Scaling Reggio

How can we make deep learning experiences visible for high school students and adult learners? Could we take a leaf from the Reggio Emilia early childhood pedagogy of listening and relationships? One of the key Reggio principles is documentation and Reggio educators refer to documentation as “visible listening.” When teachers stop and notice what students are saying or doing, they hone their capacity to respond in more informed ways.

Try to simply notice moments in class when things are going poorly or well and step back to closely observe. When this becomes more habitual, start taking photographs of especially powerful learning moments to revisit with students, or begin jotting down provocative or insightful quotes from students and share them with the class (try writing them directly onto laminated speech bubbles).

Once you become more familiar with the process of documenting, start asking students to do some of it, perhaps by rotating the role of student journalist within the class. Involving students in the documentation enables them to identify moments they want to remember. When teachers look at documentation with students, both teachers and students can gain new insights that help inform future learning and the students are empowered.

Marks and rankings are not the only way to share evidence of learning. Qualitative forms of sharing evidence are powerful ways to provide a more complete picture. Can we take the Reggio approach and scale it into new contexts?

About cpaterso

Confusion is good and grades are overemphasised. Less us, more them. Working in a learning and teaching leadership role in a Sydney school.
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13 Responses to Scaling Reggio

  1. whatedsaid says:

    It begins with paying less attention to what you teach (and grade) and how they (we) learn. Have you seen this clip re documentation of learning the Reggio way? I like the way it leads to collaborative analysis of student learning.


    • Cameron says:

      Hi Edna, Melissa Rivard is a PZ researcher and a really wonderful person. She kindly skyped in to a professional learning forum with us last year. She is so eloquent when she explains documentation. I find that it is quite multi-faceted and it can be hard to fully grasp all at once.


  2. Finding this in my feed today was like finding a nugget of gold. This fits perfectly with my current work focus and my #oneword journey too. I look forward to reading more about the Reggio way.


  3. msdayvt says:

    This is my first real noticing of the Reggio approach. Will take note and consider it more. So far, very, very intriguing. TY for this.


  4. alonayildirim says:

    The Reggio Emilia approach has a great set of principles that foster education. I assume it does not matter what grade we teach, we work with children… big or small. I like the idea of scaling the philosophy of Reggio into new contexts and would love to read future posts about implementation.
    REcently I studied ‘Making Thinking Visible’ online that I found very useful in terms of documentation as well. This course offers different techniques and strategies that help you ‘see’ thinking and document it.


  5. Cameron says:

    Yes, the PZ work on Making Thinking Visible is very closely tied to the Reggio concept of documentation. It’s powerful and thought-provoking.


  6. aarondavis1 says:

    Great post Cameron. After feeling that I failed last year with my personal goal to better utilise ‘data’ in the classroom. ( I decided that I needed to rethink how I consider ‘data’, this fits perfectly. Now to think about the best way to get it started.


  7. NainiS says:

    I’d love to share my “sway” with you . It summarizes the 7 principles of Learning Environment.


  8. Pingback: Just Make – Documenting Play and Exploration in Robotics | Read Write Respond

  9. Pingback: Just Make – Documenting Play and Exploration in Robotics | Inquire Within

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