Hands on learning

A lesson from Bruno Munari

When I think about children learning while having fun, the first name that comes to my mind is Bruno Munari. Artist, designer and writer, Munari made a fundamental contribution to the history of design and is known throughout the world for his teaching methodology conceived in his first “Playing with Art” workshops in the 70’s. 

Some describe the “Bruno Munari® Method” as a multi-sensorial education, a term that suggests a learning activity, which involve multiple senses. Already in 1907 Montessori introduced sensory education to broaden the field of perception and to provide a rich base for the development of intelligence. 

The Munarian approach is based on cultivating curiosity and the desire to know through experimentation, a sort of “doing to understand”, as he used to say. The dimension of trying and of searching puts children at stake, it is the dimension of someone who is not satisfied with the first answer, which implies time, the acceptance of error, of opening up to new points of views. Through the manipulation of materials, children can express themselves freely, becoming independent, self-confident and learning to solve problems by themselves. As Montessori previously taught (“Help me do it myself!”), the goal is to allow children to express themselves freely without interference from adults. The golden rule is “Don’t say what to do but how to do!”. In these laboratories the operators speak very little; they do things which arouse the curiosity of the child, who immediately wants to try them. Teaching critical thinking should be one of the main duty of schools. But how are children trained today? Let’s not fill their heads with purely cerebral notions; let’s teach them to learn by doing, by making mistakes, by finding their own answers. 

Sensing Space works with schools to help children develop ideas free from preconceptions, and without inhibition. Similar to the Munari method, we enrich children’s learning through hands-on activities. Our focus is to trigger their imagination and to give them tools with which to enhance their knowledge and creativity.

Today’s children are tomorrow’s adults. Let’s help them growing free from stereotypes. Let’s help them developing all the senses…

Bruno Munari

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