Message from Bipasha Minocha, CEO of REACH

Dear colleagues,

It is with a profound sense of humility that I pen my first message to you as CEO of Reggio Emilia in Asia for Children (REACH). My journey with the Reggio Emilia Approach began in 2007, a journey initiated through my Diploma in Early Childhood Teaching at the EtonHouse Education Centre. Little did I realise then how transformative this path would be, not only shaping my professional trajectory but also profoundly influencing my perspective as a parent. The Reggio Emilia Approach has been, without a doubt, a continuous gift, facilitating change and growth in ways I could never have imagined. I am deeply thankful for this journey.

Reflecting on our last conference in Shanghai in late 2023, my eighth in helping to orchestrate, I was once again struck by the enduring power and transformative potential of our collective engagements. The content and interactions were as impactful as ever. Delving into the new publication 'The Role of the Pedagogista in Reggio Emilia' by Stefania Giamminuti, Paola Cagliari, Claudia Giudici and Paola Strozzi recently, I found myself reflecting on the profound influence this approach has had on generations of educators, continually inspiring both our professional endeavours and our personal lives. Here are my top reflections:

Formazione Permanente - This principle challenges the traditional notion of 'knowledge as static,’ a belief that once we attain our qualifications, we are set for life in our educational journeys. Instead, we have come to understand that 'formazione' is a lifelong commitment. It is a privilege that enriches not only ourselves but also our communities. It ignites in us a child-like curiosity, driving us to continually enrich our lives and those around us.

Transformations from Within - A cornerstone of the Reggio Emilia Approach is its emphasis on the collective as a value and on the reciprocity of professional learning. It advocates for changes in our practice that are contextualised within our own environments, driven by a deep understanding of these settings rather than dictated by a notion of hierarchy. This principle ensures that our evolution as educators is both authentic and meaningful to our communities. It is a relational process where ‘you affect change and are also affected in the process’.

The Power of Reflective Practice - My initial foray into early childhood education began with an exploration of my own 'image of the child.' This reflection was not only transformative but also life-changing. It lies at the heart of our interactions with young learners, prompting us to confront deep-seated beliefs, biases, and the historical and cultural contexts that shape us. This reflective practice is transformative, altering us not just professionally, but on a personal level as well.

As we embark on reigniting REACH, exploring the myriad possibilities it unfolds for us as a collective of change-makers, collaborators, advocates for children's rights, and champions of lifelong learning, I invite you to join me in this reflective journey. Let us contemplate how we have evolved, both as professionals and as individuals, and commit to deepening our engagement with the Reggio Emilia educational project, within our communities and beyond.

Together, let us continue our transformative journey, embracing the opportunities for growth and innovation that lie ahead. Your dedication, passion, and commitment to education inspire me daily, and I am excited to see where our shared path will lead us.

With warmest regards and deepest respect,

Bipasha Minocha
Chief Executive Officer

Reggio Emilia in Asia for Children (REACH)

Book: Giamminuti, S, Cagliari, P, Giudici, C, Strozzi, P (2024). The Role of the Pedagogista in Reggio Emilia. Routledge.