Hello all, and thanks for bringing me into this conversation!
I would say first off that Reggio classrooms (with children aged 0-6) are very much child centered, in that it is through careful and in-depth observation of a specific group of children that projects are gradually developed over the school. That means that we do not really know what the projects are until some months have passed! Of course, documentation (both video and written) and conversations with colleagues are key for picking up on things that the children are doing and saying that we adults might miss, especially if we are trying to lead the children, rather than letting them lead us! But basically the themes and projects spring from the interest of that class- and each classi s unique and different. Generally, at least at my school, the teachers are not the ones who decide the topics of the projets, although at a certain point they may make choices about the direction a project can take. There are always multiple possibilities of aspects to deepen and concentrate on.
Getting the whole group involved takes place through both larger class discussions (es. during a circletime/assembly in the morning), as well as through the experiences of small groups, who then share what they did and thought with the larger group afterwards. Asking the children good questions, and offering them back their own words, fostering their ability to explain their thinking, even with young children, is also essential. It is a process that takes time! But that processi s so important- moreso than the final outcome.
Sometimes the children are very clear about what they are interested in or fascinated by, sometimes it takes a lot of careful discussion and observation on the part of the adults to find a red thread… there is really no set recipe! But as adults we need to keep an open mind, and really let the children express themelves and be sensitive to their words, actions and offer them many different contexts and languages (the 100 languages) to explore what they are interested in, and then accompany them, as co-researchers!
I would say that many of these ideas are also fundamental to LCL- allowing the children to find their interests and supporting them in their explorations, offering them a rich array of tools and contexts… but in the end letting them figure things out for themselves! And their strategies and solutions are always fascinating.