SARASOTA, Fla. – The Temple Beth Sholom Schools’ (www.TBSschools.org) teachers recently kicked off the back-to-school season with weeklong training, including two days of education by a N.Y. specialist on the Reggio Emilia Approach, an innovative and inspiring child-led method to early childhood education.
Doris Benter, the department head for visual arts at the Portledge School in Locust, N.Y., taught all 12 preschool teachers and specialists how to apply this approach to their 15-month through 5-year-old students over the course of two days.
The educational philosophy, which values the child as strong, capable and resilient – rich with wonder and knowledge, was developed by Loris Malaguzzi, who was a teacher, and the parents around Reggio Emilia, Italy after World War II. According to Malaguzzi, “The child has a hundred languages.”
The Reggio Emilia Approach emphasizes hands-on learning that allows the children to use all their senses and languages to learn. It aims to teach through exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment based on the interests and innate, deep curiosity of the children through a self-guided curriculum.
“This innovative way of teaching gives children the power and independence to think for themselves,” said Vickie Inglese, the preschool director. “It presents academics in a fun, creative and inquisitive learning environment.”
With this method, the teacher is considered a co-learner and collaborator with the child and not just an instructor. Teachers are encouraged to facilitate the child’s learning by planning activities and lessons based on the child’s interests.
“Reggio Emilia is a children-driven and teacher-framed approach that seamlessly connects with project-based learning,” said Benter. “A teacher acts as a researcher – observing the children, listening to their questions and stories, finding out their interests and then providing opportunities to explore them further.”
TBS Schools is incorporating the Reggio Emilia Approach beginning this August.
About TBS Schools
Temple Beth Sholom (TBS), a Sarasota preschool to eighth grade private school, is open to all faiths and established its preschool program in 1974. TBS Schools has been in its current building located at 1050 S. Tuttle Avenue in Sarasota, Fla. since January 1988. The Justin Lee Wiesner preschool program consists of classes for baby play and children up to 4 years of age. The Goldie Feldman Academy (GFA) was founded in 1992 as an expansion of the Justin Lee Wiesner Preschool. It has continued to grow and flourish under the careful guidance of the administration, dedicated teachers, volunteer leadership, staff and the demand for excellence from its parents. At GFA, TBS Schools nurtures the whole child as one who is capable of an infinite amount of possibilities. The caring and qualified staff is committed to helping each student reach his/her full potential. The Goldie Feldman Academy at Temple Beth Sholom is the only private Jewish school in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. The Justin Lee Wiesner Preschool and Goldie Feldman Academy are accredited by Florida Kindergarten Council. Goldie Feldman Academy is also accredited by the Florida Council of Independent Schools. For more information, please visit www.tbsschools.org.