My Messinia

Oikos XII-Axion Esti school:multiplex of education and entertainment-Volos

15I wonder if I am the only one who experiences “school envy” at times…but I do recall feeling tinges of jealousy as I was passing by some historical school buildings. In particular I remember sighing with regret at the glorious gate of an 18th century high school in Toulouse and also in Plaka imagining myself being a kid and going to school at the footsteps of Acropolis in Athens. My school in Madrid, King’s College, was a contemporary building of neutral character….and it was engaging mostly for its international students and teachers…

…It all started with a tale…a story in rhyme, that my friend and admirable architect Dimitris Phillippitzis posted on YouTube (link to the poem here). The title of the poem, “The olive tree who wanted to became a scholar…” (which was co-written by Dimitris and Zampia Adamou) was already very interesting…fairytale like. Yet as the poem unveiled it was telling a real story…it was a detailed recollection of intentions, concepts around education but also technical details and solutions in words and images of how a new school has “emerged” (I use the word emerge as Dimitris often calls the school “the ark”) on the slopes of the Pilion mountain, near the city of Volos… contemporary story…different from the allure of the the 18th century gate and the everlasting Acropolis but so similar in the appeal it has on my imagination and values.The storytelling magical and the actual result as well…As I look at the photos (more photos here and a video here) of this school “ark” and read about its creative approach to education (here) I want to become a child again…and be a part of its story now when it just begins!!!

I encourage you to explore the links as quoting Dimitris Phillippitzis…you will  “find hiding places behind secret passages, dark arcades and hidden libraries, children’s workshops on cooking, domes, arches, the “tree of knowledge” and a pool in the “dark basements”, all elements that stimulate children’s creativity and imagination and that convert learning into a creative ‘game” and  “…the “reflexology path” connecting the various “events-games” with botanical gardens, climbing walls, to the evolution of water and the earthy wooden toys, offering a unique opportunity for children, to contact with nature”……also you will find the trail of the olive tree which wanted so much to become a scholar!

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