Inspired by Reggio
Historical Background: Parents Wanting Something Different
When studying approaches to curriculum as a doctoral student, I was enamoured by the principles and practices of the Reggio Approach. Although it was introduced as an approach to preschool education, I continued to image it in elementary grades, as well. At the time, I kept thinking, if I was still a classroom teacher, I would try this approach in elementary grades. That thought took root deeply, and so, in 2002, I decided to go back to my former public school campus and implement the approach in third grade during the first year that standardized tests would be the gatekeeper to advance to 4th grade following the research questions:
What will happen when the Reggio inspired practice of negotiated learning is implemented in a standards-
based American elementary classroom?
a.) How will the children’s questions and interests influence curriculum development and learning through
b.) How will parents become involved in the process of negotiated learning?
c.) Is there a difference in the TAKS [state standardized] test scores of children in a Reggio inspired negotiated
learning classroom and the other children of the same grade in the district?
My dissertation is posted below. If you want to jump right in to what it looked like in my classroom during my first year of this practice, start at Chapter 4. I was privileged to practice this approach with 22 children and their supportive families. It can be done.