Piccola Polis: the documentary that makes us reflect on another school, in direct contact with nature

“All children are rich, that is, they are more armed, they are more talented, they are stronger, they are more intelligent than we can assume.” What would the world be like if we taught children the art of sharing and outdoor life?

A puddle is not a puddle, but a place of adventure that definitely needs to be explored. And it is a stone that can take another form, perhaps to build a house, with the intention of sharing that moment with a friend. Leaves, flowers, rocks, paths, water and soil. At these special schools, there are no desks or chairs, nor the canonical lesson to be memorized. Here there is the outdoors and the desire to learn (and to teach) to get your hands dirty.

With this goal isAsylum in the woods (kindergarten) and then, like its ribs, the Little Police (primary and secondary school) of Ostia Antica. The kindergarten in Bosco di Ostia was the first in Italy and is the one that gave rise to many similar experiences throughout the country, while Piccola Polis is the continuation of this educational path for primary and secondary school and is one of the very few. realities of this type on Italian territory.

And the name “Little PoliceHe already says a lot. He talks about how urgent it is to ask them, the children, why and how it is possible to build a better society. Listening to them and giving them unimaginable opportunities.

From this tremendous experience, the documentary was born Little Police, already available on OpenDDB at this link, and of which we at GreenMe are media partners. This is an interesting study regarding didactic experiences in nature in Asilo nel Bosco and Piccola Polis. An “observational” documentary in which the room is almost always an invisible guest who participates in the children’s games, their interactions and various activities. The only exception is two interviews with a teacher from the kindergarten and a teacher from Piccola Polis, who talk about their pedagogical approach.

Filming began in February 2020, shortly before the outbreak of the pandemic and shortly before these schools also closed their doors. Two long and complicated years where children’s crying was only a distant echo. In fact, this school model was particularly incompatible with the new health regulations, so much so that it – at least in the beginning – even struggled to restart.

We are happy to publish this work now that a return to good habits seems to be upon us. This documentary reminds us of the importance, after years of changing closures, of a life (and a school) close to nature and of a human relationship that also consists of physical contact and tactile experience.

The background of this story is the landscape of Ostia Antica, a wonderful place at the mouth of the Tiber, next to the extraordinary archeological park, and which can be reached via a country road, the “Pasolini Trail”.

This parallelism immediately reminded us of Pasolini’s warnings about the danger that society was already in the 70s transforming itself through forced urbanization and becoming more and more a “consumer society”. These aspects have also greatly affected the school, often making it a place for the individual’s technical and functional preparation for the world of work instead of investing in the complex and inexhaustible human capital that each child represents.

The bucolic beauty of Ostia Antica and these schools invites us to a necessary reflection on our time, on our relationship with nature, teaching and learning. Little Police thus it becomes a hope, a restart, investing everything in beauty and on man. Or rather child.

And in those few minutes, there is everything: the children’s extreme seriousness, their approach to things, the concreteness they put into their activities. The decision, the firmness, the division, the choice. We are sure we will teacher?

Watch the trailer

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