opposes any prophetic pedagogy
which knows everything before it happens,
which teaches children
that every day is the same,
that there are no surprises,
and teaches adults
that all they have to do is repeat
that which they were not able to learn."
|Twenty years of touring,
five editions of the European version and the duplication
of the exhibit in 1987 for a North American version, many
showings throughout Europe and across the ocean, hundreds
of thousands of visitors of all nationalities: these figures
have made "The Hundred Languages of Children"
a fundamental point of reference for Italian and international
First conceived by Loris Malaguzzi and his closest associates,
this exhibit is rooted in the forty years of experience
of the educational institutions operated by the Municipality
of Reggio Emilia. The exhibit bears witness to the originality
and the extraordinary nature of the years of research
that have led the Reggio infant-toddler centers and preschools
to become a primary point of reference for those who work
in early childhood education worldwide.
was extremely innovative right from its origins. It is
presented as a "narrative of the possible",
giving visibility to processes and life situations that
cannot be linked to standard pedagogical models or preconstituted
educational premises, theoretical certainties, or generalizable
practice. Rather, the experience is based on incessant
research and action that take place with a chorus of many
voices, many hands, and many intelligences, the center
of which is the image of a child who is competent in building
knowledge and a constant seeker of meanings.
Always looking toward the future, and often anticipating
it, the exhibit was extensively renovated and expanded
in March 1995 in Reggio Emilia, including the introduction
of interactive activities and multimedia presentations.
To speak to the world about children's infinite wealth
of potential, their ability to wonder and investigate,
their ability to co-construct their knowledge through
active and original relational processes: this has always
been the primary objective of the exhibit. The use of
a variety of communicative media was motivated by the
need to highlight as clearly as possible the image of
the child and the evolution of the educational research
that was and continues to be developed in the infant-toddler
centers and preschools of Reggio Emilia.
This exhibit tells the story of an educational adventure
- a life adventure we could say - which for many years
has interwoven the experiences, thoughts, discussions,
theoretical research, ethical and social ideals of many
generations of children, teachers, and parents. And
also of friends, both in Italy and abroad. It is an
unfinished story, made visible by the exhibit, that
seeks wider spaces for reflection and the comparison
The story develops along the line of a recurring and
constantly contemplated interrelation between theory
and practice based on the image of a child and an adult
who work together, as much as possible in an ongoing
process and in the reciprocal exchange of resources,
tools for learning, knowledge-building, creativity,
and individual action. All this takes place within a
network of multiple and different components linked
together by social and cultural interactions.
The story unfolds with representations of projects carried
out on a variety of themes, all entrusted to the actions,
play, investigations, conjectures, theories, cooperation,
and knowledge-building processes of the children, as
well as their linguistic, logical, and imaginative discoveries.
|Children have a hundred languages,
and they want to use them all.
They learn very soon how difficult it is for this right
to be recognized and above all respected.
This is why children ask us to be their allies in resisting
hostile pressures and defending spaces for creative freedom
which, in the end, are also spaces of joy, trust, and