Comenius Regio Project
The development of social and personal competences in pupils
The development of social and personal competences in pupils Educational materials being the outcome of the project implemented within the framework of Comenius Regio 2012 â€“ 2014
Cover Design Artistic works prepared by students from Poznan and Videm supervised by Aleksandra Vidovič Graphic Design Kreatiff Sp. z o. o. Copyright © Miasto Poznań 2014 All rights reserved.
This project is co-funded by the Comenius Regio Programme of the European Union
Table of Contents:
I Introduction II Diagnosis III Instructive materials 1. Manja Vinko „Development of social skills in the first grade” 2. Monika Depa „Read to me… my friend” 3. Vesna Voglar Pulko „Fairy tale readings in the school library” 4. Stanka Veršič, Olga Zelenik „Ninth-graders in the role of guardians of first-graders” 5. Anica Topolovec „From slate to computer” 6. Grzegorz Chołuj „Gnōthi seauton” (know yourself) 7. Mojca Repič „Theatre activities as a means of developing personal and social skills” 8. Monika Depa „With art through the ages” 9. Ryszard Pempera „What do the characters of „Tartuffe” by Moliere feel and think about?” 10. Aleksandra Vidovič „Development of personal and social skills and encouragement of creative (visual) and critical thinking through art. Creating a self-portrait - profile, photography workshops and art colonies.” 11. Ryszard Pempera „What I experienced in Orgon’s house! - diary page written in prison” 12. Klementina Orešek „Maths workshops, or mathematics done a little differently” 13. Robert Murko „Glogster – multimedia ECO poster” 14. Ksenija Samojlenko „The importance of developed social and personal skills in the modern school” IV Summary
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Forming balanced emotionality of a young person is extremely important for their proper and harmonious development. Models of emotional reactions are shaped from an early age; by observing the behaviour of the closest family a child begins to form an image of the world and their own ideas about it. Everything children hear and see, and the way they perceive the behaviour of others, constitutes emotional teaching, and this in turn is the basis for further forms of learning. For some time, school psychologists point to the occurrence (especially among junior high school students) of a completely new problem. This is a lack of knowledge and skills among young people, which can be described as emotional illiteracy. It results in an alarming increase in the number of acts of violence, both physical and psychological, among gradually younger people. Daily observation of students by teachers indicates that many of them have problems with both naming and expressing their emotions and feelings, and controlling them. The low level of ability to read emotional states of others, and lack of empathy impede students’ relationships both with their peers and people from their closest and more distant environment. The authors of Polish educational law are also fully aware of how important it is to prepare young people for independent and socially desired functioning. It is reflected in the principles of the current Polish Core Curriculum, which among one of the three main objectives of junior high school education includes: „shaping students’ attitudes which determine effective and responsible functioning in the modern world.” This principle applies to all teachers regardless of the subject they teach. It is also worth to mention here the more detailed principles with regards to teaching social and emotional competences: a) a student is to determine the attitudes, such as patriotism-nationalism, tolerance-intolerance, beauty-ugliness, and recognizes their presence in life and in literature and other arts; b) a student is to discuss, on the basis of known literary works and other texts, basic 5
cultures, timeless existential issues, such as love, friendship, death, suffering, fear, hope, religious faith, loneliness, otherness, sense of community, solidarity, justice, as well as to recognize and reflect on universal humanist values; c) a student is to recognize the diversity of social, moral, national, religious, ethical and cultural attitudes, and shape her/his identity based on them. The actual state of the problem indicated above and theoretical assumptions of Polish education system compelled the local education authorities of Poznań to seek answers to the specific questions – how to improve emotional competences of young people and how this can be learnt? These unknowns prompted us to write and subsequently implement an international project entitled „Development of social and emotional competences in pupils” within Comenius Regio Partnership Projects. The selection of a foreign partner and local partners has been made in a way so as to, despite obvious geographical and cultural differences between the regions, and the resources owned, guarantee the high content-related value of the actions taken. In line with the above assumptions, and while adhering to the program guidelines at the same time, the project partnership was set up by: - local government units – the City of Poznan (Poland) and the Municipality of Videm (Slovenia) - schools – Complex of Sports Schools No 1 in Poznań and the Primary School in Videm - public benefit institutions – Fundacja Wrota Edukacji (Edugate Foundation), “Pod Lipami” Community Centre, and France Prešeren Cultural Society in Videm pri Ptuju. The project itself was intended to a large extent as a research task, and its aim was to develop, implement and test a variety of methods and tools for working with students. Its objective was also to indicate the ways these can be adapted in curriculum classes at school and to determine to what extent they can support development of the key competencies in students. Schools from both regions simultaneously implemented and tested the methods of work with students, based on the techniques of learning through experience. This required individual actions from all the implementers to create such mechanisms which incorporate also other values into artistic compositions, such as poems, theatrical plays or artwork. In practice, the tasks performed by both regions were located on separate tracks. The essence of the difference between tested tools for working with students lied in the methods and techniques used, which determined the use of artistic forms as a measure to improve the key social and emotional competences. In Poznan, where the work was done with junior high school students, there were mainly psychodrama workshops, while in Videm, where the „experimental” group consisted of younger children – theatre workshops were held as well as painting, photography and music classes. 6
This publication is the result of the experience exchange between two partner regions and it aims to create pedagogical model, which include specific classes for students. Their primary goal was to implement the idea of the project, while the diversity of form and content shows the richness of experience in working with young people. We believe that all the actions described below can be an inspiration for other schools and teachers. We describe here the activities carried out and the tools used by all institutions involved in the project. Many materials present methods of working with students, which have been adapted to the curriculum in both schools and contributed to improving social and emotional competences in students. We hope that the concreteness of these lesson plans will allow those who are interested but did not participate in the project, to avail of them in their work related to education in a broad sense.
At the beginning of the project activities a survey was carried out among Polish junior high school students concerning social competences. They were asked what skills in their opinion are important in life. 63% of the students indicated teamwork, half of the students – the ability to focus and concentrate, and 31% – communication. Other skills such as: expressing views and opinions, overcoming shyness or ability to negotiate were mentioned by smaller percentage of the respondents. To the question on which of the listed skills junior high school students would like to improve, the main responses were: ability to focus and concentrate – 69%; communication – 63%; teamwork – 56%; solving problems in a creative way – 38%. It is worth noting that young people more often indicated the skills they would like to improve than those they considered important (option of marking multiple items on the list). This shows high self-awareness of young people and significant need to learn key skills which are socially desirable.
