Tommaso Lana (Milan, Italy 1978) is a teaching artist, educator trainer, and “embodied learning” advocate. He researches on how to nurture self-guided learning experiences in a very hands-on way through sensory perception, motion, and body awareness mainly targeting grown-ups who work with and for children in the age group 2-8.
Tommaso moved to Germany in 2005 to work as facilitator, teaching artist, and Manager of Visitors Services at the Experience Field for The Development of The Senses, Wiesbaden.
He was co-director at Germany’s Representative for Cultural and Media Affairs 2011 award-winning social-art/education project Paradise 2.
In 2014-2015 he curated the “Learning Outside” exhibit at The Preschool Museum, Berlin (Falkensee).
Tommaso performed at SXSWedu 2016 in Austin, TX on the topic “Fostering Motion and Creativity Outdoors”. Recently, he introduced his new PD and performance project “It’s Time to Invest in Embodied Learning” at SXSWedu 2017.
In May 2017 Tommaso relocated to New York City to spread his Embodied Learning project and program across the United States.
He has a Master’s degree in history from the University of Milan.
You About Me
I was born in Milan in 1978, I have been working as a freelance coach and consultant in the education and service sector in Germany and several other European countries since 2008.
My interest in adult education came about in 2002, while I was writing my master’s thesis in social history on Milan’s International School for Protestant Families. In that institution’s schoolyard around the year 1870, children from German and Swiss backgrounds began to engage passers-by in conversation, enabling them to learn the Milanese dialect, which in turn provided the foundation on which the city’s entire German-speaking community was then integrated into urban life.
As posited by the educational psychologist Loris Malaguzzi, children have always been able to speak “a hundred languages”. Inspired by this notion, I took a research position at Milan’s Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Foundation from 2003 to 2005 and began investigating how many “languages” adults actually use in their own business and sociopolitical relationships.
In addition, my earlier work as a volunteer soccer coach at a sports club for people with various disabilities (“Sporting 4E”, 1999-2003) gave me an opportunity to explore the real meanings of team spirit, perception, communication, structure, and creativity.
It was while working in Wiesbaden, Germany as a guide, lecturer, and director of the staff’s daily business for Schloss Freudenberg and its sensory experience environments (2005-2007) that the subject of sensory perception, as defined by the educator Hugo Kükelhaus, became the most integral aspect of my work.
At the end of 2007 I decided to start my own business, and began specializing in quality assurance in various areas of the service sector as well as providing coaching on effective communication, particularly among educators and other adults involved with educational institutions. Since then, I’ve provided support and training both to existing kindergartens and preschools and to new ones as they are being established.
Since 2009, I’ve also been a guest lecturer in psychomotor education at the Walter May Sozialpädagogisches Institut Berlin Foundation (SPI) in Berlin.
In 2010, I served as co-director and consultant in the final year of the International Construction Exhibition IBA Fürst-Pückler-Land (Lower Lusatia, Germany). The project we created during the event, “Paradies 2”, also won the 2011 Cultural Education Award from Germany’s Representative for Cultural and Media Affairs.
From 2011 to 2013, I expanded my activities as an educator to include tourism: in the “Tourism Scout/Tourism Guide” project, I worked with multiple German National Tourist Guide Association-certified guides as an instructor in the areas of perception, communication, and public relations.
In 2014, I participated in a European Union project, “Shift-X”, along with a mining tourism association, Stadt Welzow e.V., providing consulting to the staffs of cultural organizations from Belgium, Germany, Austria, Poland, and the Czech Republic on motivation, developing quality, time management, and dealing with success and failure in the field of industrial heritage.
Being able to use my creativity to establish social and artistic partnerships with hundreds of people has been an amazing experience that continues to shape my work day in and day out.