The Language of Light

lascuolablog Reggio Emilia, Teaching and Learning

Something that strikes me each time I walk into a classroom at La Scuola is the beautiful natural light that streams through the windows. It connects me to the life and nature that is intentionally brought into the spaces of our school to remind students, teachers and staff the importance of nature, and of being open and connected to our environment that is always informing us.

This natural light is reflective of the essence at the heart of our teaching style with the Reggio Approach. Through an approach of inquiry, wonder and discovery, we set out to lead children through an experience that has them lighting up from the inside-out with inspired interest, engagement and curiosity to carve out their experience of learning.  

“Student is not a container you have to fill but a torch you have to light up”
– Albert Einstein

This shared language of light, the light of inspiration, has us communicating, teaching and learning from an essence that connects us deeper than the languages we speak with our words. This understanding and common thread allows us to be united amongst our diverse backgrounds of cultures and languages spoken in the halls of La Scuola. We currently have 32 languages spoken in the homes of La Scuola families.  

The study of light appears across the transdisciplinary curriculum, meaning we take light as a central theme in our discovery and conversations about how the world works.  

Our students explore the science of light through electricity and in the light and darkness across various depths when learning about the ocean in our Kindergarten classes.

Then, as we open the door to our classrooms and venture out into our dual-campus garden programs, we see light and shadow with the natural light of the outside world.

And what would be the talk of light without discussions of chiarascuro, the treatment of light and shade in drawing and painting, that take place in our Reggio Altelier workshop and art studio?  

These explorations stem back to our roots in the Reggio Approach and back to Italy itself. At the home of the Reggio Approach to learning, at the Centro Internazionale Loris Malaguzzi, there have been interactive, experiential exhibits in the “Raggio di Luce” Atelier, a place of research, experimentation and immersion in an environment where light, in its different forms, can be investigated through explorations capable of provoking wonder, curiosity, creativity and insight.

“Light is an essential presence to
life, has a strong metaphorical value
and it is an element of great charm.
Since ancient times, man has been
questioning himself on its nature and identity
articulating theories between myth and science.”

While you’ll find La Scuola is certainly a language immersion school with our love of language and of Italian, all of our speaking and teaching here is fueled by the light of passion and enthusiasm to inspire in others what we have been lit up with ourselves.

The light is everywhere,  but to “see it”, paradoxically, it must be turned on in the mind” – Loris Malaguzzi

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