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Loris Malaguzzi

Loris Malaguzzi He was born in Correggio, February of 1920 and died in Reggio Emilia, January of 1994. Italian educator. He graduated in Pedagogy at the University of Urbino and started to exercise in a village near Reggio Emilia called Sologno. He was an important figure in the educational experience of Reggio Emilia, acting as a consultant for numerous schools in the region with his progressive and restorer pedagogic ideas, In 1950, once his studies in Psychology were finished, he starts working for the Medical Psycho-pedagogical Consultancy for children with specific educational needs from the municipality of Reggio Emilia. In 1963 he collaborates with the opening of the first secular school for children from 3 to 6 years old, a whole reference in Reggio Emilia. His pedagogical conceptions defended that kids possess multiple potentials or languages to understand and express themselves in the world. He calls this idea “The hundred languages of the children”. In order to channel and empower these languages, he used innovative resources such as educational theatre through which children learned and expressed themselves in an artistic way, different from the established. In this sense, he was a staunch critic of traditional school because, according to Malaguzzi, its strict standardization cuts the multiple possibilities that students possess in order to learn. Loris Malaguzzi, with his poem “The kid is made of a hundred” he represents in an eloquent way his idea of “The hundred languages of the children”. The child is made of one hundred. The child has a hundred languages a hundred hands a hundred thoughts a hundred ways of thinking of playing, of speaking. A hundred. Always a hundred ways of listening of marveling, of loving a hundred joys for singing and understanding a hundred worlds to discover a hundred worlds to invent a hundred worlds to dream. The child has a hundred languages (and a hundred hundred hundred more) but they steal ninety-nine. The school and the culture separate the head from the body. They tell the child: to think without hands to do without head to listen and not to speak to understand without joy to love and to marvel only at Easter and at Christmas. They tell the child: to discover the world already there and of the hundred they steal ninety-nine. They tell the child: that work and play reality and fantasy science and imagination sky and earth reason and dream are things that do not belong together. And thus they tell the child that the hundred is not there. The child says: No way. The hundred is there.