BILLUND, Denmark, April 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, at its annual LEGO Idea Conference, LEGO Foundation awarded Carla Rinaldi, Italian pedagogista and president of Reggio Children – Loris Malaguzzi Centre Foundation, its 2015 LEGO Prize. Since 1986, individuals or organisations that have made an outstanding contribution to the lives of children have been awarded the LEGO Prize.
Throughout her 44-year-career, Rinaldi has advocated for the principles of respect, responsibility, community and childhood. She passionately believes in child-centered learning based on the interests of children themselves in an enriching environment supporting exploration and discovery.
The Reggio Approach to early childhood education is deeply rooted in respect for childhood and the individual child as a competent learner. At the core of the philosophy is a belief in children as resourceful, born with potential, curiosity, creativity, wisdom and a natural desire to learn. Education, following the Reggio Approach, is not about teaching in the widely accepted understanding of the concept; Adults transferring content and knowledge to "empty vessels".
"Children are not empty; on the contrary, every child possesses a hundred "languages" through which the child connects, acquires knowledge and relates and understands the world around him," says Rinaldi. "Children are born competent in learning and in living."
The Reggio Approach views education as a delicate and respectful process starting in the early years with the purpose of supporting children in expressing their "languages" through building, creating, constructing, painting, playing and reflecting upon what they think. Through creative processes, led by the child, in collaboration with teachers and parents, the child's own theory or way of learning about the world emerges.
"We honour Carla not only for her tireless dedication to children's natural curiosity and growth. But to her contribution in ensuring the schools in Reggio Emilia, through Reggio Children's innovative approach to education, has reached out from Northern Italy and inspires people and organisations around the world," says Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, chairman of the LEGO Foundation and owner of the LEGO Group. "We see children as our role models and we believe in child-centered, interest-driven learning environments. Carla's work exemplifies this and we look forward to continuing to support and follow her achievements in early childhood education."
SOURCE LEGO Foundation