III Instructive materials
1. â€žDevelopment of social skills in the first gradeâ€? Manja Vinko
1. ABSTRACT Pupils in the first grade are very diverse. During recent years I have noted that children are becoming more and more individualistic and that their egocentricism is strongly expressed. However, in the classroom, community, adjustment, listening, cooperation, and mutual assistance are at the forefront. In order for a child to be actively involved in the society, he or she must be internally peaceful, aware of the self, others and the environment, only then will he or she be able to build quality relationships and create a positive contribution in society. The article gives a few examples of the basic activities to develop self-awareness, mutual understanding, and cooperation. Thus, we lay the foundations for the development of personal and social skills. Activities were conducted with pupils of the first grade of the extended stay section. On average, the group consisted of 25 pupils aged 6 or 7 years. Key concepts: First grade, social skills, emotions, relaxation techniques, tolerant communication 2. INTRODUCTION In the classroom it is necessary to work together to succeed in our activities and to feel good in doing so. Since the pupils are very diverse and even as six-year-olds saturated with rapid developments around them, they require a lot of attention and find it more difficult to be included in a group. Many pupils are restless, have short concentration spans, and therefore find it harder to listen; they act impulsively, and react negatively to things that they do not like. Children need activities that will first of all develop them, so that they will be able to calm the body, mind and soul, to relax, to react wisely, to be aware of themselves. They must learn that the things that they find unpleasant are unpleasant to others as well. On this basis, they will develop their own personality, relationships, and activities in the environment where they live and work. Although there exists concern that a six-year-old is too young and immature to be able to develop such skills, we need to be aware that a childâ€™s mind is like a sponge. Although 9
they do not understand some things yet, by making them concrete and with the help of simple beginnings, initially on an emotional and physical level, they build them up gradually. They are stored in their memory and become a part of their natural functioning. In this way, the children will become competent, self-disciplined, sociable, responsible adults. All this means normalisation of the child, which ultimately leads to peaceful education (Montessori, 2003). Of course, peace is something that every person in the world wants. 3. OBJECTIVES OF THE ACTIVITIES: Awareness of one’s own body, feelings, mind. Identification of feelings in others. Developing empathy, acceptance of diversity, conflict resolution. Developing the abilities of listening to others, tolerant communication, adaptation to a group. - Awareness and control of aggression. - Relaxed expression of one’s own opinion and accepting a different opinion.
4. FORMS AND METHODS OF WORK - Methods: Conversation, explanations, demonstrations, graphic works, work with text, role-playing games - Types of work: Group, individual, pairs, frontal 5. MATERIALS - Meditative music, music box, picture books, CDs with assorted music (children’s songs, folk songs, classical music, etc.) - Drawing paper, art supplies 6. COURSE OF ACTIVITIES I am going to present activities that I have been performing since the beginning of the school year and that are pupil favourites. a. Breathing exercises • Pupils sit in a circle (legs crossed, back straight, hands on knees). • Each exercise is first demonstrated by me. Then pupils join in. • We do the exercise in silence. • Examples of exercises: 1. We breathe in through the nose and raise the arms above the head. We hold for two seconds, then squeeze our hands and lower them quickly. 2. We take a deep breath through the nose and when breathing out slowly we bend until the head reaches the knees or lower. 10
3. We place the palms of hands lightly on the stomach. We breathe with the diaphragm or so that the front part of the abdomen moves inwardly and outwardly. We breathe at a pace that is indicated by my hand (at two-four, three-four time - can be done alternately). At the end we exhale. b. Relaxing the body • Pupils lie down on the floor on their backs. Hands are beside their bodies. Legs are not crossed. • They close their eyes. • The room is silent or quiet meditative music is playing. • Quietly I give the instructions: „You lie quietly, breathe calmly. Your feet are relaxed. Your ankles are relaxed.” • We proceed all the way to the head: lower legs, knees, thighs, buttocks, lower back, upper back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, arms, hands, fingers, neck, scalp, face. • When we get to the last part of the body, I say: „Your body is completely relaxed. You are feeling warm. You feel light. You breathe calmly. You feel good.” • Then they lie for 3 minutes in silence. • This is followed by awakening: - „Slowly open your eyes. Slightly move your arms and legs. - Slowly lean on your hands and pull up in a sitting position. - Bend your legs. Come to a squat with your hands on the floor. - Slowly stretch your legs, head is hanging down. - Slowly move your hands up your legs, then up the abdomen and chest. - Hold out your hands and then pick up the head. - Take three deep breaths.” c. Game of Silence1 • Pupils sit in a circle (legs crossed, back straight, hands on knees). • At the centre of the circle I put a burning candle. • For some time (5 minutes) pupils observe the flame. • When I notice that their concentration has fallen, we take a deep breath. • Whispering, I call out the name of each child, who slowly gets up and goes to sit at the table (to do homework or other activities). • Versions: - They listen to the bell chimes, - They listen to the music box and observe the movement of figures on the box, - They listen to music from the CD, 1 The Game of Silence is part of the Maria Montessori pedagogy. She came to the conclusion that this exercise helps children develop concentration by means of which they control their mind and body and obtain internal discipline.
- They listen to the gentle play of a musical instrument, - We pass each other an object (soft ball, cone, flower, jar with colored water, etc.) - We stroke our neighbor’s hand. d. EFT (emotional freedom technique) • I sit in a circle with my pupils (with legs crossed or on chairs). We can also stand. • When performing this technique, we are quiet. • First, in a fairly rapid rhythm, we tap one hand on the lower edge of the other palm (karate chop point). We do this for about one minute.
Figure 1: Karate chop point on the hand
• Then, with the index and middle finger of the dominant arm, we tap on the eight points (see figure below). Each point is tapped on seven times.
