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Loris Malaguzzi (1920-1994), the inspiration behind the Reggio Emilia approach, recognised all the many different ways in which children interpret the world and represent their ideas and theories. He emphasized the need for adults to recognise and value all forms of expression and communication in his poem ‘No Way. The Hundred Is There.’ This poem inspires our daily routine and practice.


The Hundred Languages



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 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--



Loris Malaguzzi


Founder of the Reggio Approach