Similarities Between Aboriginal Culture and the Philosophy of Reggio Emilia

 Gunawirra wants to thank Mark Rose for his wonderful contribution to our use of Reggio Emilia  and our website.

(25 July 2011  National Reggio Conference)

 The similarities between the Reggio Emilia Philosophy and Aboriginal Culture and Philosophy are immense.

Below is a brief summary of how these two philosophies dovetail:

  • Concepts of more than one adult being an educator
  • The Philosophy of Reggio acknowledges the importance of parents and the wider community as being an integral part of educating young children.  Calls on the strengths of adults to lend their skills to teach and guide in the ideas of the creative arts, technology etc.  Aboriginal culture is based on this all encompassing tenet.

Aboriginal culture has always acknowledged the role of other adults as playing a part in the education of young children.

  •  Power of the learner- not just an empty vessel but seeing education as a shared journey between the teacher and student with both learning from each other. Aboriginal culture views children as “kids of the universe”.
  • In Reggio children are seen as competent, powerful and strong and this image of the child underpins how they approach tasks.
  • Trust and High expectations – importance of relationships to build trust and a learning dynamic and partnership. High expectations to succeed with a supportive nurturing  environment which welcomes unintended outcomes as part of the learning process.
  • The idea of children leaving footprints on the earth.. leaving traces… both see this as an important aspect
  • The use of stories to connect and make meaning, to share culture and tradition, to share and solve problems etc
  • The idea of giving a provocation to children to spark and ignite excitement and the want and desire to learn more about certain topics.
  • The use of questioning and self reflection to inquire and help make meaning of the world.
  • The acknowledgement of the need to connect all disciplines together- transdisciplianry approach.. to ensure that children can make sense and see the connections between subjects as well as within subject areas.
  • The lack of the use of standard measure to check progress and the use of documentation, observation and discussion as assessment.