Figure 2: The main points of tapping
• When pupils acquire the sequence of tapping, I occasionally include spoken affirmations like: Even though I am tired, I fully accept myself. e. Social Games • Usually I choose the games in which pupils establish eye contact, later also physical contact. • Examples: - WITHOUT TOUCHING: They move around the room according to the instructions (they jump, crawl, walk, etc.), but nobody is allowed to touch anybody. - HELLO: Pupils move freely around the room. At a sign, they greet each other in an agreed manner - by hand, elbow, knee, etc.). - THE MIRROR GAME: Two children stand facing each other. One forms different movements: with the arm, head, leg, shoulder, various grimaces...the other tries to 12
imitate them as quickly and accurately as possible, as if they were the image of the other child in the mirror. - ATOMS: Pupils move freely around the room. Then I say a number and the exact number of children hold their hands. For example, I say 3, and pupils form groups of three. f. Drawing on the back • Pupils and I sit facing around a circle with our legs crossed, so that we are all showing each other our backs. In the background meditative music can be heard or we are in silence. • The back in front of each pupil represents the blackboard. • I give instructions very quietly, sometimes I whisper. • Following the instructions, they perform different tasks: - With both palms they slowly stroke the entire back from top to bottom, as if wiping the blackboard. - With the index fingers of both hands they gently pinch the back in front of them. - With the index fingers of both hands they draw small circles (squares, bars...) on the entire back. - They form claws with their fingers like cats and sharpen their claws on the back. In this, they „draw” vertical and horizontal lines. If desired, they miaow while doing this. - They move their fingers on the back as if two spiders were walking on it. - They draw on the back according to the instructions (in the middle they draw a house, a car below, above a bird...). • We finish by drawing a big sun on the back with many rays, so that we will be pleasantly warm. Then they put their signature in the sun. g. Transmission of a message with a travelling pulse • We stand or sit in a circle and hold hands. • I call out somebody to say a nice thought that he or she wishes to communicate to everybody, for example. „I wish that everybody does some good work today at home.” • After saying this, he or she gently presses the hand of their neighbour to the right, who in turn presses the hand of his or her neighbour until the „pulse” arrives back at the pupil who has uttered the thought. • When transferring thoughts with a „pulse”, they look the neighbour in the eyes and give him or her a friendly smile. • Usually I call out another pupil. This time the pulse travels in the opposite direction. h. Visualisation • Pupils lie on the floor, arms and legs are relaxed beside the body. Legs should not be crossed. 13
• They close their eyes. • In the background meditative music is played. • With a quiet and calm voice I tell the pupils a story. On most occasions I have taken them to the animal world, where they imagined, for example, a bird flying and watching the world below. • In the end, I brought their thoughts back to the classroom. 7. INSTRUCTIONS / NOTES TO THE INSTRUCTOR When working with pupils of the first grade, you should be aware that their vocabulary is not so strong yet to be able to put their emotions and relationships thoroughly into words. Concrete activities are needed in which all pupils are included. It is crucial to observe pupils, so that we get to know the basic traits of their character, their ways of reacting, introversion or extraversion, capacity to develop social contacts, ability to solve conflicts. On this basis, decide on the appropriate activities. In the beginning they should be simple, they should not involve a lot of physical contact, movement through space should be included. When a pupil learns about space and can handle it, then he or she will feel safe and it will be easier to open up to other pupils. Any activity (including EFT, social games, relaxation of the body) can be adapted to the group. We start with simple steps, which can then be verbally and physically upgraded. A gradual, systematic, and consistent approach is needed. Demonstrations of exercises should be very explicit, if necessary we explain what, why, and how activities are carried out. More rarely I conducted the following activities: visualisation. 8. EVALUATION Most of the activities that I have conducted with my pupils I first tested alone. The biggest challenge was to start. When I was browsing through the various literature, I found a lot of useful, effective things. The problem was how to bring these things closer to six-year-olds. Many of the answers were given to me by the Montessori developmental psychology and pedagogy. Younger children need to be offered activities which are tailored to their stage of development. When I started with individual activities, some children found them funny or uninteresting, but they eventually got used to them and now they like to perform them. With the majority of pupils I have noticed changes in their behaviour. They have become more attentive, they followed instructions more easily. They have become more tolerant to one another, for example when it is necessary to hold hands, in the activities in pairs. I also noticed changes in school work. If we performed breathing exercises, drawing on the back, carrying the pulse, tapping or a game of silence 14
before writing a homework or solving some handout, they were more concentrated during work, they made fewer errors. Pupils helped each other more, they were friendlier and more patient. In carrying out the exercises, second grade pupils in extended stay who already knew these activities helped me. They set a good example to the first grade pupils. When they saw how keen the second grade pupils were, they showed effort too. When pupils were familiar with these activities, we switched to expressing oneself and one’s emotions, feelings with fine arts, singing, dancing, as well as with words. In the latter, I used a role-playing game. In the event of conflict, we sat together and talked, we listened to all involved. The pupils themselves suggested solutions. I emphasised listening, accepting different opinions, and finding solutions. When pupils engage constructively in what is happening in the classroom, they have the opportunity to be involved in the decision-making, and it is easier for them to accept the consequences of their actions and learn to take responsibility. 9. SOURCES AND LITERATURE - Baptiste, B. (2007). Moj očka je presta: joga za starše in otroke. Kranj. Damodar. - Fone, H. (2013). Tehnika čustvene svobode – EFT za telebane. Ljubljana. Pasadena. - Horvat, L., Magajna, L. (1989). Razvojna psihologija. Ljubljana. DZS. - Mainland, P. (1998). Posnemajmo živali: slikanica joge za zdravo življenje. Radovljica. Didakta. - Montessori, M. (2003). Absorbent mind. Oxford, England. Clio. - Papalia, E. et al. (2003). Otrokov svet: otrokov razvoj od spočetja do konca mladostništva. Ljubljana. Educy. - Schmidt, G. (2003). Metodika plesne vzgoje. Igre: masaže in sprostitve za otroke: zbirka masaž in sprostitev za otroke. Ljubljana. Schlamberger P & J. - Schmidt, G. (2003). Metodika plesne vzgoje. Tibetančki« za otroke: igre za razgibavanje, osredotočenje in sprostitev. Ljubljana. Schlamberger P & J. - Schmidt, G. (2003). Metodika plesne vzgoje. Začetni program joge za otroke : zbirka primerov za usmerjene igralne in gibalne dejavnosti. Ljubljana. Schlamberger P & J. - Virk – Rode, J., Belak – Ožbolt, J. (1998). Socialne igre v osnovni šoli. Ljubljana. ZRSŠ. - Wilmes – Mielenhausen, B. (1999). Kje je doma tišina?: starši in otroci odkrivajo poti do sprostitve. Radovljica. Didakta. - Yates, B. (2012). Čarovnikova želja ali Kako je pregnal zoprneže: EFT zgodba o čarobnosti v tebi. Šmarje –Sap. Buča. - Figure 1: Source: https://www.google.si/. Retrieved on 26/12/2013. - Figure 2: Source: https://www.google.si/. Retrieved on 26/12/2013.
2. „Read to me… my friend” Monika Depa
Subject of the classes, characteristics of the project: The Complex of Sports Schools No. 1 in Poznań is a big school, with pupils aged from 5-6, attending “0” grade, to 15-16-year-olds, attending junior high school. So far, these age groups existed independently next to each other. Through the project ‚Read to me ... my friend” we wanted to bring the students closer together, induce their sense of responsibility, overcome their weaknesses connected with public performance and teamwork. This project therefore is consistent with the project tasks of Comenius Regio, the primary objective of which is the development of social competences in students. Another important matter is the fact that children read gradually fewer books. The students from our junior high school showed younger kids that reading and listening to stories can be just as exciting as playing computer games or watching television. All fairy tales and stories that junior high school student read to the children have been previously consulted with teachers, and therefore they were an integral part of the learning process. Junior high school students not only read the stories to the young pupils but also played the roles of the main characters (with appropriate costumes and make-up) and prepared tasks and exercises. This project to a large extent made school activities much more attractive. Effects, results: The results of this project were noticeable already on the same day. It was a new, attractive thing for young pupils. Both younger and older students want to continue reading the stories - this suggestion came from the students themselves. The junior high school students learned that cooperation and service to others bring satisfaction and contentment. More and more often in the school hallway the students from different grades greet each other. The older students declared they did not know they were such good actors, and that they can overcome 16
their fears and stage fright during public speaking. This resulted in the improvement of relations both between the pupils of different ages and between the peers. On account of the fact that the project was so well received, we have decided to continue it. This time, focusing on individual contacts of younger and older students, we have initiated the action “Let’s help each other” and the project “With art through the ages,” in which the students from primary school and junior high school played their roles together. Technical requirements, remarks: The project does not require any funding; it’s all about resourcefulness, good intentions and commitment of teachers and students. It is advisable to consult the literature used with the early years education teachers. It turns out that in the era of modern technologies, traditional teaching methods, presented in an interesting way, can be just as interesting and engaging as computer work.
