Ostia’s Lido is a costal fraction of the city of Rome that has caught the attention of national information outlets due to the news of crime and politics over recent months. The dense criminal environment mingles with politics, making Ostia a paradigm of all the problematic outskirts that find themselves severed between abandonment and an institutional vacuum. Social unrest and tangible absence of possibilities have caused Ostia’s complex territory to surrender to the world of new right-wing movements, whose come-back is based on a showcase of their worst qualities: xenophobia, arrogance and malfeasance. The community reacts as it can: starting from the educational system with courage and long-range perspective.
“L’asilo nel bosco” is an educational project in the heart of Ostia Antica’s countryside. The school hosts 25 children and is inspired by didactic models based on the teachings of Montessori and Steiner, models that have been used in northern Europe for over 50 years. Here, teaching takes place outdoors. This constitutes a focal point for the relationship the students have with each other and their teachers (for every 9 students there is 1 teacher, as opposed to the Italian national average of 25 students for every teacher). Hands-on ludic experiences are considered the cornerstone of the learning process and of the development of emotions. These elements are the foundation of the educational approach that is revealing itself to be effective and mouldable to fit Ostia’s needs. “L’asilo nel bosco” offers an alternative model compared to the traditional Italian pre-school and, while still following national curriculums, meets and surpasses the objectives set by the Ministry. Teaching outdoors and the fundamental element of emotions and relationships give the child a central role in the educational process.