Parental understandings and perceptions of the Reggio Emilia approach in a small New Zealand Catholic primary school : a research project.
Kedzlie, Mary Frances
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Teaching and Learning
A significant area of education research has been dedicated towards increasing parental involvement in schools. Parental and family involvement is considered crucial in the education of children and is associated with stronger educational outcomes. In New Zealand it is expected that schools work closely with members of their school community to design their own school curriculum responsive to their local needs. Supporting and encouraging strong home school partnerships is a feature of this. In this broader context this research examined parental perceptions and understandings of a small Catholic primary school's unique approach to curriculum, based on the principles of Reggio Emilia. Central to implementation of the Reggio Emilia Approach is parental involvement and partnership. A group of six parents from the school participated in a focus group interview to share their perceptions and understandings about Reggio Emilia. Included in their discussion are their views on Reggio Emilia in relation to parent participation, community involvement, documentation of learning, flexible curriculum, aesthetics, child initiated learning and child confidence and independence. This paper intends to inform the reader of the parents' perceptions and understandings of Reggio Emilia and its implementation in this New Zealand primary school setting.