3. â€žFairy tale readings in the school libraryâ€? Vesna Voglar Pulko
1. Abstract Fairy tales - we all know them! They are bound to the most beautiful childhood memories. Fairy tale readings are an activity that can almost certainly be found in every school library. They are for young children in pre-school and the initial school period. In our school older pupils are telling them to younger pupils. Children learn different fairy tales: folk tales, fairy tales of Slovenian and foreign authors, and other stories. With the help of storytellers they upgrade a fairy tale, and also socialise with each other. Storytellers have to prepare before telling a fairy tale. They overcome fear and performance anxiety. They learn to motivate demanding young listeners, and of course how to tell a story in an interesting way. With that activity we bring the world of imagination closer to the pupils, we expand their literary horizons, we enrich their vocabulary and encourage in them a desire to read. Key words: Fairy tale reading, storytelling, listening, recreation, performance, socialising 2. Objectives Participation in the fairy tale readings develops diverse social and personal skills in the pupils. Pupils learn about themselves and also accept and learn about others and learn how to get along with them well. This is a gathering of pupils of different generations. They differ in age and maturity, in skills and abilities. Storytellers develop skills and knowledge in the field of storytelling, motivating others and overcoming performance anxiety. They have to learn a lot about a fairy tale, they have to prepare to tell it properly. Storytelling includes cognitive and emotional motivation and also activities after the fairy tale. After the storytelling, there is a display of illustrations, discussion about the content of a fairy tale, and together they evaluate the message of a fairy tale. Recreation 18
of the fairy tale follows. Younger pupils - listeners - also develop listening skills and mutual interactions, they expand their literary horizons, enrich their vocabulary and literary taste. With the help of storytellers they upgrade a fairy tale.
3. Forms and methods of work Working with text Storytelling Listening Participation in a conversation Group work Mutual assistance Recreation
4. Workflow Fairy tale readings, which I describe in this paper, are held in the school library several times a year in October, which is an international month of School Libraries, in the festive month of â€žHappyâ€? December and in April, the month of the book. As a librarian I tell pupils fairy tales several times a year, but in this paper I present traditional hours of fairy tales, where the storytellers are mainly pupils from sixth- to ninth-grade - occasionally younger pupils participate. The youngest storytellers were from the third grade. Fairy tale readings are attended by preschool children from kindergarten and above all first year pupils. Yet, there are individuals from the higher grades. Preparations for the fairy tale readings begin a few weeks before execution. First of all, I invite pupils who often ask when fairy tale reading will take place. Often the storytellers are pupils who are reluctant to perform in front of their peers but are willing to show their best in front of younger pupils. I select books - especially picture books - on the criteria of picture quality, timeliness, and appropriateness to a seasonal or festive part of the school year. From a wide selection of stories storytellers choose a story that attracts them and which they feel that they will be able to appropriately and vividly present to younger listeners. We agreed on the method of presenting a fairy tale, the introductory motivation, and activities after the fairy tale has been read. Each storyteller imagines an activity that is tied to his story. It may be a drawing on the theme of a fairy tale in different techniques dry pencils, crayons, markers, worksheet with questions, tasks, various forms of riddles, mind games, dramatisation, singing, playing games, etc.. At the end of the fairy tale reading the children may take their products home. Fairy tale readings bring closer to children closer to the world of the written word and encourage the need and desire for reading. Children thereby expand their literary horizon, and enrich their vocabularies and literary tastes.
5. Worksheets, prepared by storytellers
6. Impressions from the fairy tale readings
Photo: Archives of the author
7. Evaluation of fairy tale readings Listening to and later reading fairy tales is of great importance in the global development of the child. Fairy tale readings in the school library add at least a small piece in the mosaic of a child’s maturation, especially in the field of book and library education. The fairy tale readings bring closer to the pupils the world of imagination and encourage their desire to read. Children acquire a pleasant and instructive experience related to the library, books and socialising, becoming loyal readers or later users of the library. Storytelling is important for the storytellers as well, because they train their social skills, practise nice expression, overcome the fear and discomfort of performing, and learn to motivate young demanding listeners. They are aware of this themselves, so they want to put themselves in the role of a storyteller. „At the beginning I was a little nervous, but when the children came, I was relaxed. The children were very happy and were involved in the conversation. They listened to the story very carefully. At the end I was very pleased with myself because I debuted in the role of a storyteller. „ (Sara Gajser, 9. b) „I have been a storyteller since sixth grade. Again, the children listened with interest and enthusiasm and coloured the colouring book which I prepared. They liked to answer questions. I was happy because the children participated gladly. „ (Anja Horvat, 9. a) 8. Sources and literature: 1. Poznanovič Jezeršek, Mojca et al. (2011). Curriculum. The elementary school. Slovenian. [Electronic source]. Ljubljana: Ministrstvo za šolstvo in šport, Zavod RS za šolstvo. 2. Bošnjak, B. (2006). Mladi potrebujejo knjižnico: knjižna vzgoja v knjižnici. V D. Kramberger in M. Logar (Ur.), Splet znanja in domišljije: zbornik ob petdesetletnici mladinskega knjižničarstva v Mariboru: 1953–2003 (str. 79–88). Maribor: Mariborska knjižnica. 3. Kanič, I., Leder, Z., Ujčič, M., Vilar, P. in Vodeb, G. (2009). Librarian terminological dictionary. Knjižnica, 53 (3–4), 1–374.
4. „Ninth-graders in the role of guardians of first-graders” Stanka Veršič, Olga Zelenik
1. Abstract In the school year 2012/13 the teachers of the ninth and the first classes undertook a project Ninth-graders - guardians of first-graders. Since the beginning of the school year, we have carried out a number of common activities: together we crossed the threshold of the school on the first day of school, the ninth-graders solemnly accepted first-graders into the school community, and with positive examples we encouraged them to eat lunch together in a civilised way, we had a fabulous time, we made art together, we participated in a charity campaign Give A Hand, together we performed at school events for cultural holidays, hung out in the snow, during book month in the library the ninth-graders read fables to the first-graders, we did a group photograph, we danced a waltz together, and gave each other gifts at the end of the school year. By linking the ninth- and the first-graders we emphasised the development of social skills. The ninth-graders represented a positive example to the first-graders through different activities, which we have done together. Key words: Elementary school, guardians, intergenerational interaction, learning by example. 2. Introduction In our school the project Ninth-graders - Guardians of First-graders has been carried out for some years now. Within the project Comenius Regio we class teachers of the ninth- and first-grades were thinking to enrich our project with content related to the personal and social skills of the children. We established an activity plan, where the participation of the pupils of the ninth- and the first-grades would be most effective. In the selection of the activities we also included the aspirations and needs of the pupils. The implementation of the project was always carefully recorded with photographs. First we assigned the first-graders to the ninth-graders. Some ninth-graders had a double guardian role as the number of first-graders was larger. Our time together had already begun on the first day of the school year 2012/ 2013. 23
3. Objectives The basic aim was to develop social skills that help pupils to better communicate with each other, learn tolerance, make friends and improve their self-esteem. Detailed objectives: - To develop, through the game, the skill of fair play and get used to how to take defeat; - For older pupils to represent a positive example to the younger ones; - To learn to accept challenges, and get closer to and join activities including public speaking; - To work in pairs or groups where it is necessary to negotiate; to prevent and propose instead of giving orders; to take into account the opinions of others; to share with others and engage younger pupils in the activities of the elderly; - To be an interesting interlocutor: mainly older pupils have had to adapt and choose the topic of conversation, interesting for both. 4. Workflow month september
activity Crossing the threshold of the school on the first school day together
First-graders were dressed in T-shirts with the symbol of our school. Hand in hand the ninth-graders took them across the threshold of the school and together they skipped the placed string. They accompanied them all the way to the classroom and stayed with them for a while.
