The Reggio Emilia Philosophy

The Reggio Emilia philosophy of education is at the heart of Overfield’s program.

It is a philosophy based upon collaboration between teachers, parents, and students to create a curriculum that celebrates, embraces, and encourages the whole child. After World War II, a small town in Italy, Reggio Emilia, looked to innovate education and believed early childhood was a key moment for fostering the development of the individual. Leader Loris Malaguzzi and the teachers and parents of Reggio Emilia committed themselves to a program based on respect, responsibility, and community. To nourish those values, they sought the creation of an enriching, supportive environment where joy and wonder serve as the foundations for a life-long love of learning. Rather than a mandated curriculum, students’ interests would direct learning.

This approach recognizes all children’s potential to be heavily involved in their own learning by capitalizing on their abilities to learn from experience and through an emphasis on relationships and opportunities for expression.

Reggio Emilia Philosophy

Reggio @ Overfield

Reggio is a living philosophy, one meant to adapt, evolve, and respond to the families embracing it. At Overfield, a community-centered culture blends with the best of progressive education and responsive teaching to help make learning a way of life.

The Reggio Emilia philosophy inspires all that we do as a community. We believe children are strong, capable individuals, full of potential and curiosity and we strive to honor them as young learners and citizens. Our school is a place that encourages discovery, problem solving, social interaction, and collaboration between children, parents, and teachers. With intentional spaces that are inviting to groups large and small, the environment is valued for its important role in the process of learning. Classrooms reflect the presence of the children who inhabit them and the grounds are welcoming, open spaces ready for exploration.

Learning at Overfield is facilitated through project-oriented curricula. Whether short or long term, project ideas originate in the context of the lives of the children. A chance event, an idea or problem or question, or a provocation issued by a teacher can all fuel learning.

Part of being a teacher at Overfield is joining an energetic learning community. Active, meaningful study and dialogue are part of the practice of our teachers from professional development including visiting Reggio Emilia and membership in the Ohio Voices for Learning (OVL) and North American Reggio Emilia Alliance (NAREA) to monthly meetings to discuss Reggio books and articles.

The Overfield School Logo

The Overfield Philosophy

The Reggio Emilia philosophy of education is at the heart of Overfield’s program.

The Hundred Languages of Children

The child
is made of one hundred.
The child has
A hundred languages
A hundred hands
A hundred thoughts
A hundred ways of thinking
Of playing, of speaking.
A hundred always a hundred
Ways of listening of marveling of loving
A hundred joys
For singing and understanding
A hundred worlds
To discover
A hundred worlds
To invent
A hundred worlds
To dream
The child has
A hundred languages
(and a hundred hundred hundred more)
But they steal ninety-nine.
The school and the culture
Separate the head from the body.
They tell the child;
To think without hands
To do without head
To listen and not to speak
To understand without joy
To love and to marvel
Only at Easter and Christmas
They tell the child:
To discover the world already there
And of the hundred
They steal ninety-nine.
They tell the child:
That work and play
Reality and fantasy
Science and imagination
Sky and earth
Reason and dream
Are things
That do not belong together
And thus they tell the child
That the hundred is not there
The child says: NO WAY the hundred is there–

–Loris Malaguzzi

Our school year and each school day are built on the beautiful notion of Reggio founder Loris Malaguzzi’s The Hundred Languages of Childhood. At Overfield, we believe learning is about the whole child. Children have the opportunity at Overfield to develop fluency in many languages: movement, sculpture, drawing, outdoor investigation, music, speaking, listening, reading, writing. We know that intellectual growth and readiness, for school and life, comes from inspired curiosity and a healthy respect for fluency in all the languages of childhood.

A critical component to learning at Overfield is documentation, a tool that allows us to make learning visible. Because we use an emergent curriculum, one that evolves as our students explore, teachers work to document each child’s learning process and interests. Analysis and discussion of this documentation allows for choices about a project’s direction. Documentation can include transcriptions of children’s discussions, photographs of their activities, and representations made by children using a variety of media. Each day, teachers send home Daily Reflections that highlight the day for families, a hallmark of the Overfield experience.

The Overfield Mission

The Overfield School exists to provide the highest quality early childhood education for families of the Miami Valley.


At Overfield, we believe that children enter the world with inquisitivenessinventive ess and individuality.

We foster their inquisitiveness with an emerging curriculum that draws on children’s natural curiosities.

We encourage their inventiveness by offering problems to solve and materials to explore in open-ended ways.

By encouraging their relationships with other children, teachers and families, we support their understanding of their own individuality, and of themselves as part of an interconnected community.

“Childhood is the most glorious time in life.”

– Julia Hobart, Founder of The Overfield School

Interested in enrolling your child at the Overfield School?