Gianni Rodari – Teaching the Grammar of Fantasy

Round Table

An author, teacher, journalist, musician, and intellectual, Rodari carefully observed the world and the needs of childhood, in a time when children were considered to be an amorphous mass, instead of individuals with rights. He provided educators with multiple tools, so they could explore new educational paths, as well as draw inspiration from discoveries in everyday life, art, music, and nature. He introduced children’s literature in schools, gave it a special position and encouraged children to make a game out of its art. Words became sounds, they were distorted, and they were set free from the rules, in order to provoke laughter.

Rodari’s research ranged from linguistics to semiotics, poetry, and philosophy, while it never neglected language games; these games arose from the meticulous observation of classrooms, which were attended by the children that Rodari collaborated closely with throughout the years.

For Rodari, creativity and imagination are precious tools in approaching all kinds of learning: divergent thinking and an open outlook (which goes beyond what is merely “allowed” and what is a stereotype) are components with which a good teacher should be able to educate his or her students. For Rodari, utopia is not utopic and imagination is a teachable trait.

Topics and speakers

  • “Rodarian” creativity and fantasy with videos, for an active citizenship and a planetary conscience – Lanfranco Genito, educator, Coordinator of Bottega della Comunicazione e della Didattica, president of the Fédération Internationale des Mouvements de l’Ecole Moderne-FIMEM
  •  Gianni Rodari – Mario Lodi: Children journalism in Italy during the first post-war years Charalampos Baltas, teacher, member of the pedagogical team “To Skasiarchio”
  • Creating fairytales and stories with Rodari’s Deck of Cards – Kostas Stoforos, author
  • From Rodari to the classroom: creative approaches to narration – Maria Sfiroera, substitute professor in the Department of Early Childhood Education of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.

Coordinated by Aggeliki Darlasi, writer-playwright