Towards a Reflexive Pedagogy in Early Childhood Education: Interweaving the Project Approach and the Reggio Emilia Approach

Pei-Wen Tzuo, Der-Thanq Chen
page. 69~83 / 2012 Vol.6 No.2


This paper discusses differences between two popular curriculum approaches in early childhood education: the Project Approach developed in the United States and the Reggio Emilia Approach developed in Italy. Although they are similar in many ways, their differences are mainly due to their divergence in focus on domains of learning: one on science and social science, the other on art. In turn, differences in epistemology, ontology, the purpose of education, the learning process, and types of reasoning are conceptualized. We recommend an integrated approach that blends both approaches through systematic investigation and creativity, objective and subjective aspects of reality, science and social science–oriented and meaning-oriented lessons, planned and spontaneous learning, and deductive and inductive reasoning. We elaborate and term this integration as reflexive pedagogy–to support a child’s learning in a dynamic and dialectical relationship. We then provide examples and suggestions of the successful use of this pedagogy.

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