Images from the World: Study Seminar on the Experience of the Municipal Infant-Toddler Centers and Preprimary Schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy  
by Lilian G. Katz

The title of this presentation, "Images from the World," was given to me by Loris Malaguzzi in a letter, dated January 24th, 1994, written very shortly before his untimely death. In the notes I have from a message he also sent through Lella Gandini, I know that he had indicated a desire to have an overview of "the latest tendencies, issues, and trends in the field, around the world, and certainly in the U.S.A." Through Lella he also relayed the hope that this seminar would be a "re-reading of the experience of Reggio Emilia, and discussion about the resources needed to go on with what is being learned here." He is very deeply missed today.

During my visit here to Reggio Emilia two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to discuss this assignment in more detail with Carlina Rinaldi. She expressed the wish that this seminar would be about more than the Reggio approach as we now call it and that it would also be a context for exchange and reflection, for the development of our knowledge and theory, for agreement and disagreement, for discoveries of our differences. She indicated the hope that we would continue to challenge and be challenged, to create a community, and to provide an opportunity to learn and to support each other as we move ahead, in particular how we move ahead in helping others through our training efforts to benefit from what is being learned here. She also expressed the hope that we would continue to provide an opportunity to learn how Reggio Children, a foundation whose purpose is to increase awareness of the Reggio Emilia approach to the education of young children, can continue to help those of us who are interested in the Reggio Emilia approach.

That having been said, it has been difficult to choose what to present especially in view of the fact that so many of you here know much more about the Reggio Emilia approach than I do and are already actively involved in training and implementing it yourselves. Our friends here from Scandinavia have even longer experience than we in the United States in implementing the Reggio Emilia approach. I hope we can learn from their experience also.

I decided to begin with a few observations of the "world scene," then take up some problems involved in thinking about where we might go from here, and finally to offer a few concluding points. All in all, you will not be surprised that I have not found anything to say that has not already been said and that you don't already know!


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