The Hundred Languages of Children

The child
is made of one hundred.
The child has
A hundred languages
A hundred hands
A hundred thoughts
A hundred ways of thinking
Of playing, of speaking.
A hundred always a hundred
Ways of listening of marveling of loving
A hundred joys
For singing and understanding
A hundred worlds
To discover
A hundred worlds
To invent
A hundred worlds
To dream
The child has
A hundred languages
(and a hundred hundred hundred more)
But they steal ninety-nine.
The school and the culture
Separate the head from the body.
They tell the child;
To think without hands
To do without head
To listen and not to speak
To understand without joy
To love and to marvel
Only at Easter and Christmas
They tell the child:
To discover the world already there
And of the hundred
They steal ninety-nine.
They tell the child:
That work and play
Reality and fantasy
Science and imagination
Sky and earth
Reason and dream
Are things
That do not belong together
And thus they tell the child
That the hundred is not there
The child says: NO WAY the hundred is there–

–Loris Malaguzzi

Our school year and each school day are built on the beautiful notion of Reggio founder Loris Malaguzzi’s The Hundred Languages of Childhood. At Overfield, we believe learning is about the whole child. Children have the opportunity at Overfield to develop fluency in many languages: movement, sculpture, drawing, outdoor investigation, music, speaking, listening, reading, writing. We know that intellectual growth and readiness, for school and life, comes from inspired curiosity and a healthy respect for fluency in all the languages of childhood.

A critical component to learning at Overfield is documentation, a tool that allows us to make learning visible. Because we use an emergent curriculum, one that evolves as our students explore, teachers work to document each child’s learning process and interests. Analysis and discussion of this documentation allows for choices about a project’s direction. Documentation can include transcriptions of children’s discussions, photographs of their activities, and representations made by children using a variety of media. Each day, teachers send home Daily Reflections that highlight the day for families, a hallmark of the Overfield experience.

Overfield School Philosophy
Overfield School Philosophy
Overfield School Philosophy
Overfield School Philosophy