Our School

An early start in education is critical for children. With the success of our Child Study and Early Childhood Education programs, Goodwin College in conjunction with LEARN has a magnet school for young children — a caring, supportive environment in which your child will flourish! 

Riverside Magnet School at Goodwin College is a growing Reggio Emilia inspired school of 400 children that nurtures curiosity and celebrates learning in all its forms.

“…a hundred worlds to discover
a hundred worlds to invent
a hundred worlds to dream.”
Loris Malaguzzi, founder of the Reggio-Emilia method

At the heart of the Reggio philosophy is the belief that all children are full of curiosity and creativity; they are not empty memory banks waiting to be filled with facts, figures and dates. Reggio-inspired curriculum is flexible and emerges from the children’s ideas, thoughts and observations. The Reggio goal is to cultivate within children a lifelong passion for learning and exploration.

What is the Reggio Emilia model?

  • Children have control over the direction of their learning.
  • Children have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves.
  • Children learn through touching, moving, listening, seeing, and hearing.
  • Children have strong relationships with other children and adults.
  • Families are always welcome and are at the center of all learning.

The Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education is based on over forty years of experience in the Reggio Emilia Municipal Infant/Toddler and Preschool centers in Italy. It places emphasis on children’s symbolic languages in the context of a project-based curriculum. Learning is viewed as a journey; and education as building relationships with people (both children and adults) and creating connections between ideas and the environment.

International recognition of the Reggio preschools exploded in 1991, when a panel of experts commissioned by Newsweek magazine identified the preschools of Reggio Emilia as one of the “best top ten schools in the world” (Newsweek 1991). Today, leading educationalists and institutions are increasingly adopting the Reggio approach for their programs.


The Reggio Approach is based on a comprehensive philosophy, underpinned by several fundamental guiding principles:

  • The child as protagonist, collaborator and communicator.
  • The teacher as partner, nurturer, guide and researcher.
  • Cooperation is the foundation of the educational system.
  • The environment as the “third teacher”.
  • The parent as a partner.
  • Documentation as communication.

Emergent Curriculum: An emergent curriculum is one that builds upon the interests of children. Topics for study are captured from the talk of children, through community or family events, as well as the known interests of children (puddles, shadows, etc). Team planning is an essential component of the emergent curriculum. Teachers work together to formulate possible directions of a project, the materials needed, and possible parent and/or community support and involvement.

Project Work: Reggio is known for what are called Projects (or Investigations). They are nothing like what we might typically associate with school. Projects that emerge from the children’s inquiries are in-depth studies of concepts, ideas, and interests that arise from the children. Considered as an adventure, projects may last one week or could continue throughout the school year. Throughout a project, teachers help children make decisions about the direction of the study, the ways in which the group will research the topic, the medium that will demonstrate and showcase the topic, and the selection of materials needed for the work.

Representational Development: Consistent with Howard Gardner’s notion of schooling for multiple intelligences, the Reggio Emilia approach calls for the integration of the graphic arts as tools for cognitive, linguistic and social development. Presentation of concepts in multiple forms – print, art, construction, drama, music, puppetry, shadow play, etc. – are viewed as essential to children’s understanding of experience.

Collaboration: Collaborative group work, both large and small, is considered valuable and necessary to advance cognitive development. Children are encouraged to talk, critique, compare, negotiation, hypothesize and problem solve through group work. Within the Reggio Emilia approach, different approaches toward the same investigation are all valued, and thus children are given access to many different tools and media to express themselves.

Teachers as Researchers: The teacher’s role within the Reggio Emilia approach is complex. Working as co-teachers, the role of the teacher is first and foremost to be that of a learner alongside the children. The teacher is a teacher-researcher, a resource and guide as he/she lends expertise to children. Within such a teacher-researcher role, educators carefully listen, observe and document children’s work and the growth of a community in their classroom. Teachers are committed to reflection about their own teaching and learning.

Documentation: coming soon…

“Documentation can serve to illuminate the thinking, a change in thinking that occurred, what was learned or not learned, the evolution of the behavior questioning, maturity, responses, and opinions.” – Julianne Wurm

Environment as The Third Teacher: coming soon…

“We value space because of its power to organize…and its potential for sparking all kinds of social, affective, and cognitive learning.”- Loris Malaguzzi


For more information on the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education, visit:

• Official Reggio Emilia web site: http://www.reggiochildren.it/