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    [HOME] -> [Culture News]
    How Italy encourages children to be builders of good society
    English.news.cn 2015-06-04 16:42:31
    Grazia De Sensi, the mother of two girls aged six and two, is satisfied with how her beloved children are growing up in Italy. "Opportunities for them to develop a balanced personality are many," she told Xinhua on Monday, observed as International Children's Day.

    The young mother has chosen a public school in Milan which uses the Montessori method, a teaching approach developed by Italian pedagogue Maria Montessori which gives prominence to the natural development of a child's ability and intelligence at his or her own pace. "For example, my child will not have to do homework for the first two years," De Sensi explained to Xinhua.

    The school also adheres to a national project named "Without book bag." "This means that students go to school without any books or materials. The school provides all necessary equipment so that they learn to share and respect what belongs to everybody, and avoid waste," she added.

    Not everything goes so smoothly as De Sensi works as manager of a company and has to cope with time constraints and high costs. "Social welfare for mothers is not very much developed in Italy. For the smaller child's nursery school, I pay 500 euros (547 U.S. dollars) every month which adds to the cost of after-school activities for the older one. And I run all day long," she stressed.

    However, despite the difficulties, De Sensi said she was overall happy about her girls. "The older one goes to dance class and gymnastics. These activities are good for socialization and I am glad to see that she is not taught to develop a sense of competition but of collaboration with others," she said.

    Collaboration is the key word also for Italy's "Gioventu In Cantata" children choir, which offers more than 100 music courses to young generations. On Saturday, the choir was invited to perform Chinese classic oldies at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Week at the Milan Expo.

    "International experiences are fundamental for our children, who acquaint themselves with different cultures and are encouraged to build peace," artistic director of the chorus Cinzia Zanon told Xinhua. "I know these moments will remain in their heart for the entire life and will be an unforgettable point of reference," she added.

    In her view, art as well as science and sports are central ingredients that should be part of the growth of every child. "I think Italy is quite advanced in this regard. Of course much more could be done, but this concerns Italy's economic resources. The spirit is right in our country," Zanon said.

    An Italian science communicator and physicist, Leonardo Alfonsi, is president of the European Science Events Association (Eusea), which brings together science festivals around Europe to exchange experiences. "Children are a great source of knowledge for us," he told Xinhua.

    Among the science communication events promoted by Eusea there is the Einstein Island, an annual festival held at the Polvese Island Scientific-Didactic Park in central Italy with the objective to bring people closer to science and especially young people by communicating it through a variety of games, shows, sports and social activities.

    During the three-day festival, this year set on Sept. 4 and 6, the largest island in Trasimeno Lake becomes the scene of many scientific surprises that stimulates children to be the creators of future innovations, Alfonsi said. This approach, also adopted by the other science festivals in Italy, is part of this country's culture of "children involvement in the building of good society," he pointed out.
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