A Reggio-Inspired Approach
Blakemore draws inspiration from the renowned early childhood programs in Reggio-Emilia, Italy, from constructivist theory, and from Montessori philosophy. In addition, the BCC curriculum is based on the developmentally appropriate practice guidelines established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), state of TN licensure requirements, and the Tennessee Early Learning Developmental Standards. From Reggio, we have learned the value of collaboration, aesthetic beauty, artistic reflection, open-ended materials and loose parts. From constructivist theory, we have learned to meet the child where they are and to scaffold their learning as an individual. From Montessori, we have learned the value of mixed-age groupings and how capable children are.
At its core, our curriculum focus is child-driven and hands-on. Loris Malaguzzi, a leader of the Reggio-Emilia approach, penned a poem titled “The Hundred Languages of Children” [link?] which details the many different ways in which children learn, the need to allow time for wonder in education and to establish the interconnectedness of the world around them. Inspired by this idea, our emergent lesson planning and curriculum addresses all aspects of a child’s development.
We believe that in order to be successful academically and in life, young children need to develop social-emotional skills. Social/emotional development is supported through teaching and modeling of conflict resolution and negotiation skills, development of manners and courtesy through family style meals, and participation in outreach projects, such as collection of food for the homeless.
Cognitive development is encouraged through active, hands-on experiences relevant to the instructional theme or questions raised by children in a variety of settings (individual, small group, large group).
Physical development is enhanced through outdoor play that uses fine and gross motor skills. Children have scissors, staplers, playdough, clay, pencils, crayons, markers and other materials to encourage fine motor development. Gross motor development is incorporated into group activities involving music, movement, and creative dramatics, as well as neighborhood walks and outdoor play.