The newcomers stepped away from their parents to the class teacher, where their guardians awaited.
Civilised eating â€“ The guardians helped the socialising at school meals first-graders to distribute the school meals. By example, they also contributed to the civilised eating.
The first-graders followed the example of the ninth-graders for distributing the meals and consumed them in a civilised manner with their guardians.
Reception of first-graders in the school community of pupils into Videm elementary school
The first-graders participated in the program, answering questions. They repeated the pledge after the ninth-graders.
The guardians prepared a story and some puzzles. All helped with the artistic interpretation of the story
Time together with stories The guardians prepared a and puzzles story and some puzzles. All helped with the artistic interpretation of the story.
The first-graders were divided into two groups. Both groups were listening to a story, prepared by the guardians. They also solved some puzzles. Together they artistically recreated the story and exhibited the results in the home classroom.
First-gradersâ€™ first time at the school dance
Preparing the school dan- Their guardians took ce. The guardians of the them to the school dance first-graders took them to and danced with them. the first school dance, and danced with them.
Artistic creation of Christmas cards for the employees of our school
Pupils were given common guidelines for the creation. They glued the created common motives to the card and wrote a common greeting.
Preparation of the material for the artistic creation. They worked in two groups. The guardians guided them in the joint creation â€“ the scratch-board.
Joint participation in the charity campaign Give A Hand with the help of a computer program
They prepared all the computers in the computer lab and the laptops. They linked up online for the charity campaign Give A Hand Together with the first-graders they decorated a hand and donated it.
Since there were too many first-graders, they were divided in two groups. Some were creating on the computers and others on laptops. The guardians helped them paint with a computer program.
A joint New Year greeting to the employees of the school
The guardians showed the The first-graders accomfirst-graders how to make panied the guardians New Year greetings. while they handed the greeting cards to the employees of the school.
The guardians gave presents to the first-graders
The guardians made greeting cards for their wards and handed it to them with a sweet surprise.
The first graders took great pleasure in accepting a card with a sweet little present.
Games in the snow
Preparation of the games in the snow and accessories for making a snowman. They showed the first-graders some games in the snow and built two snowmen with them.
Together with their guardians they were throwing snowballs, making snow angels, rolling together lumps of snow and forming a snowman.
Joint appearance at a school event, the Slovenian Cultural Holiday
The first-graders were escorted hand in hand to the stage and were supported at the performance.
They prepared their own text for the performance. Together with their guardians they were introduced to the guests and other pupils of our school.
Valentineâ€™s Day greetings
The guardians received a greeting card with a candy bar.
The first-graders made greeting cards for their guardians, handed them out and added a candy bar to the card.
Letâ€™s play together
The guardians played board and social games with the first-graders.
The first-graders prepared games to socialise with their guardians.
Socialising in the library reading fables
The guardians chose a few fables and read them to the first-graders. They helped first graders in understanding the content of the stories read.
The first-graders listened to the fables being read, and together with the guardians extracted the lesson of each story and artistically recreated it on a worksheet.
Exercises for joint dance performance at the Valeta
Together with the first-graders they learned to dance to the music.
The first-graders learned to dance to the music together with their teachers. They also taught the dance to their guardians.
The guardians were photographed with their wards individually and all together.
The first-graders were photographed together with their guardians individually. These pictures were later framed. They also took group pictures.
Joint performance at the Valeta and gift exchange
The guardians danced with the first-graders and gave them friendship bracelets, which they made by themselves.
The fist-graders performed with their guardians at their Valeta, where the partners were given a joint framed photo.
On the guardiansâ€™ last school day they bade farewell to the first-graders with hugs
On the last day of school they spent some time with the first-graders and said farewell to them with hugs.
The first graders socialised with their guardians for the last time and said farewell to them with hugs.
5. Evaluation of the project The project was conducted according to the agreed plan. All the planned activities were carried out and all objectives realised. Developing social and personal skills has been at the forefront of our combined association of the ninth and first graders. Each common activity was carefully planned and in each activity various social and personal skills were combined, which we teachers wanted to develop. Since the first-graders were very numerous, we organised some of the activities in two separate groups. Here we had some help from another teacher from the department. The ninth-graders have shown a great deal of responsibility and maturity and acted as a link between the teacher and the first-graders. They were the ones who carried the instructions for an activity to the first-graders, on which they guided and encouraged them. Yet the first graders did not take them as an authority, seeing them rather as friends. There was much negotiation, adjustment and taking into account the opinions of others in these pairs. Such cooperation not only strengthened the personal and social skills of the first-graders, but it also benefitted the ninth-graders through the guardian role. They developed the sense of responsibility, they adapted to their wards, fostered a tolerant attitude towards others and improved their self-esteem. The project is multi-faceted because it requires a lot of cooperation between the class teachers of both years, also fostering the development of social and personal skills at the staff level. Throughout the entire year a lot of effort has been invested, as the activities were carried out at least twice a month, and before the joint performance even twice a week. All the effort was repaid after one month of socialising, when the initial shyness between the pupils was overcome. After that both could hardly wait for the next activity. The method used (ninth-graders - guardians of first-graders) is strongly recommended; of course every teacher should adapt the activities and content that will be used to the needs and desires of the pupils of each school. 1. Impressions of the ninth-graders I find the cooperation between the ninth- and the first-grade very important and useful, for it helps the youngest at school to integrate into the school more easily, get used to it, relax, and get to know how things work in new surroundings. This has been a very interesting but also responsible experience even to us, the ninth-graders. We enjoyed the socialising with the first-graders. I especially liked the joint dance at the Valeta. By then we had become quite attached to each other and concluded our cooperation very nicely. (Ĺ pela Turk) Hanging out with the first graders was very interesting. Together we played and did a variety of things. We were their guardians, as each ninth-grader took care of one or two 27
pupils. The children were eager to see us and this wish led them every day to love going to school. I hope such gatherings will continue, for these activities link the ninth-graders and the pupils, who are just starting to get used to school, in friendship. (Jan Bračič) Socialising with first-graders seemed very interesting, because we were doing very interesting things together. Best of all was in winter when we built a snowman and were throwing snowballs together. It was also nice to prepare the dance for the Valeta with the first-graders and in doing so the Valeta was much enriched. Socialising with the first-graders was really fun for me. (Žan Hliš) This year we were the guardians of first-graders. It was a very interesting and educational experience. Together with the first-graders we were drawing, dancing, playing, and getting to know each other. We have taught them many things and we also learned a lot from them. At first we were all reserved, but eventually we relaxed and became friends. I think the first-graders got used to the school more easily because they had older friends who cared for and helped them. I will keep these gatherings in fond memory and I believe others will do the same. A lasting memory of it will be the photograph I was given by my little friend. (Nina Vaupotič) 2. Impressions of the first-graders I liked socialising with the guardians, because they liked us and they accepted us as their younger brothers and sisters. Best of all was when we built the snowman, when we went to the computer room, and when we danced at the Valeta. I liked holding hands with my guardian. (Lucija Vajda) It was very pleasant with the guardian when we played football and we danced. He helped me with learning. (Niko Emeršič) I liked my guardian very much because she was nice to me. It was great when they took us to the school disco because I love to dance. (Miha Vinko) My guardian helped me with drawing. It was most beautiful when they took us to lunch. I was happy because she let me sit on her knees. (Neža Hrga) I liked hanging out with my guardian because it was interesting and fun. For me it was most beautiful on the first day of school when we met. My guardian encouraged me at everything. (Anže Horvat) Hanging out with the guardians was fun. Best was when we were dancing at the school disco. My guardian helped me overcome various fears. (Laura Marinič) 28
I liked hanging out with the guardians because they helped us. Nicest was playing in the snow and playing computer games. The guardians also took us hand in hand for a walk. (Tilen Vidovič) I immediately liked my guardian. She always offered a hand and helped me. For me it was most beautiful when we danced with the guardians at their Valeta. (Vita Krušič) 6. Visual material
Figure 1: Crossing the threshold of the school on the first school day together.
