Joyschool is a pedagigical project promoting the social innovation network for education and protection of children’s rights (RISE FOR RIGHTS).
The Joyschool Project was created to push Italian schools towards an immediate and complete application of the National Curricular Indications for Primary School (adopted by the Italian Ministry for Education in 2012) and to fully implement European Union directives on education (Recommendation of the European Parliament of 18 December 2006 on key competences).
Joyschool Project is based on the “right to a joyful learning” and all children’s rights recognised by the International Convention on the Rights of the Child.
According to Joyschool pedagogical vision, all children have the right to live a joyful and positive learning experience, because a joyful education enhances children’s “JOY OF LEARNING”.
The Joy of Learning improves the natural children’s “attitude for knowledge” and put the bases for an effective lifelong learning. For this purpose, it is necessary that the school respects the learning rhythms and inclinations of each student, using teaching methods, times and places “fit for children”.
Joyschool project foresees a supportive school, based on cooperative learning and peer tutoring, without un-natural competitions, useless comparisons or “race to school marks”; Joyschool project fosters a school able to support the natural curiosity of children, appreciating their creativity and their informal knowledge (all information acquired through personal experiences); a school built upon a flexible use of places; a school that encourages a daily contact with nature and teaches children respect, autonomy and responsibility. This is all part of the National Curricular Indications for Primary School (Italian Ministry for Education, 2012).
Joyschool project is aimed at providing children with all competences and instruments they need to face as best they can any future challenges, and making them active protagonists of their future. The perspective is to contribute at building up a “new humanism” through a “rebirth” of local communities in order to make our society more committed to mutual respect for people and environment.
Joyschool project is based on a vision of human being typical of “christian personalism” and follows the teachings of Italian and foreign pedagogists such as Don Bosco and Don Milani; Maria Montessori and Maria Boschetti Alberti; Pestalozzi and Mario Lodi; Freneit and Pennac; Dewey and Gardner; Piaget and Feuerstein.
Joyschool project was created to turn the school from a place where children “must” learn into an enviroment where they can experience the joy of learning. Particular attention is paid to the natural method of learning described by Celestin Freinet, who described the spontaneous children joy for learning since their birth. This joy turns into an obligation, when learning becomes a duty. At the opposite, learning is an inner cognitive process that no one can force. For this reason, children should not experience school as a prison of their souls, but they should be free of satisfying their natural desire to grow up.
Actually, the way to life long learning mostly depends on passion and interests, curiosity, questions and real life of children; true knowledge originates from wonder (Socrate), not from threats, school marks competition or from useless accumulation of knowledge: educating a child is not the filling of a “pail”, but the lighting of a fire.
The purpose of education is to “bring out” (from Latin edùcere), which means creating the conditions for children to fully express their talents, their natural inclinations, attitudes, ambitions.
Joyschool project is aimed to:
- ENHANCE MOTIVATION, so that children can be the players in their own learning process and not mere spectators or listeners.
- APPRECIATE THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF INTELLIGENCES IN CHILDREN: linguistic, logical/mathematical, spatial, bodily, musical, interpersonal, naturalist, intrapersonal, existential (Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences theory).
- TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE EMOTIONAL SPHERE, because emotions have a great impact on learning. (Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence theory).
- SUPPORT AUTONOMY AND RESPONSIBLE FREEDOM, encouraging active participation and sharing rules, rights and duties.
- TEACH RESPECT, NON-VIOLENCE AND SOLIDARITY, important values to follow every day at school and in the family.
- PROVIDE INSTRUMENTS TO “LEARNING TO LEARN”, teaching children how to stand on their own two feet.
- ENCOURAGE A CONTACT WITH NATURE, restoring a more normal rhythm and giving childhood back to children together with the freedom to play, run, jump, explore, observe.
- PRESERVE THE INNATE PLEASURE FOR KNOWLEDGE, which is too often neglected at school.
In this perspective, teachers who support the Joyschool vision communicate and listen emphatically and respectfully; they are creative and imaginative, able to prepare specific learning occasions and sensitive to the children’s needs; they avoid scholasticism, sciolism and precociousness; they fight against precocious adultization; they make their knowledge available and are ready to share their perspectives with children and their own knowledge. The teacher is the “mediator” of knowledge and organizer of school spaces; he/she is the one who explains, illustrates and shows “how to do it”; the one who supports every single student as a couch/director and assists him day by day; a person who is ready to “leave the field”, once the children learn to “do it by themselves”, to catch knowledge, to ask questions, becoming responsible for their own knowledge creation. The teacher supports children’s curiosity, giving them as many opportunities as possible to learn and to express themselves. Joyschool teachers are committed to create a set of everyday activities, based on group work, continuous update and self-assessment.
Joyschool project wants all children to acquire EU eight key competences: 1) communication in the mother tongue; 2) communication in foreign languages; 3) mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology; 4) digital competence; 5) learning to learn; 6) social and civic competences; 7) sense of initiative and entrepreneurship; 8) cultural awareness and expression. In a context where all disciplines have equal importance, English language should contaminate many children’s activities (geography, history, arts, mathematics, music, songs, sport) and daily routines at school (including lunch-time and breaks). Joyschool project fosters a school experience where students are actively involved thriugh a incidental teaching (actually, learning arises from everyday life activities and interests), open to the world and in contact with nature (because life is learning and learning occurs only in everyday life). According to Joyschool pedagogical vision, laboratory-based teaching method should represent the daily routine and not only an exception; the main laboratories which might be activated are: ♦ Science and Technology; ♦ Mathematical and Logic Games; ♦ Reading and Writing; ♦ Foreign Languages; ♦ Arts and Crafts; ♦ Singing, Music and Theatre; ♦ Active Citizenship; ♦ Sport and physical education; ♦ Gardening; ♦ Cooking.