The educational philosophy at the Abeona House is inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to learning. Like Abeona House, the Reggio approach was borne out of community response to disaster. After World War II, the Italian government granted cities funds to rebuild a sense of community. Most cities built community centers, but the families in the town of Reggio Emilia, Italy used the bricks from bombed out buildings and volunteers from all corners of the community to build a school.
In this model, several key points converge:
- Respect for all individuals, each child, parent and staff member
- Open communication between parents, teachers, and children in the discovery/learning process
- Sparking of curiosity and development of critical thinking in children
- An extended-family atmosphere so that parents feel welcome and children feel comfortable
- Recording and reviewing the learning process through documentation
- Freedom of expression through a multitude of media and representations, also known as “The Hundred Languages of Children”