We are a group of passionate parents and teachers about free education who are committed to work on an educational project, based on a respectful vision towards children.
After years of searching trying to find the best place with the best condition, the Barcelona City Council has given us a place near Montjuic mountain that needs a major reform in order to carry out the daily activities of the school in a safety way.
Can you give us a hand to get it?
The project “El Tatanet”
El Tatanet was born in 2008 from a group of families with a common interest of creating an educational space, based on a comprehensive pedagogy approach, where the rhythms and needs of each child are respected. A space where emotions, and intellect can be develop hand in hand, in an environment of affective security, where love and freedom are the basic pillars.
At present, El Tatanet is formed by families and educators who continue working in the educational model, which aims is to facilitate the conditions for the little ones, who are the protagonists of their own development process. The rhythm is set by the curiosity of each child according to their natural processes, and learning occurs through playing and interacting with others. Thus, children develop in an integral way from their spontaneous activity, which happens in a relaxed environment, where values such as cooperation and freedom junction with the responsibility and autonomy prevail.
Although El Tatanet is focused on children, it is also a project of continuous growth of the adult people that make it up. The learning process in El Tatanet is global for children and adults, and therefore allows adults to rediscover themselves from another perspective, thus promoting a deep reflection of how we relate to each other. In addition, it is a project that values the children that are being surrounded by nature and outdoors, for this reason, two or three days a week the meeting point and where we spend the day is a local park.
The Tatanet was born in the form of a non-profit association and operates by assembly with cooperation and self-management as generators of activity and enterprise. However, the intention of El Tatanet is to become a cooperative with the intention of providing a legal form more in line with our operation. In our day to day, the decisions are taken in a participatory processes, where the opinions of all members of the educative community are integrated.
Most of the families that are currently integrating this project live in the neighborhoods of the Sants-Montjuic district, in the city of Barcelona.
We are part of the Free Education Network (Xarxa d’Educació Lliure – XELL).
The place: El niu de la Guatlla
Since El Tatanet was born, we have been in different places to carry out our activity, always in the Sants-Montjuic district. Fortunately, after three years of talks with different institutions, we have received (with great enthusiasm!) a building in loan from the Barcelona City Council called “El Niu de la Guatlla” for this school year 2017-18. It is located in the “Font de la Guatlla” neighborhood, nearby Montjuic mountain, and will allow us to be closer to nature. This new space has direct access to a park that we will use as an outdoor space, and we will also be able to access an urban garden right next door.
The “Niu de la Guatlla” is a building that currently has two floors. The youth club “Els Turons” uses the first floor, and El Tatanet the second. The toilets and the kitchen are in common use.
What needs to be done?
So now we have a new space that needs some reforms to be a safety place for children:
- Remove danger (fix stairs and access from the street, remove old pipes …)
- Make a ceiling in part of the space, both to isolate thermally and at sound level.
- Install a laminate floor, warm and easy to clean
- Make a material room (where you can store and order toys and educational material)
- Fixing toilets and kitchen (cleaning, changing doors, painting, making shelves and cabinets to store the material: tools, cleaning and eating products …)
- Purchase and elaborate equipment and furniture to give structure to the space, with the idea of delimiting the different corners of playing space, and as containers of educational material.
- To buy, to elaborate and to create educative material, with the intention of favoring the educative process of children in an integral way.
Families and educators have paid in advance some of the resources we need to afford the reforms. This has allowed us to start the activity in September!
To date, we have focused our efforts on repairing the walls – plaster and plug holes, cover the previous paint and make the final layer – fix the floor, and leave the kitchen and bathroom useful and clean. We have also cleaned all the material we moved from the previous site.
But we still have a lot to do! (Especially before the cold winter).
El Tatanet in this new space, after the reforms
With all these changes we intend that the space becomes a prepared site (relaxed and free of active risks) that offers the little ones different environments ready to be transformed according to their needs.
A space that offers children tools to meet their innate needs and to meet their desire to learn according to their impulses and concerns, allowing them to learn independently through direct and concrete experiences as a result of their exploration.
We also want the site to consolidate the project El Tatanet by providing a place to experience other ways of relating, not only among the smaller ones, but also in relation to the adults who make it up and the community that surrounds it.
El Tatanet, in the neighborhood
The project El Tatanet in the “Niu de la Guatlla” aims to be an inclusive educational space, open to all, and open to the neighborhood. As we have said before, the place is shared with a youth club, and we are ready to share it with local associations, and thus cooperate and engage in local networks. The local dimension and impact/interaction with other agents in the area is an important facet of our project. The idea of El Tatanet is to build community and participate in different platforms, and offer a service mainly directed to families of the neighborhood and the district.
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Myriam Villalobos Gonzalez