Figure 2: Table manners
Figure 3: Acceptance of first-graders in the school community
Figure 4 : Socialising while reading stories
Figure 5: Creating New Year greetings
Figure 6: The charity computer campaign Give A Hand
Figure 7: Games in the snow
Figure 8: The joint performance on the Slovenian Cultural Holiday
Figure 9: Socialising with board and social games
Figure 10: Guardians read fables to the first-graders Figure 11: Group photography
Figure 12: Dance of the first-graders with the guardians at the Valeta
Figure 13: Guardians saying farewell to the first-graders
7. Exemplary worksheet: Fables Tasks in the worksheets after reading the fables: 1. With the help of your guardian, write down the name of the fable you remember most. 2. Explain why - the guardian will help you. 3. Draw an illustration of the fable.
References : 1. McGrath, Helen and Francey, Shona. 1996. Friendly pupils friendly classes: Learning social skills and self-confidence in the classroom. Ljubljana: DZS. ISBN 86-341-1673-5. 2. Youth workshops. 2006. Marinka Saksida and Tanja Pipan. Nova Gorica: Mladinski center Nova Gorica. ISBN 10 961-91940-0-4. 3. Social games in elementary school: code contribution. 1998. Mira Turk Škraba (ed.). Ljubljana: Zavod Republike Slovenije za šolstvo. ISBN 961-234-007-2. 4. Virk-Rode, Jožica i Belak-Ožbolt, Jasna. 1990. Class as a social group and social games. Ljubljana: Zavod Republike za šolstvo.
5. „From slate to computer” Anica Topolovec
1. Summary In this article I will present a project prepared by teachers and Year One pupils in our school. The activities took place in September/October 2012 and the project was presented on Senior Citizens’ Day and during Children’s Week. The project involved pupils and the elderly, especially the grandparents and great-grandparents of our pupils. This form of meeting is a traditional intergenerational get-together at our school. In the process I found such cooperation can be very positive and that knowledge conveyed orally is perceived as much more interesting, with a positive impact on the acquisition and development of pupils’ social skills. A teacher must be good at defining objectives, and executing tasks at the organisational level. Positive teamwork in Year One teachers was observed. Key words: Primary school in the past and present, grandmothers and grandfathers, project, presentation. 2. Objectives: • Through oral communication pupils learned how school used to be in our grandmothers’ and great-grandmothers’ times; • Pupils learned about the school as it was in the past; • They prepared a simple survey for the elderly and created oral summaries and summaries in the form of the mind maps; • They compared school life in the past and present through the stories of grandparents and great-grandparents; • They collected heritage objects once used in schools, and learned about their value in studying the present; • They gained the correct attitude to our cultural heritage; • They got used to teamwork; • They actively participated in presentations and trained for public speaking in front of their classmates and the rest of the audience; • By their participation they contributed to positive intergenerational relations; • They used modern teaching aids in their work: camera, computer; 32
• They created works of art and were actively involved in the preparation of the exhibition; • They participated in the preparation of snacks for visitors to the exhibition. 3. Forms and methods of work 3.1 Methods • Verbal textual – interpretation, discussion, storytelling, listening, reporting, graphic work, reading, writing, watching; • Demonstrative illustration – displaying or demonstrating; • Experiential learning - practical work. 3.2 Forms: frontal, individual, group, pair work 4. Workflow The teachers presented the activities to the pupils in the following steps: 4.1 What was studied? - How our grandmothers and grandfathers were taught lessons in schools? - Penalties for pupils who did not respect the rules. - Going to and coming home from school. - School supplies and teaching aids used. - School meals. 4.2 Where did we get the information about this topic? - From grandmothers and grandfathers, older people. HOW? - They visited us in school. - We visited them at home. - We wrote the answers down. - We asked them to look for old teaching aids, objects, workbooks, and bring them to school. WHEN? - During Children’s Week, in September, and Senior Citizens’ Day on ? October 2012. 4.3 To whom did we present our work? - To our grandmothers and grandfathers, and to everyone from older and younger generations who attended the closing ceremony; - To pupils and teachers of our school. 4.4 How did we present our work? - At a joint presentation in the gym. - We simulated a classroom of the past and became pupils of the past. - We prepared an exhibition of teaching and learning tools that were once used in school. Activities took place step by step. 33
5. Activities for Teachers Teachers agreed that the title of the project was FROM SLATE TO COMPUTER. Class teachers invited grandparents to class and organised activities on the topic. We continuously collected items with pupils. In a separate room we simulated an old classroom which was used for a few minutes of lessons to our pupils. We asked a retired teacher from our school to prepare and give these lessons. We asked grandfathers, if it is possible to make some slates and wooden boxes, as once used in a school. The event was held in the gym. The scene represented a classroom from the past. Teachers shared responsibilities: writing the script, preparing the dining room and catering, photography, producing notices on the website, sending out the invitations and gifts, and constructing the scene in the gym. 6. An example of the learning process in the classroom was when grandmothers and great-grandmothers were visiting us Questions for grandmothers were prepared by the pupils as part of their homework. Pupils were divided into two groups: a) The first group of pupils asked a grandmother questions. b) The second group of pupils asked a great-grandmother questions. Pupils memorised the answers, while those who could already write entered the answers on worksheets. At the end each group wrote about the senior citizensâ€™ school experiences.
Where do you go to school?
Where did you go to school?
Where did you go to school?
Year of schooling
When did you go to school?
When did you go to school?
My way to school
Describe the way to school! Describe the way to school!
Remembering something that happened on the way to or from school
Remembering something that happened on the way to or from school.
