Born in Corregio, Italy in 1920, Loris Malaguzzi grew up in Fascist Italy, enrolled in a teacher training course in 1939, and completed it during World War II. From those humble beginnings, he went on to play a key role in what became know as the Reggio Emilia approach to early learning.1
Loris Malaguzzi is best known for his instrumental role in the creation and development of the Reggio Emilia approach — the child-centered early educational philosophy that hinges on the belief that children are powerful and capable individuals, with the ability and desire to construct their own knowledge. Through Malaguzzi’s influence, the democratic educational setting found in Reggio Emilia schools, where all students and teachers have an equal voice in a collaborative learning process, flourished. As its popularity continues to grow throughout the world, the Reggio Emilia approach has been referred to as the gold standard of early education, and by Newsweek as the best early childhood education model in the world. Earning such acclaim was never the goal of Loris Malaguzzi, a man described as having a very strong character and personality, but also a highly collaborative approach. His dedication to the development of Reggio Emilia is evident throughout his 39-year career working directly as the director of the Reggio Emilia program in Italy. Malaguzzi was so dedicated that even after his retirement in 1985, he continued to pour his energy into the school system he helped build (by participating in conventions, meeting with parents, teachers, and administrators, and even taking lengthy visits to each preschool on a near daily basis). Loris Malaguzzi’s efforts and impact have been long lasting; nearly 25 years after his death, his teachings still heavily influence Reggio Emilia around the world.The Compass School
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