Ivano Gamelli – Nicoletta Ferri, A space tailor-made for body
For many weeks the newborn has floated freely, not hindered by gravity, in that space-world that is the mother’s womb, in which he has been developing until the moment of birth. Once he is born, he finds himself “thrown” in a relatively immense space, invaded by light, sounds, voices, variations in environmental temperature, by an unprecedented external pressure that crushes him to the ground. It will take several weeks, months, so that, in parallel and thanks to the development of its nervous system, it can feel able to “inhabit” this new space that now configures and predestinates its habitat. First of all the loving care of his parents, then his crawling, the conquered upright position and finally the walk will guarantee him the “body support”, that will be for him the viaticum for a conquest of the surrounding space with everything that comes from it.
Space is immediately and forever a bodily experience connoted emotionally. Space is indivisible from motricity and from the experience we make of it through the body. The perception of space is subjective and holistic (tactile, visual, olfactory and kinesthetic). All this explains why, according to numerous studies, the influence exerted by the environment on the physical and mental development of the child in kindergartens is very high. A wide, flexible and stimulating physical environment, able to adapt to the child’s psychomotor needs, offers him multiple opportunities to acquire new knowledge, exercise skills, express his creativity, make hypotheses, make discoveries, experiment, draw conclusions, or improve his skills. The care of space, which includes the careful selection of materials and furnishings, is also necessary to satisfy the children’s different interests and abilities, allowing them to choose between activities.
With the awareness that derive from the theories and psychomotor practices, the contributions of infant research, and thanks to the developments of research carried out in recent years in the field of body pedagogy, the essay intends to re-read the educational intervention for children, in the contexts of the school but not only, within a perspective that sees space and the body as indispensable and inseparable pedagogical categories for the pursuit of any kind of learning.
Keywords: Body-space-time, embodied, pedagogy of the body
Published on: N. 30 New Series – Year XV 2019 – Spaces and Childhood