i-Volcani: How to encourage the eruption of new skills and points of view?


“The stem produces a luxuriant front only if the root is solid and well anchored”.

The national guidelines for the nursery school curriculum propose, among the fields of experience, that relating to knowledge of the world. In addition, the Recommendations issued by the European Council call for the promotion of the acquisition of skills in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEAM) to motivate children to approach scientific disciplines, thus promoting freedom of thought and critical ability.

The training of the staff of the Zer0six project of CEFA Schools therefore started from the analysis of the “Pedagogical guidelines for the integrated 0-6 system” to confirm the various aspects already in place in the well-established educational project and identify, together with the staff, perspectives for growth.

The confrontation between the Headmistresses of the Schools has brought forward a new stage of the training path necessary for the enhancement of “i-Vulcani”, a table for making under the Learning by Languages® brand marketed by CampuStore, which since last spring has been present in CEFA nursery schools: a learning environment that favors the approach to STEM by the little ones, through scientific processing, observation and study of the infinite states of transformation of matter.

These cutting-edge tools, right from the phase of insertion in the didactic offer, have met with great success and thanks to Roberta P. and Andrea Pagano of Design 0-6 (pedagogists of the Learning by Languages® educational method born in Reggio Emilia and widespread throughout the world) educators and teachers have implemented the learning potential.

What is the educational goal of i-Volcani? Why do we talk about the development of scientific thought?

The i-Vulcani project stems from the desire to propose learning environments that aim to support discovery, research and learning in the scientific field in children aged three to eight – the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)-, taking into account the links with the arts, creativity and innovation, therefore, STEM that turn into STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math). Doing science since early years means preparing spaces for action and places to sensitize boys and girls, make them reflect, support them in comparison, accompany them in search of new information, welcome their different ideas, comparing them to seek new explanations on the different worlds explored. I-Vulcani involves children in the exploration of reality and scientific research, through paths and contexts studied ad hoc by teachers

Why are i-Volcani so called?

The metaphor of the volcano brings us back to the idea of ​​the emergence of hidden aspects of knowledge, as a point of energy and concentration, as a passage between the world below and the world above, between the micro and the macro; it is a complex structure because the volcano is active (and therefore activates ideas), but it can also be dormant and, at any moment and thanks to our opportunities, explode. Witnessing a volcanic eruption is a very fascinating experience and this is what the adults working on the volcano are showing us, but especially the boys and girls.

Adults are the first experimenters of i-Vulcani, which allows plays of light, perspectives, different levels, upside down, languages ​​that intertwine and the ability to leave traces. I-Vulcani is a tool that promotes interdisciplinarity and the ability to rework the observed reality. How important is the attention paid to learning environments today? The vertical perspective and the aesthetic dimension fascinate children, playing a driving role in the processes of knowledge, and, in the case of iVulcani, the circular shape stimulates an enveloping ergonomics that involves children in the shared path of exploration and experimentation.