia about 50 years ago. Read more
Published on December 15, 2007 by David Rose
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, Knowledge Building, Thought Provoking
Powerful, Knowledge Building, Thought Provoking...these are a few words that may come to your mind as you read The Hundred Languages of Children. Read more
Published on December 14, 2007 by Tracey K. Johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars It's philosophical and complex
Thought-provoking. It's not an "easy" read but well worth the effort if you appreciate children and their thinking. Read more
Published on May 14, 2007 by Educator
1.0 out of 5 stars love the education profession
I was not impressed with the 'Reggio Emilia' approach. Some of the 'hands on' parts don't make alot of sense. Some do, but the rest I was not truly taken by. Read more
Published on January 6, 2006 by Literary Love "EM"
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