Loris Malaguzzi (1920-1994) was the pedagogical leader of the Reggio Emilia early years philosophy. He believed passionately that all children are competent and capable thinkers and learners as well as creative communicators and conversationalists.
Malaguzzi wrote ‘The One Hundred Languages of Children’ in recognition of the multitude of ways in which they can express their ideas, thoughts, feelings or frustrations.
Take time to think about the poem and have conversations with others about it. The possibilities for the ‘languages’ are endless – dancing, dreaming, playing, questioning, singing, reasoning, imagining, listening, laughing, crying, loving, hating, painting, sculpting, exploring, experimenting.
THE ONE HUNDRED LANGUAGES OF 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 marvelling 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 more) but they steal ninety-nine.
The schools 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 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.