Pedagogical Coordination in the Reggio Emilia Approach


Effective 1 June 2016 through 31 May 2017

Please see the Graduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.


Graduate Certificate
18 Hours

This program offered by School of Education

Program Description

In the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education, pedagogistas support teachers and help educators develop constructive learning environments.

This graduate certificate program was designed in partnership with educational leaders from Reggio Children and the internationally acclaimed Municipal Preschools and Infant Toddler Centers of Reggio Emilia, Italy.  It is designed to offer an in-dept understanding of the fundamental principles and pedagogical practices of Reggio Emilia's social constructivist approach to early learning and to enable teachers to learn the role of pedagogical coordinator in schools that are inspired by this approach.

In the school system of Reggio Emilia educators and families of each school are supported by a pedagogista who could be compared to a mentor, coach and/or consultant in U.S. schools. The pedagogista supports the professional development of teachers and staff and collaborates with them to make choices and decisions about their ongoing work with children and families. The pedagogista does this by working closely with teachers to observe, document, and analyze the learning processes and experiences of children, and then draw implications for teaching and learning.

The certificate program consists of four 3-credit hour courses and two 3-credit hour pedagogical coordinator internships for a total of 18 credit hours.  The four courses are offered online and internships can be completed and supervised at St. Louis  partner schools or, with approval, at Reggio inspired schools in other locations.  Those interested in completing internships outside the St. Louis area should inquire about this option by sending an email to

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify and analyze the historical, social, philosophical and psychological underpinnings and principles of the Reggio Emilia approach and educational services in relation to those of other recognized approaches to early education in the U.S. and around the world. 
  •  Analyze systems thinking perspectives about early childhood services and the pedagogy of listening that support an interdependent community of learners (including children, teachers, families and the broader community).
  •  Develop and apply the skills and concepts of observation and documentation in relation to a) the pedagogy of listening, b) principles of organization of the day that support interdependence of learners and learning, c) the creation and ongoing development of learning environments, and d) the concept and practices of progettazione.
  •  Explore the role and functions of the pedagogical coordinator and demonstrate ability to carry out these functions in collaboration with teachers, children, and families from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds.


  • ECED 5750 Negotiated Learning: The Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Education (3 hours)
  • ECED 5820 Creating Learning Environments (3 hours)
  • ECED 5870 Expressive Languages (3 hours)
  • ECED 5800 Applied Research (3 hours)
  • ECED 5810 Pedagogical Internship (3 hours)
  • ECED 5811 Pedagogical Internship (3 hours)

The university coursework will be totally integrated with the internship.


Admission Process:

Candidates may pursue the certificate by itself or integrate their certificate work with their MA degree in early childhood education. All candidates must have prior teaching experience and a bachelor’s or master’s degree in early childhood education or a closely related field. All applicants must meet the admission criteria for the MA in early childhood education

Students who are interested in applying to this certificate program should also see the Admission Section of this catalog for general requirements.

Admission Requirements

  • Receipt of official transcripts from the baccalaureate-granting institution.
  • Undergraduate cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  • Admission to the Early Childhood Education MA program.
  • Essay:  What motivated you to become an early childhood educator?  Based on the School of Education’s mission statement, the program description and candidate learning outcomes, how do you think your participation in this certificate program will help you accomplish your personal and professional goals?

Send all admission materials to:

Office of Admission
Webster University
470 E. Lockwood Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63119

Completed application files will be reviewed by the Language, Literacy and Leadership Department.