Webster University’s School of Education was prominently featured in a St. Louis Beacon story about the Early Childhood Center in Maplewood-Richmond Heights, which has applied the Reggio Emilia theory of educating young children to great effect.
The Reggio Emilia approach began developing in 1940s Italy, and Webster’s School of Ed has long trained students in this method.
Brenda Fyfe, dean of the School of Ed, is quoted extensively in the article, including this reflection on the philosophy:
“Often in our profession, we think of early childhood education as an investment for the future. From the Reggio Emilia perspective, it’s not about an investment in the future; it’s about giving children rights. It’s not preparation for life. It is life.”
With funding from the Danforth Foundation, Webster has developed a network of teachers doing this work at schools in the St. Louis area before working with the early childhood center in Maplewood-Richmond Heights. Webster also partners with the University of Modena in Reggio Emilia, sending interns back and forth to deepen their training.