LEGO Foundation Awards Carla Rinaldi, President of Reggio Children, 2015 LEGO Prize
15 April, Billund, Denmark – Today, at its annual LEGO Idea Conference, the LEGO Foundation awarded Carla Rinaldi, Italian pedagogista and president of Reggio Children - Loris Malaguzzi Centre Foundation, its 2015 LEGO Prize. Since 1986, individuals or organisations that have made an outstanding contribution to the lives of children have been awarded the LEGO Prize.
Throughout her 44-year-career, Rinaldi has advocated for the principles of respect, responsibility, community and childhood. She passionately believes in child-centered learning based on the interests of children themselves in an enriching environment supporting exploration and discovery.
The Reggio Approach to early childhood education is deeply rooted in respect for childhood and the individual child as a competent learner. At the core of the philosophy is a belief in children as resourceful, born with potential, curiosity, creativity, wisdom and a natural desire to learn. Education, following the Reggio Approach, is not about teaching in the widely accepted understanding of the concept; rather, about adults transferring content and knowledge to “empty vessels”.
“Children are not empty; on the contrary, every child possesses a hundred “languages” through which the child connects, acquires knowledge and relates and understands the world around him,” says Rinaldi. ”Children are born competent in learning and in living.”
The Reggio Approach views education as a delicate and respectful process starting in the early years with the purpose of supporting children in expressing their “languages” through building, creating, constructing, painting, playing and reflecting upon what they think. Through creative processes, led by the child, in collaboration with teachers and parents, the child’s own theory or way of learning about the world emerges.
“We honour Carla not only for her tireless dedication to children’s natural curiosity and growth, but for her contribution to ensuring that the schools in Reggion Emilia with Reggio Children and its innovative approach to education has reached out from Northern Italy and inspires people and organisations around the world,” says Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, chairman of the LEGO Foundation and owner of the LEGO Group. “We see children as our role models and we believe in child-centered, interest-driven learning environments. Carla’s work exemplifies this and we look forward to continuing to support and follow her achievements in early childhood education.”
About the LEGO Prize
Since 1986, individuals, or organizations, that have made an outstanding contribution to the lives of children, have been awarded the LEGO Prize by the LEGO Foundation. Among the previous awarded are: Save the Children (Morocco/UK), Astrid Lindgren (S), Ecole d´Humanité (CH), Su-Nam Kin and SaekDong Organisation (Korea), Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward (USA) and Sir Ken Robinson (UK). This year’s award ceremony occurs during the annual event, the LEGO Idea Conference, Billund, Denmark, the birthplace of the LEGO Group. The LEGO Prize amounts to $100,000.
About Carla Rinaldi
In 1971, Carla Rinaldi started working as a pedagogista and director of the Municipal Infant-toddler Centers and Preschools of Reggio Emilia. She has also been a pedagogical consultant for Reggio Children since 1994, supporting all Reggio Children initiatives. Today, she is President of Reggio Children company and Reggion Children - Loris Malaguzzi Centre Foundation, and she is Professor at the Modena-Reggio University, Faculty of Education.
Frederikke Tømmergaard, Senior Communication Manager, the LEGO Foundation: + 45 52159373
Introducing Carla Rinaldi
"The big mistake in my - and our opinion - was to consider learning only as a consequence of teaching". Find out more about Carla Rinaldi and her work in this video.