Farming Pre-School Teaches Kids How to Grow Their Own Crops*
Winner of the AWR International Ideas Competition to design a new nursery school, “Nursery Fields Forever” reimagines what nursery schools could be like. Designed by a team from Italy, composed of Gabriele Capobianco, Edoardo Capuzzo Dolcetta, Jonathan Lazar, and Davide Troiani, the entry refutes the modern notion of shaping a child’s perception of the world based solely on urban environments, accepting children as being inherently curious naturalists. This trait is stimulated and guided to create a unique educational approach, holistically combining nature and food cultivation into its curriculum.
Game, nature and technique are combined with the nursery to create three approaches to learning: learning from nature, learning from technique and learning from practice. The development of children is encouraged through interaction with animals and plants, also encouraging their self-esteem and social interaction with the introduction of tangible goals in their education.
Traditional learning environments and more experimental spaces combining learning and farming are integrated, creating a rotating routine for groups of children to experience and learn about the cycles of nature. From teachers, children are taught how to respect and domesticate animals and plants, seeing the way those things affect their lives.
Even passively, infants can benefit from the environment of Nursery Fields Forever. Contact with animals like donkeys promote relaxation and curiosity in babies, as well as developing their immune system against common allergens and bugs.
Nursery Fields Forever reclaims the nursery as a place for children to not only be raised, but “to raise and construct themselves.”