• Suzanne Axelsson

The third teacher continued

Uppdaterad: jan 2


as promised here come more images of the environments at Nido Scuola ENI06 in Milan - there are three other posts already written about the construction materials on offer and än introduction to the space with some panorama photos...

this post will share a few more images and some descriptions about each image... so another approach to viewing the early years setting in parts...



the classrooms or group rooms all had a mini atelier attached to their space - in a separate room walled by glass - so as to create a part of the classroom with the option of exploration in small and undisturbed groups. Each space was slightly different but most, especially with the younger children were spaces for clay. The babies did not have a separate atelier from what I remember (and from the photos I took - and I assume this is their space was set up for creating security and exploration and there was no need yet for an extra room for creativity - there was though an extra room for sleep which they had a greater need for.

The above mini atelier you can see is dedicated to cardboard exploration.



There were also shared ateliers of various sizes and uses... the above was a small space connected to the school‘s kitchen with a table and on the other side of the room an oven etc

this is their food atelier - a space to explore food and the art of cooking, but also a space I saw being used by groups to bake birthday cakes. The birthday child and a few friends would bake a cake and the whole class would share the apple cake after lunch.



Above is the larger shared atelier - there were two other large atelier spaces - one was now empty (after previously being an atelier of loose parts and construction) and was being used as an atelier of movement in the sense of the body moving - during my short time there I saw the space being used for yoga.

The other atelier was geared up for digital exploration - I did not see it being used while I was there except for when I held my presentation on children with autism and other special rights.


There were two piazzas - shared spaces for the classrooms - the above is the shared space for the 3-6 year olds in the school. It included soft furnishings, tables and the blue den like feature

I saw this space being used by small groups - by partial classes mixed together which allowed for smaller group work in the classrooms. It was also used as a lunch space - where the children sat down and were served like at a restaurant (the high ceilings made this quite a loud experience as the acoustics were not optimal)

One classroom was new and off to the side - this group of children ate in their room and the volume and sound quality there I personally found much more friendly and less energy consuming (again I was observing the space from the viewpoint of special needs, which very much impacted how I was picking up details of the space )



Above is the piazza for the 0-2 year olds - this space did not have glass walls to the classrooms as the other piazza for older children. These children also ate altogether in the piazza.



Here you can see the older piazza set up for lunch. All lunches were served in the same way.

Many talk about the fact that there are two course meals served at Italian settings and about how this is a sign of respect - I would like to point out that it is a sign of cultural differences - in Italy food is not served all on one plate as in many other cultures - with carbohydrates and proteins etc all on one plate to be eaten together. In Italy the carbohydrate is eaten separately and often first...

So while I am used to serving rice with the main dish to children I have worked with in Sweden and the UK (and my own 3 children) in Italy they serve the rice first, then the main dish - the frittata, or meat with salad or whatever it may be.

It is a cultural difference not a more respectful way to serve children - based on the fact that usually we only eat two or three course meals on special occasions or in restaurants

I am not suggesting that the meal times are not respectful in Italy - merely that they are different - and that this difference should not mean they are automatically more respectful based on our own cultural traditions of food.


Having worked with children most of my life in Sweden, my cultural understanding of a respectful lunch is that children decide themselves how much food they want, and learn how much they need and also how to share, that children decide themselves whether they eat protein or vegetables or carbohydrates first last or all together

being served without being asked how much you want (like in a restaurant) is not as respectful from this perspective. It was obvious that not all children liked the food that was put on their plate - resulting in wastefulness.



In the classrooms there was an area for meetings, dialogues, listening to stories



There was also an outdoor atelier of sorts - this connected with an indoor shared space to look more closely at nature


Above you can see the indoor table and how it connects to the outdoor space via the window, and a door. And below shows the shelving connected to this space..


I finish off this post with a few more images of the older piazza - showing the height of the ceiling , the extra windows and light this affords and some of the details of the space ... in my next post I will share a closer look at the classrooms...



Interaction Imagination

© 2017 Suzanne Axelsson. Interaction Imagination. Stockholm, Sweden.
suzanne@interactionimagination.com 

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