The hundred is there.
|Of marvelling, of loving
A hundred joys
For singing and understanding
The child has a hundred languages
(and a hundred hundred hundred more)
But they steal ninety-nine.
– Loris Malaguzzi
Born in Correggio, Italy in 1920, Loris Malaguzzi was raised in an environment that was severely affected by the consequences of World War II. In 1939, Malaguzzi decided to enrol in a training course for teachers after being encouraged by his father.
The foundation of the Reggio Emilia approach was laid in Northern Italy in a small town known as Villa Cella. They sold two military trucks, nine horses and an abandoned German tank for the construction of the school. Soon, rumours spread across the land and intrigued by the news, Malaguzzi rode to the town to find the truth. After having a conversation with the mothers, Malaguzzi was highly influenced and decided to stay back and help them in their mission to reconstruct the city.
The initial days were tough and the parents contributed all that they had to ensure that the school survived against odds. The Reggio Emilia approach still echoes the promise that he made to the mothers the first time they asked him to teach their children, “I’ll learn as we go along, and the children will learn everything I learn working with them.”
From Italy to Malaysia: How was Odyssey, The Global Preschool established?
Established in 2008 in Singapore, Odyssey was the brainchild of Ms June Rusdon, Chief Executive Officer, Busy Bees Asia.
This formed the foundation of Odyssey’s philosophy and pedagogy and it set out to be a preschool that makes a distinction in the lives of the children.
Loris Malaguzzi, the founder of Reggio Emilia approach believed that every child is powerful and can have a hundred different ways of learning, discovering and thinking. This means they can express their understanding, curiosity and thoughts in many different ways or ‘one hundred languages’. Odyssey’s ethos of ‘Learning without Boundaries’ encompasses what parents in Singapore and Malaysia look for in early education.
The approach is a balanced amalgamation of play, skills and interactions based on a compendium of learning objectives for each level of children from 18 months to 6 years.