Remembering something that happened on the way to or from school.
Snack, lunch at school
Snack, lunch at school (describe)
Snack, lunch at school (describe)
Describe, list school supplies
Describe, list school supplies
Describe, list school supplies
Did you have school clubs? Which?
Did you have school clubs? Which?
Did you have school clubs? Which?
How many of you are there in the classroom?
How many of you were there in the classroom?
How many of you were there in the classroom?
What is your favourite subject and why?
What was your favourite subject and why?
What was your favourite subject and why?
How and why are you punished?
How and why were you punished?
How and why were you punished?
Do you have PE?
Did you have PE?
Did you have PE?
What are the teachers like?
What were the teachers like?
What were the teachers like?
How are you dressed?
How were you dressed?
How were you dressed?
7. Scenario for the presentation of the project - 3rd Class A. Pupils sing the first verse of the song called PREBUDIL SE JE RANO / He woke up early. The child wakes up and goes to put the cattle out to pasture. B. Recitation ČRNO KRAVO MOLZO NAŠO GREGOR ŽENE V LOG NA PAŠO / Our George is going out to put our black cow out to pasture. (Schoolgirls Ela and Lara) C. Pupils sing the second verse of the song called PREBUDIL SE JE RANO / He woke up early. The child continues its journey to school. The lessons start. * Calligraphy - with pens D. Break with snack and a short playlet. Three pupils eat bread and apple, the fourth pupil does not eat anything. (Žiga, Luka, Tilen, Timotej) Žiga: Why aren’t you eating? Tilen: I lost my snack. Luka: This is bad - and bites his white bread. Still a long way to lunchtime! Timotej: Where have you lost your snack? Tilen: I do not know. (And he quietly turns around) Luka: I guess you had it in your pocket, you should carry it in the bag. Žiga: (does not ask anything, breaks a piece of bread and gives it to Tilen) E. Way home - pupils sing the third verse of the song. F. Short scene POTEPUH / TRAMP FROM THE PRIMER READER (old one) A pupil (Teo) goes home. Of course, he does not want to go straight home, so he goes to 35
the meadow. There he meets a horse. Teo: Horse, play with me! Horse: I cannot, when the cart is full of food, I have to take it home. Play yourself! Teo meets a bee: Bee, play with me! Bee: I cannot, I have to gather honey, so that the bees will not be hungry in winter. Play by yourself! Teo and bird: Birdie, play with me! Birdie: I cannot, I have to look for worms to feed my hungry brood. Play by yourself! Teo (sits down): I’ll just play by myself. He stops by the water and starts fishing. He is fishing for a long time, and his father is looking for him. Father (spanks him): Go home now, it’s five o’clock and the cattle are still not in the pasture. G. At home, grandmother tells a fairy tale by the fire. 8. Evaluation Following the interviews and surveys, the pupils have come up with some interesting findings. They described them in writing. (*Appendix) They recorded their findings, compared the experiences of a grandmother and a great-grandmother, and found out that there was not much difference between their schooling. However, there were big differences in school attendance in comparison to today’s. The most interesting and difficult to understand topics were the use of penalties, and also the way the pupils had their snack at school. They were happy to test the old slates and pens in a calligraphy lesson. Teachers were strict and lessons were interesting. They would not swap today’s school for the one from the past. They like today’s school very much. If it were possible, the pupils would cancel school buses and go to school on foot, as was the habit in the past. An event, in the journey home from school of a great-grandmother, was played at the closing ceremony.Pupils very much enjoyed their grandparents’ visit. We the teachers also; being happy to prepare an interesting and memorable gathering for pupils and the elderly. GRANDMOTHER’S VISIT Nik’s grandmother Katika visited us. She went to school in Juršinci. She has a lot of memories about the school. If she wanted to eat lunch at school, she had to bring a spoon from home. They ate in the classroom. Teachers were strict. She attended the dance and chess club. They went to and from school on foot. On the way home eighth grade pupils teased them. Therefore they sometimes asked the priest to walk them home. On the way home they were playing hide and seek. After completing the lessons they had to help their parents at work. In those days children did not have such nice clothes and shoes as 36
today. Clothes were often dirty and patched. They carried notebooks and books in the bag because there was no money for bags. SARA PERNEK , 3. a GRANDMOTHER TELLS My grandmother told me that they did not get lunch at school, but had to bring it from home. They had bags, notebooks, pencil cases, but not as nice as today. On the way to or from school they were swinging on the branches. In winter, they sat on the bags and sledded on them all the way through the woods towards home. Sometimes the bag ran away and arrived home before them. Teachers were strict. They pulled them by the ear and hit them with a switch. Those were difficult times, but it was still nice. LARA BIŠKUP, 3. a Material, sources and literature 1. Umek, M., Janša Zorn, O., Košak M. (1996). TU SEM DOMA 1. Domača pokrajina, Spoznavanje družbe za 4. razred OŠ. Ljubljana: Modrijan. 2. Umek, M., Janša Zorn, O., Košak M. (1996). TU SEM DOMA 1 (Priročnik za učitelje). Domača pokrajina. Spoznavanje družbe za 4. razred OŠ. Ljubljana: Modrijan. 3. E-transparencies: FROM SLATE TO COMPUTER 4. Materials in the form of objects that were once used in school.
