Explore the Reggio Emilia Philosophy

Independent Schools Victoria (ISV) and REAIE have partnered to bring you a trio of events to learn more about the internationally renowned Reggio Emilia Schools in northern Italy. In 1991 Newsweek magazine named the Reggio Emilia Schools as the most internationally influential and important organisation in early years education. To date, this has not changed. If anything, the Reggio Emilia Educational Project has grown its influence across the globe. Since 1994, many Victorian schools have been influenced by the philosophy and we are delighted to host two practitioners from Reggio Children to participate in the Arts Learning Festival from 2-4 May.


Paola Strozzi was born in Reggio Emilia, Italy where she still lives and works. After receiving her degree as an elementary teacher in 1973, she studied in Florence at the Special School of Social Services from 1972 to 1976. From 1970 until 1980 she worked as a teacher at the municipal infant-toddler centre “Arcobaleno” in Reggio Emilia.

From 1980 she worked as a teacher at “Diana” municipal preschool in Reggio Emilia. Between 1999 to 2003, at the Diana School, she was in charge of teaching a child with autism. She attended conferences and seminars about autism in Italy, sometimes as a speaker. She also attended a Summer Institute on The Denver Model for Autism at the JKK Centre of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Centre in July 2002.

In February 2004, during the International Conference “Crossing Boundaries” she was jointly responsible for the organisation of three concurrent sessions: “Making Learning Visible, the Languages of Evaluation and Assessment”, “A Difference in Ethics or an Ethic of Differences” and “Sciences among Research, Poetry and Beauty”. From 2004 to 2006 she worked at the Documentation and Educational Research Centre of the Istituzione Scuole e Nidi d’infanzia of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia.

She graduated in 2007 with Scienze della Formazione Primaria from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia with a research paper on “The point of view coordination at preschool” with Prof. M. G. Bartolini Bussi. From 2007 she worked as a pedagogista of the Pedagogical Coordinating team of the Istituzione Scuole e Nidi d’Infanzia of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia.

She collaborates with Reggio Children (International centre for the Defence and Promotion of the Rights and Potential of All Children) for educational documentation, seminars and exchanges in Italy and abroad.

Paola Strozzi’s essays can be found in the books “Making Learning Visible, Children as Individual and Group Learners” published by Reggio Children September 2001; “Advisories”, published by Reggio Children September 2002, in the magazines “Bambini” May and June 2002, “Diario” special edition about school, April 2004. In English she published “Construction and Representation of Space in 5-Year-Old Children” in the Handbook of Child Development & Early Education edited by O.A. Barbarin and B. H. Wasik Guilford Press New York, 2009.

Filippo Chieli has a Degree in Viola from the Musical Institute “A. Peri” of Reggio Emilia. He was a teacher in the “Orchestra project” for the classes of young students. He also participated in the Course for Atelierista, for the planning and coordination of expressive ateliers for children organised by Reggio Children. He also develops an important activity as concertist in classical, popular and folk-rock music formations (orchestra). He collaborates with Reggio Children for professional development initiatives in Italy and abroad especially on projects in the music field.

He was atelierista in the preschools “G. Rodari” and “Fiastri” in S. Ilario D’Enza (Reggio Emilia). He is currently atelierista at the “E. Balducci” preschool of the Istituzione infant toddler centre and preschool – Municipality of Reggio Emilia.

The trio of events are:

Public Lecture: The Atelierista and the Atelier (Speakers from Reggio Children Foundation, Italy; Paola Strozzi and Filippo Chieli)

Venue: Clemenger Theatre (NGV)

Date: Friday 3 May 2019

Time: 6.30- 9.00pm

Cost: $65 including drinks and canapés

Early Childhood Exhibition: Reimagining Children, Spaces and Relationships

Venue: The Atrium at Federation Square

Dates: 2-4 May 2019

Time:  The exhibition is staged for three days and is manned from 11.00 – 3.00pm each day

Cost: Free

One-day Conference: The Role of Research through Progettazione. (Led by speakers from Reggio Children, Italy; Paola Strozzi and Filippo Chieli)

Venue: Lowther Hall, 17 Leslie Rd, Essendon

Dates: Saturday 4 May 2019

Time: 10.00am – 4.30pm

Cost: $180 including catering