A dynamic forum focused on the experience of childhood and the process of learning

“We are well aware of what is meant by ‘scientific research’ and of the debate surrounding the so-called ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ sciences. But in Reggio we feel that the concept of research, or perhaps better, a new concept of research, more contemporary and alive, can emerge if we legitimate the use of this term to describe the cognitive tension that is created whenever authentic learning and knowledge-building processes take place. ‘Research’ used to describe the individual and common paths leading in the direction of new universes of possibility.”

-Carlina Rinaldi

Teachers as Researchers

We have learned from Reggio Emilia that the notion of research is a more approachable process than typically comes to mind when the word is used. Research is both a noun and a verb that often involves a compelling question or point of curiosity followed by studying closely, gathering data, digging deeply, hypothesizing, testing and observing followed by reflection, dialogue and developing new understandings. Research, even when begun by a single individual, is rarely a solo endeavor, but is best a process that involves multiple points of view in dialogue with each other.

Reggio-inspired teachers view research as an essential part of their work.

  • They ask questions that serve to focus observations.
  • They imagine possibilities and then invite children to materials and experiences, with the intention of provoking responses and thinking.
  • They gather traces of experiences and study them for insights and potential next steps.
  • They invite the points of view of others



Visit our Professional Development page

Opal School Blog (Portland, Oregon)

Sand and Water Table Blog

Documentation and Articles

The Butterfly Project
Documentation by Sandy Burwell and Audrey Favorito
Key Words: MacDonald Montessori, Learning Story, Literacy, Reflection, Hundred Languages/Arts, Pre-K

The Butterfly Study
Documentation by Michele Walsh and Lani Shapiro
Key Words: Project Work, Pre-K, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Hundred Languages/Arts, Transformations, Nature and Science, Literacy, Diversity, Public Schools, Co-Construction of curriculum, Learning Story

Arts 25 Research
Work by Lani Shapiro, Julie Teske, Ying Khang, Elizabeth Carlson, Christine Vang, Linda Vogel, Melissa Maschke, Jackie Lannin
Key Words: Collaboration, Public Schools, Community, Image of the child, Project Work, Civic Engagement, Pre-K, Diversity, Documentation, Hundred languages/Arts, Place Matters, Nature and Science, Math, Literacy, Learning Story, Children as researchers, Teachers as researchers

One Seed, One Child
Documentation by Patti Rose Loftus
Key Words: Image of the Child, Nature, Reflection, Pre-K, Documentation, Learning Story, Children as researchers, Teachers as researches

Philosophy Camp Comic
a cartoon by Martha Megarry featuring the "100 Languages"
Key Words: Cooking, Creative, Poem, Connection, Questions

"Doing Reggio?"
An article from Exchange magazine by Margie Carter
Key Words: Reggio Emilia, Professional Development, Critical Thinking, Questions, Standards

What makes work "Reggio-inspired"?
Reflections on a Community Conversation by Christy Spencer
Key Words: Professional Development, Civic Engagement, Questions, Critical Thinking


Video about Documentation
By Melissa Rivard
Key Words: Transformation, Professional Development, Civic Engagement, Make Learning Visible, Reggio Emilia, Engaging Families

“…Topics emerge, teachers document and wonder and provoke, children respond, and so on in an exquisite, often non-linear dance with layer upon layer of meaning. It cannot be planned, but it can be planned for through the teacher’s disposition to observe, document, provoke, and think, through the preparation of the environment to invite the interactions and encounters through which children’s ideas emerge, and through the development of a culture of conversation and construction of theory.”

-Pam Oken-Wright

All content and articles may be used for educational purposes with proper citation (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License).

Reggio-Inspired Network of Minnesota is a 501(c)3 non-profit located at 525 Pelham Blvd. N., Saint Paul, MN 55104 

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