Educating to Beauty: the aesthetical value of child of infants’ educative institutions in the Twentieth century’s pedagogy

Tiziana Pironi


With the publication of The Century of the Child in Sweden (1900), which was immediately translated in many European countries and in the United States, Ellen Key’s theories start to be applied to educational experiences in spaces and environments reconsidered for children’s well-being: the aesthetic and pedagogical dimensions are integrated in the context of the landscape and the city. The pedagogical value of school buildings and furniture becomes an antidote to the degradation and disintegration of the human personality. During the course of the twentieth century, some innovative educational experiences, like those of Maria Montessori and Margherita Zoebeli, which share the idea of the harmonic development of all child’s potentials, give new importance to the versatility of spaces and the aesthetic quality of the school environment, which becomes a cornerstone for the promotion and development of the whole society. In face of tragic events like wars and dictatorships, there is an awareness that, between the Spartan model of a school-barracks, aimed at the education of soldiers, and Socrates’ model of the school-agora’, in order to foster an open, inclusive society it is the latter that must be chosen. Following this thread, we analyze the discussion that developed in Italy in the years after the Second World War among architects, city planners and pedagogues looking for innovative solutions, which were in large part disregarded. 


childhood; architecture; scholastic building; aesthetics; pedagogy of inclusion

Full Text:

PDF (English)

DOI: 10.6092/issn.1970-2221/6712

Copyright (c) 2017 Tiziana Pironi

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 Unported License.