For Ruggero Poi, Cittadellarte Fondazione Pistoletto project manager & also Montessori Trainer, education is something that links one person to other person, to the local and global environment.
Ruggero explain us how they designed an exhibition based on Montessori ideas, that allows the children play with cosmo elements. The children can move the planets but they have to pay attention because they are fragile. They feel how planets are fragile because they can touch them. They can build atoms and discover the story of our planet. They also touch and learn that some minerals are inside and at the same time outside our body, how the calcium comes from the stars, but you can also find it in the mountains, in the eggs or yourself. They learn that if you destroy the environment, producing pollution for example, you are destroying yourself at the end.
For Maria Montessori the idea was to set an environment where the children could choose, while the teacher is looking at the relation between the child and the environment. Environment means also other children and adults. So if you look the children in free movement you can know them better, you can help also them to know better themselves.
Beauty is the core of love, so if you want to start something, you need to love it and be attacked by that/those things. Education is based on love, the love we need to prepare the environment for the children, the love that children need to discover.
On the other hand Ruggero exaplained us how they took this idea of human being that Montessori told us to other contexts. They went to the hospital and talked to the doctor there. They proposed to use Montessori with people with Alzhaimer as a non-pharmacologic therapy. They decided to transform a room in the hospital into an open space for the person who were at the beginning of dementia.
They made tests and discovered that there were changes in these people. They didn’t pretend to solve the dementia problem but they were changing the attitude of the person towards the space, now they could do something. They took a tea with them, talked with them about their passions. They treated to them as normal people not as demented people. At this moment they are trying to open a space in between for children, but also for older persons where they can play like in a ludoteca. A place where they can also teach the children how to use the materials.
To provoke is not to critique, but is to move, try or to start something so it can be also positive. This idea of pro-vocation is interesting because also the child discovers the voice or the vocation of himself/herself doing something. In a way the closest example for Ruggero is Michelangelo Pistoleto, who built a space where people can start thinking about themselves and how they can change something that is not working.
Ruggero likes this sentence: “critique is not enough”. He likes the people who open the eyes but we have also to make a proposition. In this case Michelangelo is an artist who make also proposition. He doesn’t have the fear to fail.
He thinks we have to change this kind of vision also in the teachers. Generally the people think that art is not so important, also maybe culture is not so important, but for Ruggero it is the base for the change of the system, the economical, social and ecological system.
Ruggero thinks that we are in a good moment because we are in crisis. Crisis is usually a changing point. He feels that Italy is in the bottom of its social situation and it is a good moment to move towards a new vision.
Talking about success, it Italian it means something happened in the pass, “successo”. Ruggero feels that we have to rethink our idea of success, and think about it in a future sense. How can we use the success to build the future?