Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Using the Reggio Emilia approach to learn through play

Using the Reggio Emilia approach to learn through play

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Teachers learn and play alongside children.

Using the Reggio Emilia approach to learn through play

At Canadian International School of Phnom Penh (CIS) preschools, the Reggio Emilia methodology is applied in classrooms to encourage interpersonal communication among children and between teachers, teacher assistants and children.

The Reggio Emilia approach is an educational philosophy focused on preschool and primary education. It is a student-centred  and constructivist pedagogy that uses self-directed, experiential learning in relationship-driven environments.

Preschool principal Karen Holmes said that children are born with natural dispositions and it is in their nature to learn and to be curious.

“What we are doing through play (activities) is giving them all sorts of opportunities (to learn) that they might not have at their own home,” she said.

Holmes said: “At CIS, we provide physical environments and ensure teachers are aware of what needs to be done to get the children involved in play.

She said that adults who had experienced more formal schooling as youngsters, where they waited for teachers to tell them what to do, tended not to be inquisitive when presented with interesting objects. Children, given the opportunity, will eagerly interact with materials and will find all sorts of creative things to do with them.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Holmes said that all teachers in CIS preschools are certified early childhood educators. As the teachers had been professionally trained, they know how to interact with children.

It is known that interpersonal communication with children to encourage their thinking skills. At CIS, teaching assistants work alongside the children by initiating interactive conversations.

In educational terms, we have a “scaffolding” approach is used. It is a process in which teachers model or demonstrate how to solve a problem, and then step back, offering support as needed.

“If we know a child has never used a pair of scissors before, then that student will need one-on-one assistance to show them how to hold the scissors. And, we would have them cut things like rolls of play dough,” said Holmes.

“Not all of the children are going to be at the same level at the same time, so that is where working in small groups is helpful,”

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Holmes said CIS teachers are constantly learning and they base their teaching on the latest research on brain development.

“Educators are also familiar with Bloom’s taxonomy, which shows different levels of thinking in a pyramid. It categorises what type of thinking is low-level and what is more advanced. At the very bottom of the pyramid is remembering or memorising. That is the easiest thing to do.

“We use in-depth note taking to keep track and monitor each child’s development. We are also trying to see what are the needs of each child and give them things that will expand their thinking and curiosity.”

CIS has preschool campuses in Bassac Garden and Olympia City (OC).

The OC campus is the first specifically-built Reggio Emilia-inspired facility in Cambodia. The Reggio Emilia approach blends well with the Alberta curriculum taught at CIS’s main campus on Koh Pich, and it is envisioned that students in CIS preschools will continue their education there.

MOST VIEWED

  • Call for boycott of Angkor unacceptable

    Dear Editor, I wish to express my strong disagreement on the article published by Traveller for their website with the title Best places to go in 2020: 12 destinations you should avoid. Below is my opinion of the article. It is obviously free for the Traveller to

  • Probe underway after wreckage of drone with Chinese characters found

    Air Force Command spokesman Prak Sokha said on Sunday that investigations are underway regarding the wreckage of a drone that was recovered in Koh Kong province’s Koh Sdech commune in Kiri Sakor district. The wreckage has been taken to the capital for further examination,

  • Ministry issues warning over coronavirus outbreak

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday asked the public to be on “high alert” as a new virus wreaks havoc across Asia. However, no cases have been reported in the Kingdom thus far. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has raised the alarm for its similarity to

  • Gov’t slams UN rapporteurs over Sokha trial statement

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the UN Office in Geneva deplored the statement of three UN special rapporteurs who claimed that Kem Sokha’s trial was “tainted” due to irregularities. The reaction

  • No power shortages next dry season, says energy minister

    Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem has assured the public that Cambodia will not suffer power shortages during the next dry season. Speaking on local TV on Tuesday, Sem projected a rise in power demand during 2020’s dry season – which starts in November and

  • Gov’t takes steps to lower logistics, transport costs

    With the threat of losing trade privileges in the EU drawing closer, the government is taking measures to reduce logistics and transportation costs to safeguard the Kingdom’s competitiveness. The EU is due to decide whether or not to withdraw the Kingdom’s trade privileges