“This exhibition is offered as a democratic piazza calling international attention to the importance of education and schools as places for discussion and mutual exchange.” --Reggio Children
“We are entering upon revolutionary times with emphasis upon depth of knowledge rather than just upon its extent. We are discovering that thoughtful learning promotes not only human competence, but also creative dignity. The wonders of learning, we now know, are many indeed!”
Jerome Bruner (psychologist and educational theorist), The Wonder of Learning Catalogue
In 1991, Newsweek hailed the preschools and infant-toddler centers of the municipality of Reggio Emilia as among the best in the world. International acclaim and interest followed, and “The Hundred Languages of Children” exhibition was created to inform the world about the work of the children and teachers of Reggio Emilia. The exhibit has traveled to thirty-one countries, including forty cities in the United States. In its first iteration, the exhibit visited White Plains, Syracuse, and New York City but has not been back to New York since 1992. In each host city, the exhibit’s positive impact has reportedly led to an increased focus on the quality of early education programs in local communities.
For more information about the Wonder of Learning exhibition, visit the official exhibition website.
It is a critical moment in the United States in terms of how education is viewed, with heated debate around standards, testing and what kinds of educational programs will best serve our children. There is also increasing recognition, especially with the recent focus on the expansion of pre-K programs in New York City, of the value of early childhood learning and its influence on children’s development and future success. This exhibit has the potential to reach beyond the 8 million people who reside in the New York metropolitan area and to provide a vision of early childhood education that is deep, invigorating and relevant to all children. The hope is that this exhibit will draw policy makers, children, international visitors, educators, and parents from all over and help them to understand the enormous potential of early learning experiences as well as the powerful and lasting impact of effective early childhood and elementary education programs.
An innovative element of his exhibit is the setup structure. Like letters of the alphabet, the basic modules can be adapted to the various characteristics of the exhibition spaces, giving rise to different expressive and communicative structures as a vehicle for multiple meanings.
The various projects are communicated using different media: three-dimensional objects, videos, booklets, audio recordings, and so on, which can be associated with the same project to enable different levels of reading and study, and to afford visitors a personal approach according to their level of interest and competency.