Primary School, Trento, Italy


The photographic research 'When I grow up I want to be' asked to 130 children of a Primary School in Trento which profession they wanted to carry on their future.

The pupils were placed on the path of the center of their dreams and became protagonists of their choice. That motivated their learning a lot.

The research aims to provide equal opportunities of realization both for males and females.

First of all there was a democratic effect: everyone was able to express themselves freely. Then a project effect for the future, which will favor the construction of future identity: not only the child guesses who s/he wants to become but s/he plays it for real.

Finally, a cathartic effect of transformation: s/he sees the pictures and realizes that s/he can do it.

"Some children have changed their minds during the project, conforming to the profession of the footballer, the most choosen in our country.

More generally, the girls provided more individual interpretations and proposed more professions. The influence of media and advertising is pretty obvious."

Stefania G, teacher


Secondary School, Trento, Italy


At the Secondary School Manzoni, the photographic research has deepened the world of advertising, studying the way it comunicates steretypes and involved two third classes, 3 D and 3 D.

Analyzing the advertising of yogurt and detergents, the classes pulled out a big work on the stereotypes of men and women in media.

The students have been working to find a catchy message through which convey the themes of equality.

Through slogans or nonsense, they ridiculed the advertising image that relies on human desires, offering critical and ironic new advertising.

"With them, we worked a lot on the graphic communication, through paintings and drawings. In addition, thanks to the italian teacher, they were able to access the Lorella Zanardo's proposal, 'New eyes for the Media' reflecting on how women's bodies are used inside the italian television."

Fernanda Penner, Professor of Art Education


Primary School, Hobro, Denmark


The first step for the European part of the Project took place in the Primary school of the city of Hobro, Denmark.

The 4th class has participated with a strong feeling of interest and enjoyment.

"We talked about the opportunities we have and, even though you have a dream at age 10 or 11 years old it might turn out to be something completely different in the end.

We also talked about how you can dress up and use "props" to manifest your dream-job.

The children were given ideas and they brought things for each other to use, if needed.

Finally, we talked about posing for a picture. how should you stand and how should you look to communicate the right signal?

We had a parents meeting last week, and the parents also reported that it was a really interesting project.

As a teacher, I worked on the equal opportunities for the access to work, but also improving their vocabulary with items of the professions in English"

Tine Vejlby Jeppesen , English teacher


Elementary School, Utsjoki, Finland


In Finland, Utsjoki elementary school was the only school that participated to this project. Our school is the most northern eu school there is.

Sámi- and finnish-language 5th -6th grade students participated in the project.

"Beforehand, the teachers discussed together with the students about their future professions. It was interesting to discover whether the students wanted to pursue the same profession as their parents.

In the future, it will be exciting to follow up on weather or not the students are still pursuing their childhood dream professions, or if they have decided on a completely separate path in their lives instead".

Art teacher Tarja A. Länsman


Primary School, Trento, Italy


The photographic workshop was held with a group of girls and boys attending the public Montessori primary schools in Trento and Pergine.

In the past Valentina worked with several classes of students in Trento and her photographic research had already been exhibited in public places in the city. When we asked kids if they wanted to participate, they enthusiastically joined, remembering her giant posters hanging in the underpass that they had walked years before to go to their kindergarten.

We have gathered outside the school-time group of older children.

A workshop has been proposed to children about visual communication of media and advertising, reflecting on the effect of advertising and on what it carries, and at the end a questionnaire about their future. With Valentina, girls and boys exposed their thoughts and feelings about their professional desires, giving birth to bright moments of confrontation and some small pearls of wisdom.

Later they talked about it in the family and brought it back to school. With interest and seriousness.

The parents of the Libera-Mente Associazione Montessori Trento


Primary School, Calandreta, Nimes, France


The project "When I grow up" fascinated the students since the beginning: they both projected themselves in their future profession and in the photographic session that became very important to them.

They worked on the written questionnaire and the answers of each and everyone have given rise to interesting exchanges. It seems that these children are not limited to an occupation "expected" or "agreed", either by family transmission or according to their their social condition... On the contrary, they seem to allow themselves to imagine everything.

They also invested a lot in the photography session, preparing it carefully and bringing clothing and equipment in advance.

All these exchanges were of great wealth for the class and for each of the children. Thank you!

Corinne Lhéritier

This project has been very interesting in many ways because it is very comprehensive:

  • the language of course, which allowed students to work in the field of language families, with a moment of immersion in Italian, thanks to Valentina's intervention
  • the projection that students may have of their future profession, their knowledge of existing trades
  • the analysis of the choice of professions according to stereotypes (sex)
  • equality between girls and boys: which jobs for whom? Can all trades be carried out indifferently by girls and boys?

All of this has led to debates about the choice we make and the influence we have (family environment, for example), on girl-boy equality, on the models that can be brought by the media.

Beyond the artistic work, it was for me an opportunity to treat topics not always easy to address in class and to discuss the students on the representations they could have some trades.

Agnès, 4th class teacher


Primary School, Rösrath, Germany


21 pupils of the 4th grade participated in the project "When I grow up I want to be".

The children were interested and extremely motivated to work out their career aspiration and to capture it in one special photo. During the photo shoot they were curious at how the photo of them will look like at the end of the development.

Through the project, they have a better idea of what they want to do. In addition, they have a picture of themselves in their dream job to which they can hold in the future. It will be interesting for them and their parents to see if they really learn their chosen profession and work in it.

Nadja Mosna


Primary School, Einsiedeln, Switzerland


3rd and 6th grade students from Einsiedeln (a village in Switzerland) participated in the project “When I grow up I want to be”.

In class we spoke about what the students want to become. On a sheet of paper the children had to draw the job of their dreams. They had fun presenting their work to the class.

It was very interesting to see that a lot of children wanted to pursue the same profession as their parents. The photograph was the highlight of the project.

Petra Fässler and Pascale Rupp, primary school teachers


Primary School, Montigny-le-Tilleul, Belgium


Our school is located in Montigny-le-Tilleul, on the green outskirts of the city of Charle Roi, a city in reconstruction with a rich industrial past.

Before joining the "When i grow up" project, our class was fortunate enough to take part in the parliament of children from the Wallonie-Brussels federation. After the traditional visit of Parliament and a long reflection, the children wrote a draft law on the issue of gender equality.

Even before the meeting with Valentina, pupils visited a trades fair that presented several possible courses of schools after their study. Our students were very happy to have been able to conclude their path towards equality with this project "When I grow up", listening to the skillsful workshop that Valentina proposes.

Monique and Xavier, sixth-grade teachers at the Saint Jean Berchmans school in Montigny-le-Tilleul