Una esperienza che fa riflettere


 Lo studioso dell’educazione Sugata Mitra affronta uno dei più grandi problemi dell’istruzione: i fondamenti della capacità reale di apprendere. La straordinaria attualità di tali esperienze risulta particolarmente evidente nelle presenti circostanze.

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il racconto di una esperienza straordinaria: il Barefoot College fondato da Bunker Roy

In Rajasthan, India, una scuola straordinaria insegna alle donne contadine (e sopratutto alle nonne) ed agli uomini (anche se pochi) a divenire ingegneri solari, artigiani, medici anche se del tutto illetterati. L’esperienza è stata anche esportata con successo in Afghanistan e in Africa. Nel villaggio c’è una scuola per tutti i bambini che di giorno fanno i pastori e di sera studiano. Il villaggio si chiama Barefoot College, ed è stato fondato da Bunker Roy.


webinar Flipnet ‘Liberare l’apprendimento in Danimarca” con Luca Amicizia e Andrea Sola

Qui potete ascoltare la registrazione del collegamento del 20 dicembre con lo studente danese Luca Amicizia e Andrea Sola del sito www.educareallaliberta.org promosso da Flipnet sul sistema educativo della Danimarca. I DIALOGHI INIZIANO AL SESTO MINUTO DELLA REGISTRAZIONE

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Una intervista al direttore della Academy for Free school teaching di Danimarca

Ole Pederson è direttore dell’Independent Academy for Free School Teaching in Danimarca, una scuola che prepara i futuri insegnanti delle Free schools danesi che sono molto differenti da quelle così chiamate in Inghilterra, in quanto si basano sulla pedagogia di Grundtvig e Kold.

Qui una sintesi del suo intervento al EFFE Simposium di Edimburgo e della sua intervista che qui riportiamo.

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Una intervista ad Irfanka Pašagić sul suo lavoro con bambini che hanno subito i traumi della guerra in Bosnia.

Una intervisa ad Irfanka Pašagić (tradotta da Azra Fetahovic) sul suo lavoro con bambini che hanno subito i traumi della guerra in Bosnia. L’intervista è stata realizzata nel luglio 2015 da Andrea Sola a Tuzla in occasione del viaggio organizzato dalla Fondazione Langer per Euromediterraneo 2015.

Irfanka Pašagić è una neuropsichiatra originaria di Srebrenica, giunta a Tuzla come profuga nel 1992. E’ direttrice dell’associazione “Tuzlanska Amica” che è un’organizzazione non governativa con sede a Tuzla, una città nel nordest della Bosnia- Erzegovina. Il suo lavoro è iniziato già nel 1992, cercando di alleviare le sofferenze di un numero crescente di donne e bambini arrivati dai campi di concentramento, dalle zone sottoposte alla pulizia etnica e in fuga dalla città di Srebrenica.

Vedi il sito della Fondazione Langer

e dell’associazione Tuzlanska Amica di Tuzla, Bosnia Erzegovina



Una intervista a Howard Gardner

Traduzione dell’intervista ad Howard Gardner che spiega in cosa consista l’intelligenza multipla e l’impatto che può avere nell’istruzione (2011).

Sugata Mitra, una nuova conferenza: Costruiamo una scuola nelle nuvole

GUARDA IL VIDEO (sottotitoli in italiano)

Educational researcher Dr. Sugata Mitra’s “Hole in the Wall” experiments have shown that, in the absence of supervision or formal teaching, children can teach themselves and each other, if they’re motivated by curiosity and peer interest. In 1999, Mitra and his colleagues dug a hole in a wall bordering an urban slum in New Delhi, installed an Internet-connected PC, and left it there (with a hidden camera filming the area). What they saw was kids from the slum playing around with the computer and in the process learning how to use it and how to go online, and then teaching each other.

The “Hole in the Wall” project demonstrates that, even in the absence of any direct input from a teacher, an environment that stimulates curiosity can cause learning through self-instruction and peer-shared knowledge. Mitra, who’s now a professor of educational technology at Newcastle University (UK), calls it “minimally invasive education.”

At TED2013, Sugata Mitra made a bold TED Prize wish: Help me build a place where children can explore and learn on their own — and teach one another — using resouces from the worldwide cloud.

Download the Self Organized Learning Environment (SOLE) Toolkit >>

How does the brain learn? – Prof.Dr. Gerald Hüther

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-G-jrLljDUk prima parte

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjaDhbHxaEE seconda parte

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_A1o67vqNo terza parte


Gerald Huther is head of neurobiological research at a psychiatric clinic in Germany, working to discover more about the effects of fear, stress, addiction and nutrition on the brain.

