Guest Editorial

Early Childhood Education Journal

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 235-237

First online:

Reggio Emilia, Maria Montessori, and John Dewey: Dispelling Teachers’ Misconceptions and Understanding Theoretical Foundations

  • Arleen Theresa Dodd-NufrioAffiliated withThe State University of New York College at Old Westbury Email author 


During the past century Loris Malaguzzi (1920–1994), a principal figure in the establishment and creation of the preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, was one of the seminal thinkers in early childhood education. The influence of John Dewey, one of the most important American philosophers, is visible in contemporary early childhood classrooms of Reggio Emilia. However, as this editorial contends, in the author’s experience, many pre-service teachers have the misconception that the two programs that originated in Italy—Maria Montessoir and Reggio Emilia—are synonymous. This editorial discusses another connection; namely, the relationship between John Dewey’s philosophy of education and the pedagogy of Reggio Emilia preschools. Pre-service teachers’ understanding of Dewey’s theory and the Reggio Emilia experience makes an important contribution to the development of their personal teaching philosophy and understanding of best practices in the field.


Reggio Emilia Preschool John Dewey Early childhood education