Two faculty members of the Child and Family Studies Program, Department of Human Development and Environmental Studies, are working with the staff of the IUP Early Care and Education Program to implement aspects of the internationally renowned Reggio Emilio Early Education Philosophy.
Dr. Fredalene B. Bowers, professor and member of the North American Reggio Emilio Alliance, and Ms. Marion R. Henry, instructor, participated in the 2008 Study Tour of the Reggio Emilio Program in Reggio Emilio, Italy. Since early fall 2008, Bowers and Henry have been working closely with staff members and administrators of the Indiana County Child Care Program in Davis Hall to implement "the “Reggio Approach,” as it is known.
Reggio Emilio is not a curriculum or a method of instruction—rather, it is an approach based on philosophical principles of many early childhood psychologists, including Dewey, Piaget, Vygotsky, Gardner, and Bruner. This approach is based on a “respect for the potential of all children,” a rich environment which is engaging and welcoming, an emergent curriculum resulting from the interests of the children, and a focus on the “languages” of children, such as art media, dramatic play, and music. In addition to regular, collaborative staff meetings, the faculty and staff are also visiting other Reggio Emilia-inspired programs.
IUP’s Early Care and Education Program is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, is recognized as a Four Star Program by the Pennsylvania Keystone Stars, and is licensed by the Department of Public Welfare.