For Huther the human brain is a densely networked structure that is open-ended in terms of its programmability. Unlike those found in many other forms of life – such as stickleback fish whose complicated mating rituals are genetically predetermined – the human brain at birth is pretty much open-ended in terms of how it can be programmed. You come into the world with a brain whose final wiring is going to be connected up and consolidated in accordance with how you use it.

There is an upside and a downside to this. The bad news is that if you don’t get what you need in the first years of life – if your relationship with your primary caregiver is traumatic, for example – that can “canalize” defective coping strategies that manifest in later life as psychological disturbance and antisocial behavior.

The good news is that given the human brain’s extraordinary plasticity we can change its structure through changing how we use it. We can sharpen our senses by attending more sensitively and precisely to our inner and outer worlds. We can develop a great capacity to empathize with others’ feelings, putting ourselves in their place. And we can come increasingly to know ourselves – aware of what is taking place within ourselves, conscious of who we are and how we came to be like this.

By deciding how and for what purposes we are going to use our brains, we also end up making a decision about what kind of brain we are going to end up with. For here you really do need to “use it or lose it” and the choice not to embark on a path of development but rather to stay as you are might well be the last free choice you make: the more frequently you use the old established neuronal circuits you currently have the more embedded they become.

If you don’t want to become stuck in that way, following the old worn-in ruts, you have to call your experience into question again and again. By following the usual human path of egocentricity – seeing oneself as the center of the world and acting accordingly – one embeds a fixed pattern of repetitive neuronal connectivity. The harder path of self-development, which leads to a more comprehensive, complex and more highly networked brain, consists in developing qualities that go beyond self-centeredness. Sensibleness, uprightness, humility, prudence, truthfulness, reliability, empathy, and courtesy; qualities such these cannot be developed in isolation. They come as part of a matrix of social feelings that involve connectedness and solidarity that transcend our usual self-centeredness. In the end, says Huther, a person who wishes to use his or her brain in the most comprehensive manner must also learn to love.

Huther sets his arguments out clearly and precisely. The book is styled as a kind of “user’s manual” for the human brain, with section headings such as “Removing the Packing and Protective Materials,” “Options for Assembly and Possible Applications,” “Advice About Installations Already in Place,” “Repairing Failed Installations,” “Maintenance and Servicing,” and so on. I wonder at the wisdom of this choice, for like a user’s manual the book often comes across as drier and less poetic than its title would otherwise suggest. For those who keep going at it, this book has considerable wisdom to offer alongside its hard science. Many readers, though, will wish there were a few more oases of imagery and poetry along the way.

Ridef 2014: intervista a Inger Nordheden, insegnante Freinet svedese

Ridef 2014: intervista a Inger Nordheden, insegnante Freinet svedese.

Nell’intervista viene descritta l’attuale situazione delle free schools svedesi che hanno una storia più che ventennale e sono completamente fianziate dallo Stato. In particolare si descrive il conflitto in atto tra la tendenza ad un uso economicamente strumentale da parte dei gestori di alcune scuole e la opposizione a questa deriva da parte delle diverse tipologie di scuole libere (Steineriane, Montessori, Freinet ed altre) accomunate da impegno ideale e non finalizzato al profitto.


Inger Nordheden insegna al College of Teachers dell’ Università di Stoccolma.E’ stata una delle fondatrici della Freinet School Chesnut di Stoccolma. E’  uscito recentemente il suo ultimo libro “Adventures in Education”, The emerge of the Modern School Movement in Sweden. ForlagKastanien ℅ Inger Nordheden, Nordenflychtsvagen 67, SE –  112 15 Stockholm – Sweden    

Ridef 2014: intervista a Abdelfattah Abusrour

L’intervista è stata realizzata durante il Convegno internazionale della RIDEF tenutosi a Reggio Emilia dal 21 al 30 luglio 2014.

A seguire sono state inserite immagini della presentazione del gruppo palestinese durante una serata di spettacolo della Ridef

Abdelfattah Abusrour è direttore del Centro Culturale Alrowwad (Pioneers for life) che ha sede a Betlemme (Aida camp), Palestina.

Il sito dell’organizzazione è www.alrowwad.org

The Self-Organizing Child: Chris Mercogliano at TED

Chris Mercogliano was a teacher at the Albany Free School for thirty-five years and stepped down as director in June 2007 to concentrate on writing and speaking about non-controlling education and child-rearing. He is a member of AERO’s Board of Directors.

