I love to read, and I especially love reading about teaching! I’m always educating myself as much as I can about Reggio Emilia. I find it fascinating and totally inspiring. I have probably read more than 20 books on the topic and because I completed my Masters, focusing on Reggio, I’ve read countless other articles, journals, and publications. I’ve rounded up a few of my absolute favourites. One thing that I always look for in a good teaching resource is something that gives some real-life examples. I want to know how I can apply this learning to my own classroom. So here we go…
The Hundred Languages of Children: The Reggio Emilia Experience in Transformation
This book looks intimidating! It’s really thick and if you picked it up you may think that it’s more about research on the topic. But in reality, it’s a lot of short articles and interviews with some influential individuals in the world of Reggio Emilia. Because it’s a bunch of short little reads, it’s actually really easy to get through and you can read it during naps (like I did!) or before bed and not feel like you’ll never get through it. I also really loved the language and feelings evoked in it. It’s not a novel of course, but because of the interviews, you feel like you’ve just had a conversation with Loris Malaguzzi, and he is just so incredibly well-versed. It has some interviews with teachers from the school in Reggio Emilia and also talks about some of the activities and ways of learning that take place in the classroom. If you are wanting to really learn the ins and outs of Reggio, start here! It’s a really great read!
Black Ants and Buddhists: Thinking critically and teaching differently in the primary grades
Ok, this book is ahh-maz-ing! It is so so so inspiring. Mary Cowhey, the authour is a teacher and she talks about her classroom experiences with trying to implement social justice issues within her room. She focuses on teaching her students to become contributing members of society by questioning the world and becoming critical thinkers. I really love it. My copy is full of tabs and writing in the margins. I use it all the time and refer to it for my year plan that I submit to my administration at the beginning of the school year.
Inspiring Spaces for Young Children
I mentioned this book in my first post “how it all began…” If you are just jumping into Reggio Emilia and not sure where to start, this is the book to pick up. It’s full of pictures of real classrooms that are beautiful spaces for children to learn in. This was the first book that I ever purchased to start my collection. I’ve had to replace it twice and possibly will need to again in the near future. Each fall, just before school starts, I pick it up and flip through it. I’m always inspired to construct my room in a new way and I find it to be incredibly helpful for a jumping off point.
Portals of Promise: Transforming Beliefs and Practices Through a Curriculum of Parents
This is actually my most recent purchase. It is a really beautiful book, and is a compilation of entries from teachers right from my home town! These teachers have incredible, beautiful stories to tell of their classroom experiences. The focus is primarily on families and their role in the classroom alongside the teacher. Each entry isn’t very long so it’s a really easy read. These teachers are relatable and inspiring. I just can’t say enough about it. I literally read it in one night! So great.
Ok, I’m going to leave it at this…for now! These are really great ones to start with and it’s less overwhelming if you only have a few to focus on. I encourage you all to peruse these at the very least. I think you’ll find yourself hooked to each page and not wanting to put them down!
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