Influenced by the Reggio-inspired idea that children must have some control over the direction of their learning, the Huggins Center curriculum is project-based. This approach emphasizes child and adult-negotiated research on a topic that is both meaningful to the children and worthy of study. For example, in the photos above, preschool children discovered two ducks and a nest in the Center’s Pond Environment. Their questions centered on where the ducks came from, what were in the eggs in the nest, and how long it would take for the eggs to hatch. Provoked by the children’s questions, the teacher provided opportunities for the children to research and investigate their inquiries and to document their findings.
Inspired by Reggio Emilia, the Huggins Center recognizes that collaborative and participatory relationships among children, parents, teachers and others not only create powerful and successful education and care programs, but also improve the quality of life in the community.
Just as the students documented their newfound knowledge of the ducks in the Pond environment, teachers at the Huggins Center document the process of learning by the children.
This Reggio-inspired style of documentation serves as a means of communication. For children, it shows that their work is valued and it allows them to revisit and reconsider the learning experience over time; for parents, the documentation panels involve them in the daily learning experiences of their children; and for teachers, it serves as a tool forassessment, the exchange of ideas, and curriculum development.