Pioneers in Alternative Education, a TEDx Talk by Jerry Mintz


Education Revolution - Alternative Education Resource Organization


VIDEO: Pioneers in Alternative Education, a TEDx Talk by Jerry Mintz






Watch video of Jerry’s new TEDx talk above. 

The transcript below of Jerry Mintz’s TEDx talk comes from his original talk notes and not a direct transcription from the event.

At the airport in New York, on my way here, I encountered a mother and her 9 year old son in the elevator. I had on my shirt with our website, so the mother asked me what that was,  I said I was an educational consultant. The boy then asked me what I did for work. I told him that I helped people start schools in which you didn’t have to go to classes unless you wanted to, you could choose any class to go to, and the decisions were made democratically with the students having an equal vote. Without hesitation the boy shouted “Sign me up!”

I almost always get this reaction from children. They know they are natural learners. Almost no student under 11 years old ever says “But how will I learn?” Only older students and parents sometimes ask that. This is because the human spirit is resilient and it takes at least 6 or 7 years before that natural ability to learn starts to become extinguished.

The educational approach in the large majority of schools still seems to be based on the theory that children are naturally lazy and need to be forced to learn. Why is this: Perhaps because the education bureaucrats who continue to control this system are the products of it! This may be why true change does not take place, despite the fact that modern brain research clearly shows that that children are natural learners.

Ever since the compulsory state government education system was created more than 150 years ago there have been important educational pioneers who have disagreed with the traditional authoritarian approach of most schools. These include people like Francisco Ferrer of Spain who started the Modern School movement, Maria Montessori, Rudolph Steiner who started Waldorf Schools, John Dewey, who started the progressive school movement, and A.S. Neill who started Summerhill School in England.

I’ve visited Summerhill many times and will visit on my way back from here. I’m a very part time table tennis teacher there—once every year or two. Here I am with Neill’s Daughter Zoe Readhead who now runs the school. Of course decisions are made democratically at Summerhill. There’s a funny story with this one. The meeting had made a decision that games could not be played in the computer room in the morning—so they passed the computer out the window so they could play!

There is a worldwide network of learner-centered schools and programs for all age levels. This network is growing rapidly as people become more and more dissatisfied with an unchanging traditional system. It’s important to understand that if you believe that people are born natural learners you wouldn’t have competitive grades, forced homework, or even grade levels. Just think what an artificial situation it is, to be in a room every day with 25 or thirty people of your exact age. This will never again happen in your life! Why should children be socialized to that bizarre configuration?

Also, consider the absurdity of grades and testing. If you go to a library, they assume that you want to learn something and that it is your business alone. They do not make you sit down and test and grade you on the way out! Why should schools be different?

The learner-centered schools are everywhere.

For example we help support the Sri Aurobindo Ashram/orphanage in Katmandu, Nepal. The founder, who himself was a young runaway, came back to Nepal after educating himself in India to found the Ashram. Sri Aurobindo, who it was named for,  was a progressive educational pioneer in India. What they do with the children is amazing. For example I met a 12-year-old boy at our conference in 2003 who was brought to the orphanage as a three year old. Now, ten years later he is getting his doctorate in physics in Germany.

There are hundreds of such schools. They are all very different from each other. In Albany, New York, the Free School operates on income from buildings in their inner city area that they have bought at auction and rehabilitated.

In Israel there is a network of over 25 public democratic schools originally started by Yaacov Hecht, who now is working with mayors to change the education in entire cities.

I am working with young teachers from Saudi Arabia who are organizing a boarding democratic school for Syrian refugee orphans in Turkey. In an Eastern European country I did a consultation last year with a group which has just opened a home education resource center, the first of its kind in that country.

There is an inner city public school that runs democratically and the students have a constitutional right to leave any class without explanation. It is the School of Self Determination in Moscow, Russia!

What these schools and programs have in common is that they are learner centered and empower their students.

Home education is one of the fastest growing alternatives in the world. Almost 30 years ago, when John Holt’s groundbreaking book “Teach Your Own” was published, there were about 20,000 being home educated in the USA. Now it is estimated that there are more than two million. But home education is not legal everywhere. It is legal in Norway and Denmark, but illegal in Sweden. In fact, a child was dramatically taken away from parents there. removed from a plane when they were trying to leave the country. They are still trying to get their child back. It is illegal in Germany. One couple was given asylum in the USA after they escaped Germany with their children.

But in most places, where it is legal, starting a home education center is a good way to start a new learner-centered alternative.

