Teachers are increasingly questioning how children are changing their way of learning from their earliest years. The educational teams explored the topic of changing learning processes with a focus on coding, tinkering, STEAM and on Neuroscience from 0 to 6 years. Indeed, the inclusion of STEAM activities in the 0-6 classes reconnects to the most recent neuroscience discoveries that focus attention on the experience and on the spaces proposed to them: Andrea Pagano and Roberta P. of Design 0-6 (pedagogists of the educational method Learning by Languages® born in Reggio Emilia and spread all over the world) have helped to understand how, once an aesthetically appealing environment has been prepared that can convey messages such as “space / materials = opportunities for exploration and discovery”, we must never lose sight of given the very strong link between #learning and emotions. The first motivational spring that allows children to ignite lies in the possibility of living in a situation of relational well-being, of serenity in which even the mistakes that are made in an attempt to find, with creativity, original learning paths and discoveries, are valued as important elements in the construction of the path itself and of one’s self-image.
Andrea Pagano, what is the connection between education and neuroscience research?
Based on neuroscience research, we know that early life learnings are placed in the brain in areas related to emotions and are the areas that most deeply regulate our needs and emotional states. This awareness reminds us of the importance of the role of educational contexts in the first years of life: the type of environment and experiences we offer to children and the type of emotions that we are able to convey and arouse, can affect the quality of the learning that children will carry on throughout their life.
What does it mean that learning is a socio-constructive process?
Each person achieves learning through interaction with the environment. Research based on socio-constructivist theories also reveals that children always play an active role in the construction and acquisition of knowledge and understanding: however, the individual attitude is always conditioned by the relationship with other children and by the relationship with materials and contexts that he/she encounters.
Why is education an aesthetic process?
The environments and classrooms of #schools have features that significantly influence our feelings and emotions. For this reason, the search for environmental qualities relating to colors, smells and brightness are fundamental and are part of the educational and didactic role of the teachers and educators.
Why should a child be positively conditioned by an environment full of strong colors and chaotic, or, on the contrary, by a class without materials and proposals that can be easily reached independently?
Instead, we can foster positive emotions thanks to an environment set up with interesting contexts and materials, at the right height for children, in which they can access independently and together with other children who can #explore in the relationship with them.
What is the role of the adult in this educational perspective?
The school is seen as a self-training site for students and teachers. The primary attention of the adult is towards the child’s learning processes and is not directed to the subject she has to teach. Malaguzzi, an educator from Reggio Emilia, said: “… children build their own intelligence. Adults must provide them with the activities and the context and above all they must be able to listen”. The adult must enable them to enhance the resources they are endowed with which are different in each one.
The teacher’s success is linked to how much he/she has managed to prepare contexts of experience and play in which children are motivated to research, explore and relate to each other.