ItalySummer Study Tour

River in Pisa

Why is the Tower of Pisa one of the world’s most famous monuments? The unintentional tilt, which began already during its construction in the 12th century, turned the result from just another tower into a world-renowned marvel, The Leaning Tower of Pisa, a truly beautiful mistake.

Throughout this week-long Study Tour, we will travel with the question of what makes a mistake beautiful? Through a wide variety of experiential learning activities, we will explore the role of mistakes and their link to learning, growth, and development on an individual level. We will also look at how mistakes actually fuel innovation and drive new discoveries when they interact between individuals, cultures, and contexts.

As the famous Italian writer and pedagogue Gianni Rodari wrote: “Mistakes are necessary, useful as bread, and often beautiful, like the tower of Pisa.” Rodari welcomed mistakes as a natural component of creativity and learning, and so will we.

Tour Objectives

  • Explore and discuss theory and current research from multiple perspectives and in a European and global context
  • Gain a deeper and more nuanced understanding of how classroom theories apply to the real-world environment
  • Develop a deeper insight into Italy through exposure to the culture, history, and socioeconomic climate of the region
  • Engage in your personal learning process outside the classroom and emerge yourself in a vast variety of experiential learning activities intertwining academics, history, and culture

Possible Activities

  • Climb to the top of the one of the world’s most famous beautiful mistakes: The Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • Put Ben-Shahar’s statement “learn to fail, or fail to learn” to the test by joining workshops to learn new skills such as cooking Italian food or painting your own piece of art
  • Visit museums such as the Palazzo Blu to explore world-class artwork relevant to the course
  • Explore and discuss the flow of creativity, learning, growth, and development during different course related hands-on activities