Giving Voice To Children

In this occasion, we want to pay tribute to one of our leading authors, Francesco Tonucci, Italian psycopedagogue or, as he says, “childgogue”, who has dedicated his entire life to childhood and education. With his drawings, in which he highlights the needs of children, we have understood concepts that have been perfectly defined in a single image and that are a very effective and powerful method for the dissemination of these needs.

As a thinker, he makes us to observe childhood and education from other angles, making us to reflect on society in general and the things that we should change. What he teaches us, like any good teacher, is to have own criteria and to always question what is established in order to improve it.

His project “The city of children” is widely recognized, the objective of which is to give a voice to this population sector, making them to participate in the important decisions that influence in the design of the cities that host this project. Tonucci claims safe spaces for children in which they can have autonomy and freedom while he advocates a new model of school inclusive but diverse at the same time and in which each child learns, respecting their own times, with a close and fun learning without homework, since leisure and play are essential for children development.

In his concepts about education, he lays out that the ideal of a healthy city is that children go to the school alone, reducing the traffic problems that exist because of the fact that adults take them and allowing them to live their own experiences on the way. He also proposes that safe respect spaces are created in the school environment, without contamination, with trees and areas to move in freedom, without noise or cars, so that the child can go out the school and live the outside. He considers necessary that children can move, both for the physical benefits (prevention of obesity) as well as psychological (because while they walk or play, they interact with others). All of it will improve the attention inside the school, that it should be planned as open and flexible workshops, with different disciplines and not as classrooms with static tables.

Galopín spaces and As Salgueiras were born on the basis of many of his ideas as safe environment in which children can freely and independently discover, investigate, learn, interact, live their own experiences and play.

We share with him the conception that children have the right to develop their capacities from a very young age, they must have their own voice and adults must respect them as individuals, listening to them, motivating and encouraging them, to turn them into healthy, responsible and autonomous adults. And with these premises we try to make our play spaces, trying to take into account their voice.

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