Interview with Montserrat Pedreira, creator and pedagogical head of Lab 0_6, by Andrea Zazurca
The goal of the project is to encourage independent action, decision making and child independence through fascinating activities related to science, dedicated to our babies and children up to 6 years of age. At Little Champions we foster and support this initiative which is so similar to our cause.
I went to Manresa where I interviewed Montserrat Pedreira, teacher, Doctorate in Education and Bachelor in Psychology, creator and pedagogical head of Lab 0_6.
If you focus on the photo, it shows a diaphanous room that we’ve organized with different projects: a magnetic dartboard, a table with lights, mirrors, spinning tops, anticipating trajectory games, force of the wind games … These are offered to children to choose freely, which means that the children decide where they want to go, who they want to go with, and what to do with the objects and the amount of time they want to be in each area. We only give them a single restriction: they can not do anything that is dangerous for themselves, others, or the objects.
The classroom is open to school groups during the week and family visits on Sunday.
On the one hand, universities are exceptional spaces for the creation and transfer of knowledge. The Lab is a practical expression of the knowledge about children science that has been generated in our school’s program over the years.
On the other hand, the university has the obligation to train future teachers and do research. The Lab is a basic tool that helps us with training and research while at the same time functioning as a key tool to help us improve the training we offer and the research we can do.
Children, training and research are three aspects that interrelate and mutually feed into each other which builds an atmosphere where everything is constantly evolving and improving. We are especially proud of being a university that trains teachers and that lives up to our words every day by using the orientation that we try to teach to our students with children. Think that more than 5000 children experience the Lab every year… It seems like an important contribution to us that our Degree avoids the excesses of academia and the fascination with theories that university education often withdraws into.
We have very good evaluations from families, but they often ask us for a little more guidance on the meaning of each of the projects. It is an area which we are still assessing, but we are held back by the fear that if an adult reads what the intentionality of the proposal is on a piece of paper, they may “force” the child to do only what the directions say. And one of the values that we give to our projects is precisely that they are open and suitable to diverse initiatives for the children.
I have to say that we are lucky to have a young and powerful team that ensures quality and stability moving into the future. I mean, maybe we should not be dreaming but simply moving forward!
And I do not want to say goodbye without inviting everyone to visit us and without thanking you for your interest. Entrepreneurial initiatives, like yours or ours, never start easily. But innovative initiatives focused on promoting the autonomy of children from different angles are very necessary. We are very excited to see expressions of enthusiasm for scientific knowledge with slogans like “I want to be a quantum physicist” or similar ideas that promote child autonomy in your collections.
You can read more about the Lab 0_6 on their official website: http://www.umanresa.cat/en/lab-06