Reggio Emilia Leader Lella Gandini Visits Webster

| March 23, 2012
Webster University - Reggio Emilia

Lella Gandini was welcomed by Webster University's president Beth Stroble and School of Education dean Brenda Fyfe.

Dr. Lella Gandini, the United States liaison for the dissemination of early childhood education known as the Reggio Emilia approach, was a guest speaker at Webster University’s home campus Wednesday, March 21.

Webster University - Lella Gandini visit

Lella Gandini at Webster

With some 150 attendees including Webster University School of Education faculty and students, Gandini discussed core concepts from the just-released third edition of  “The Hundred Languages of Children:  the Reggio Emilia Experience in Transformation 2012.”

The publication is an integrated set of essays on a unique approach to early childhood education that documents the internationally acclaimed schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Brenda Fyfe, dean of the School of Education, authored or co-authored two chapters in the book. Fyfe has been a leader in bringing the Reggio Emilia approach to St. Louis-area schools.

Gandini will be in St. Louis until the morning of Sunday, March 25, including consulting at Maplewood Richmond Heights Early Childhood Center.

Webster University discussion of Reggio Emilia method

Gandini's visit drew a full house with more than 150 in attendance.

More about Gandini

A native of Italy, she was connected early with the Reggio Emilia approach and later became the point person for the approach in the U.S.

Gandini’s description of the Reggio Emilia approach:  “The starting point is to be convinced that children have tremendous potential already when they are born, so that  – in a preschool – rather than thinking ‘What can I teach these children?’ teachers observe and listen to children and construct learning with them.”

She is co-author of several books for parents and educators and author of many books of fairy tales, nursery rhymes and stories for children.

Her most recent publication, which was the focus of this lecture, is co-edited with Carolyn Edwards and George Forman.  As Howard Gardner states in the forward to this book, “Amid the multitude of books about education issues these days, few stand out.  This book that you hold in your hands does. … Anyone with an interest in the education of children should read it; few who do so will remain unaffected by the experience.”

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