I help people start new alternatives and we have helped start at least 50 in the last few years. One the most important early lessons I learned about how to do this was from Arthur Morgan. Morgan was a pioneer innovator at Antioch University in the early 20th century. He created the first cooperative education program at a university in which up to half of a student’s learning is experiential, through internship. This has now spread around the world. Morgan also started a progressive elementary school for his children in the 1920’s in the same town, Yellow Springs, Ohio.

I was lucky enough to meet Arthur Morgan when I was getting my Masters degree at Antioch in the 1960’s. He was in his 90’s. I wanted to start a democratic, interracial recreation center in Yellow Springs while I was there, so I went to see him for advice. Among other things he suggested that I get funding for the project from the local Council so that there would still be a job after I left the area to finish my degree.

I got the funding and had several meetings with large groups of interested students, but had trouble finding a location for the center. I thought I had found one in an unused wing of a church on the main street but the church turned us down So I went to meet with Morgan again to ask him what to do and learned one of my most important lessons from this Quaker on how to get things done.

Morgan was tall but somewhat stooped over.  As I was telling him the situation he turned away from me and slowly started reaching for the phone.  He started to dial.  I was thinking he might really be senile; he wasn’t even listening to me.  It turned out he was calling one of his former students who was one of the two millionaires in town.  His name was Morris Bean.

He said, “Hello, Morris.  This is Arthur Morgan.  I’m fine.  You remember several years ago when the Presbyterian Church was expanding and they said that they were going to serve not just their own congregation, but the whole community?  They did some fundraising.  Well, there are some young people here who are trying to start a recreation center and they’re looking for a place to have that recreation center.  They have funding and support, but the church turned them down.  Now, you put money into that, didn’t you?  Yes, I thought so.  Well, if you’ll just get me the list of some of the others…”

He then looked up at me as Morris Bean was getting the list of other people who had contributed to that fund.  He said to me, and I’ll never forget this, “I think that this is ethical!”  That was an important lesson for me from the old Quaker about how to get things done.

A week later I got a phone call from the Presbyterian Church at 1 AM — they’d been rethinking my request and wanted to know if we were still interested in using the wing of the church for the recreation center and if I could come to a meeting the next morning.  A week after that, we opened, the first interracial center in the town. It evolved into a community center that continues to this day. I wonder if the people in Yellow Springs know that this is something else they owe to Arthur Morgan.

So I did get my Master’s degree from Antioch, now known as Antioch University New England. I did my undergraduate work at another progressive college,  Goddard College. Goddard was founded by Dr. Royce Stanley Pitkin.  He was born just a few miles from the college, but eventually got his doctorate at Teachers College in New York, studying with the renowned John Dewey. In 1938 he got Deway and others to help him remake Goddard into what was and still is one of the most radical higher education alternatives. At Goddard there were no grades, no tests, you created your own major, and did independent studies whenever you wanted. I learned a great deal by studying about education with Pitkin. After I graduated and had started my own democratic school, Pitkin agreed to come to the school to speak at our graduation in 1980. By so doing he completed a circle of sorts, as John Dewey was born just a block away from my school. Pitkin spoke about Dewey,  and told this story which indicated what Dewey thought about educational testing. It is as relevant today as it was then.

Pitkin story will be available in Jerry Mintz’s TEDx video.

So his point was that in the end they weren’t testing anything real. And that was 33 years ago, quoting Dewey from 75 years ago.

Antioch and Goddard are two higher education alternatives that we list among dozens more on our website. Some have been around for a long time. Others have just recently started, such as Black Mountain SOLE, located on the former site of the original, radical Black Mountain College, which was attended by such people as Buckminster Fuller and Paul Goodman, in the 30’and 40’s. SOLE stands for Self Organized Learning Environment, a name that speaks for itself.

So, now to the most important part of this talk: What can you do if you are a parent, teacher or student? If you are a student here in this audience, you can do what some have done at other universities, organize student-led classes based on student interest. They do not have to be for credit, but you could seek it if you want.

If you are a classroom teacher you’d be amazed with the power of democratic process. You can be frank about the restrictions of your situation, but let them be free to make decisions in areas where you have the authority to do so.

If you are a parent or teacher and believe children are natural learners, you could organize your own school or home education resource center. I could help you do if you need assistance.

My mission is the Education Revolution. I want to see learner-centered, empowering education as a possibility for all students, everywhere. Thank you!


Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO) © 2014. All Rights Reserved
info@educationrevolution.org | (516) 621-2195 | 417 Roslyn Road, Roslyn Heights, NY 11577



Il closlieu di Arno Stern

Stern ha dato alla sua attività il nome di “Educazione Creatrice”. Con ciò egli ha voluto indicare che in essa si tratta, all’opposto del condizionamento alla dipendenza, di un’iniziazione all’autonomia dell’individuo. Egli teneva a mettere l’accento sul fatto che lo sviluppo personale è legato all’esperienza sociale. Così, l’attività nel Closlieu permette all’individuo di realizzarsi tra gli altri, e non contro gli altri.

Come rendere possibile a tutti il gioco semplice e benefico della pittura? Creando le condizioni adatte a superare i pregiudizi e le inibizioni. Tutti sono capaci – proprio come lo è il bambino piccolo – di lasciarsi andare a questo gioco, quand’esso si svolge in uno spazio messo a punto a questo fine. Questo spazio è il Closlieu.




Intervista ad un’allieva della Sudbury School di Gerusalemme – di Andrea Sola

La scuola “Sudbury” di Gerusalemme, frequentata da allievi che vanno dai 6 ai 18 anni, fa parte delle numerose scuole ‘democratiche’ sorte in Israele negli ultimi 25 anni. Le scuole “Sudbury” sono circa 35 nel mondo e prendono il nome dalla omonima scuola Sudbury Valley School, fondata nel 1968 a Framingham, Massachusetts, negli Stati Uniti, dove si mette in atto una forma di gestione particolarmente libera della pratica scolastica. L’intervista è stata realizzata da Andrea Sola nel 2011.

Video-intervista a un’insegnante della free school “Sudbury” di Gerusalemme

La scuola “Sudbury” di Gerusalemme, frequentata da allievi che vanno dai 6 ai 18 anni, fa parte delle numerose scuole ‘democratiche’ sorte in Israele negli ultimi 25 anni. Le scuole “Sudbury” sono circa 35 nel mondo e prendono il nome dalla omonima scuola  Sudbury Valley School, fondata nel 1968 a Framingham, Massachusetts, negli Stati Uniti, dove si mette in atto una forma di gestione particolarmente libera della pratica scolastica. L’intervista è stata realizzata da Andrea Sola nel 2011.

vedi l’intervista

Conferenza di Sugata Mitra

Sugata Mitra: The child-driven education

Nel 1999 Sugata Mitra e i suoi colleghi fecero “un buco nel muro” in uno slum urbano a New Delhi, vi installarono all’interno un PC connesso ad internet e lo lasciarono li (con una telecamera nascosta che riprendeva lo spazio): ciò che videro furono bambini che giocavano con un computer e mentre lo facevano imparavano ad usarlo e a navigare in internet, e poi che si insegnavano l’un l’altro quello che avevano imparato.
Negli anni successivi replicarono l’esperimento in altre parti dell’India, urbane e rurali, con risultati simili. Il progetto “buco nel muro” dimostra che, anche in assenza di un intervento diretto da parte di un insegnante, una installazione che stimola la curiosità produce conoscenze e saperi condivisi.
Mitra, che ora professore di educational technology alla Newcastle University (UK), chiama ciò educazione “minimally invasive”.

Cliccate sul video per farlo partire


Intervista con Yaacov Hecht, fondatore della prima scuola democratica di Israele


Nel 1987 ha fondato la Scuola Democratica di Hadera, e ha coniato il termine di scuola democratica, che è oggi in uso in tutto il mondo.
Nel 1993 Yaacov convocato la prima Conferenza internazionale sull’educazione democratica (IDEC) in Israele. La conferenza continua a svolgersi ogni anno in un diverso paese del mondo.
Nel 1995 ha fondato il primo Istituto per l’Educazione Democratica (IDE) e lo ha condotto fino al 2010.
Nel 2000 ha avviato la pratica delle “Education Cities”, che attualmente sono attive in 6 zone residenziali in Israele.
Nel 2010 Yaacov è diventato un co-fondatore di una nuova organizzazione denominata “Città Istruzione – L’arte delle collaborazioni”. Questa organizzazione si drdica al coordinamento dei programmi regionali che vedono tutta la città come una grande scuola.

Ha pubblicato nel 2005 il libro  “Demoratic Education, the beginning of a story”

Intervista a due ex allievi delle scuole democratiche

L’intervista è stata realizzata da Andrea Sola nel mese di luglio 2011 in occasione del convegno mondiale delle scuole democratiche , IDEC, svoltosi presso la Sand School nel Davon, Inghilterra.