The Reggio Emilia philosophy of education is at the heart of Overfield’s program. It is a philosophy based upon collaboration between teachers, parents, and students to create a curriculum that celebrates, embraces, and encourages the whole child. After World War II, a small town in Italy, Reggio Emilia, looked to innovate education and believed early childhood was a key moment for fostering the development of the individual. Leader Loris Malaguzzi and the teachers and parents of Reggio Emilia committed themselves to a program based on respect, responsibility, and community. To nourish those values, they sought the creation of an enriching, supportive environment where joy and wonder serve as the foundations for a life-long love of learning. Rather than a mandated curriculum, students’ interests would direct learning.
This approach recognizes all children’s potential to be heavily involved in their own learning by capitalizing on their abilities to learn from experience and through an emphasis on relationships and opportunities for expression.
The Reggio Emilia philosophy inspires all that we do as a community. We believe children are strong, capable individuals, full of potential and curiosity and we strive to honor them as young learners and citizens. Our school is a place that encourages discovery, problem solving, social interaction, and collaboration between children, parents, and teachers. With intentional spaces that are inviting to groups large and small, the environment is valued for its important role in the process of learning. Classrooms reflect the presence of the children who inhabit them and the grounds are welcoming, open spaces ready for exploration.
Learning at Overfield is facilitated through project-oriented curricula. Whether short or long term, project ideas originate in the context of the lives of the children. A chance event, an idea or problem or question, or a provocation issued by a teacher can all fuel learning.
Part of being a teacher at Overfield is joining an energetic learning community. Active, meaningful study and dialogue are part of the practice of our teachers from professional development including visiting Reggio Emilia and membership in the Ohio Voices for Learning (OVL) and North American Reggio Emilia Alliance (NAREA) to monthly meetings to discuss Reggio books and articles.