Organisers and creators of this MiniMOOC:The tree of Paradise are
Renata Colomba & Roberta Accardi, Teachers in Liceo Scientifico S. Cannizzaro, Palermo, Italy
Renata Colomba is a History and Philosophy teacher and Roberta Accardi is an Italian Literature and Latin teacher; they both like fine art, history and working together in an international environment.
Goals of the MiniMOOC
The project, in the perspective of a STEAM methodology, aims to innovate the curricular activity throughout the interaction of different subjects: History, Art and Science (Biology- Botanic). It aims at the recovery of fundamental values for our culture and for our territory and to relate pre scientific wisdom, expressed through the strong symbolic value of art, and today’s scientific approach, in order to overcome the rigid division between humanistic and scientific knowledge.
Depictions of nature can be about intellectual thought and spirituality. Art involving nature can be done simply to display the beauty of the natural world around us, to make scientific observations in an environment, or to open our minds to philosophical ideas about our own connection to nature and beyond *.
A Museum is a building in which objects of historical, scientific, artistic, or cultural interest are stored and exhibited, therefore the Monreale Cathedral in Palermo - Sicily, can be visited as a Museum too. The starting point of this project is the study of the medieval Cathedral of Monreale, one of the greatest existing examples of Norman architecture, a synthesis of extraordinary knowledge and culture. The unit deals with the historical context, the artistic styles expressed in the precious Byzantine mosaics full of symbolism and also of representations linked to aspects of daily life (clothing and presence of agricultural landscapes).
From here begins the observation of the botanical species represented in the mosaics, with a strong symbolic value but also typical of a Mediterranean environment: the fig, the palm, the vine. In particular, students will be invited to recognize them and then to reconnect them to the survival of this environment today and to the analysis of its characteristics.
The symbology expresses an ancient wisdom of the world, pre-scientific, but still based on the observation of the characteristics and value that the natural environment keeps for mankind.
Can the ancient wisdom of nature, also expressed through symbolism, still say something to us contemporaries?
This topic can also be re-proposed in other contexts, starting from differences in iconographic representations.
The activity also allows the students to develop several skills :
✔ soft skills : Integrated skills activity; to analyze and discuss; collaboration, presenting results, creativity, communication in English, time management, etc.
✔ hard skills : to recognize and explain people's different ideas through artistic representation (knowledge and beliefs); to introduce the class to the artistic technique of mosaic and to understand the symbolic language; to analyze plants and to highlight the important aspects of them for the society; to compare the value of nature in the past, through art, and in the present.
The main goal is to compare and discuss two different approaches to nature expressed in art and science: a pre scientific vision, expressed through the strong symbolism in art, and today’s scientific approach, in order to overcome the rigid division between humanistic and scientific knowledge.
Can the ancient wisdom of nature, also expressed through symbolism, still say something to us contemporaries? Pupils will express their ideas in a multimedia product.