6. „Gnōthi seauton” (know yourself) Grzegorz Chołuj
INTRODUCTION I have always been interested in the way art, science and life diffuse in many aspects. Art and science as the space of freedom – where you can achieve your dreams, desires, experience deeply the world of values and better understand reality perceived through them. In this respect I have always perceived the area of art and science as a kind of life accelerator – an area of deep experience of individual presence as a component of „something bigger”. And here the therapeutic role of art opens – being its part since the dawn of time – another area of my professional pursuits. The art has always enabled man to survive, live, raise and purge – namely, to experience deeper human existence. It has always been a kind of intermediary, mythological Hermes, who combines the worlds – human with the divine, visible with the invisible, external with the internal. In this dimension I notice the profound role of art in the process of education in general, and particularly in personal development of an individual person. And thanks to using its potential in the service of science, especially in the modern interdisciplinary approach, where the primary boundaries of individual disciplines wear away, the art takes on a new, broader meaning and is no longer just a source of artistic inspiration, but it can be employed to work on the improvement of the general condition of students. We currently live in very intriguing times. Never before in human history there has been such a wide access to education, personal development, ownership of material goods and opportunities for each of us. The magnitude of possibilities often borders with a total lack of ability to use them. This diversity brings about also another danger – the fact that especially young people condition their BEING, system of values, on the external stimulation – the clothes I wear (brand), the phone I use, the car I drive, the music I listen to, etc. We can also add here the lack of role models and authority figures, pace of life, huge emphasis on competition in personal and professional space, family breakdown – and we have a readymade recipe for social catastrophe! But it is not about showing negative aspects of reality and leaving it at that, but about becoming aware of such 38
state and changing it in a creative way! But how to do it? In my opinion you should always start from yourself and understanding your own psychological framework. The image of the world created by ourselves is the image of our inside. Our authenticity and sensitivity stimulates the authenticity and sensitivity of our students. In order to change others and the world around us, we always have to start with changing ourselves. The art can act as an accelerator in reaching the world of individual potential. It is a map, and reading it in a skilful way enables to sense oneself deeper not only in the creative process, but also, and perhaps above all, in life and in everyday reality. This is what interests me greatly and it traces out the way of my professional quest – first as an actor, in over ten years of artistic career, and now as a teacher, personal development coach, film director, creator and implementer of innovative artistic and educational projects operating on the border of art, science, philosophy, and psychology. DESCRIPTION OF THE METHOD It is not an easy task to describe the method of work which was used in the project and through which we experience the reality that the project tasks refer to. This method is in fact based on various experiences and draws from them: it is rooted in theatre practice, drama method, psychology, elements of psychotherapy, quantum physics, and at the same time goes beyond these spaces... It is a method which is known and undiscovered at the same time! You do not need specialized courses and postgraduate education to be able to use it. It is universal and widely available, and it becomes clearer when it is used by courageous teachers, open to their own and their students’ sensitivity. Its role and great educational importance is particularly visible in an expressive and responsible relationship between the Master and the Student. Conscious relationship in the flow of knowledge in the process of education between those who perform their roles in a responsible manner (here: Master and Disciple) is the foundation of teaching in general. And what should be emphasized, what matters here is conscious identification with the social role played, as well as recognition of opportunities and threats arising from these roles. Another aspect is the holistic view of the teaching process, expressed in an interdisciplinary approach to teaching (I will describe this issue in more detail in the further part of this paper). It plays an extremely important role and is demanding for the teacher. It forces a teacher to work harder, not only in the intellectual sense, but above all, in the emotional one. It is highly motivating and motivates to the constant quest and development. It is also a warranty that the teacher will not give up a continuous process of self-discovery and education. Self-improvement and self-development of a teacher are essential in this profession and enable the teacher to approach it with passion which would be contagious for the students. Our project looked for and created such circumstances to actualize the idea of „lifelong learning”. 39
And therefore I suggest the method based on: interdisciplinarity, emotional openness, willingness to getting to know the inner self and noticing the subjectivity of the student, demonstrating practical application of the knowledge discussed (special role of imagination, visualization and reflection), the strength of experience (transfer of knowledge to own experiences) as well as authenticity and passion in the transfer of knowledge. INTERDISCIPLINARITY OF THE METHOD – IN SHORT The method itself provides for creative approach to the process of education using the techniques of psycho-drama and theatre. It can be safely used in teaching all subjects. Of course, it is easiest to be applied in humanities (Polish language, history) due to the methods of teaching connected with these subjects. It should be remembered that the essence of this method is not to follow the readymade lesson plan, but to convey knowledge in a creative way and to search for methods that are attractive for students and effective at the same time. This certainly requires great emotional commitment and passion from the teacher! The issue of interdisciplinarity cited in the method description derives from the assumption that “there is only one knowledge” and that everything in the world is governed by the same laws, with the only difference being the way a given phenomenon is described and the terminology associated with it. How should we understand it? A given phenomenon, for example „autumn leaf fall”, can be described with a use of a physical formula or a poem. Each of these descriptions will refer to seemingly different knowledge and will require different competences. There will surely be some persons proving the superiority of a given way of describing natural phenomena over the other (like „glass and eye” in the poem of Adam Mickiewicz – fortunately, modern scientific thought aims at interdisciplinarity). On the other hand, it is important that each of them draws attention to different aspect of the phenomenon, showing it from different perspective. A young person realizes that obtaining knowledge is not a mere idea, but it translates into understanding specific phenomena in nature, and relates it to their own experiences. Interdisciplinarity of knowledge means that a given phenomenon can be described in many different ways, each of them autonomous, and they all complement each other. Such approach to the subject for me personally is particularly close to my heart. Further components of the method ensue. Emotional openness, willingness to know oneself are the issues related to the concept of emotional intelligence. The need for developing such competences in preparation for the teaching profession and continuously improving them in professional work is obvious and is not subject to discussion. Unfortunately, it is not always carried out with utmost care... We are therefore speaking here about something that is necessary – the method is only a tool, and to be effective, it must be applied by a properly trained teacher, the 40
one who is open to interdisciplinarity and the one who works with passion. Therefore, in the project I also worked with teachers to sensitize them to this indispensable component of implementing the method. PUPILS Theatre and emotional workshops, conducted during a total of 56 lessons, were directed to a group of junior high school students, selected through a casting session conducted especially for this purpose. The classes were not obligatory, therefore the future participants we supposed to demonstrate their will to take part in such project and, most importantly, to stay in it. As they declared, the factors that attracted them to the project were, above all, curiosity, desire to learn more about oneself, the chance to get to know interesting people and to experience something exciting. At the very beginning of the recruitment process they were informed in detail about the research nature of the project, the aspects of knowledge the workshops are based on, the need for systematic participation in the activities and the course of work. Such presentation of this part of the project and making young people aware that they participate in a clearly defined process, that the workshops are part of a wider project, was particularly important for them and for the integrity of the project itself. This also contributed to making them aware of the fact that they are participating in something special, which will allow them to expand their intellectual horizons, to recognize complex mechanisms ruling over reality and their perception of it, and to make them sensitive to their own world of internal experiences, and which will result in a permanent change in their lives at home and school thanks to self-reflection. As the author of this part of the project and a teacher conducting the activities I consciously used the power of persuasion and directed the attention and perception of the participants to the issues raised in the project. I used the fact that they are sports schools students and I referred directly to their experiences in sport. I have shown a strong relationship between attitude, emotions and general psycho-physical condition and the result of their activities in the area of sport. They admitted I was right, and agreed that â€žwithout faith in victory entering the game is pointless ...â€?. This move allowed me to quickly establish contact with the students and make them aware of the thematic scope of this project. During the first meeting we discussed together various stages of work, specified mutual expectations and set up goals. We agreed that the classes will require commitment from them, both emotional and intellectual, that we will start our work with difficult conversations, that we will open up emotionally to each other, and that after psychological and theatre workshops we will prepare the show to present the effects of working together on stage. The group of young people who came to the classes was very diverse in terms of intellectual and emotional development. It was important, however, that the project was 41
implemented in sports school, so the participants were oriented at the specific performance under the pressure of results, accompanied by varied levels of stress experienced. In addition to the purely intellectual challenges, they also faced sport challenges, which were supposed to be fun, but most of all â€“ competition. WHAT EXACTLY DID WE DO DURING THE WORKSHOPS? We worked in the space of theatre and emotion, carefully analysing all the emotional states that we experienced. We were trying to figure out their meaning and the way they translate into individual experience of each of the participants in their personal lives, at school and in sports competition. This constant reference of stage events, experiences in life and sports situations allowed me also to find very quickly the analogy between them and to get through this way to the consciousness of the students. They have noticed that the emotions they feel on the sports field, the way of communication and coping with stress â€“ all that mirrors their behaviour in private life and in school, and at the same way it relates to their reactions during theatre and drama classes. This allowed them to find a common denominator of personal and social behaviour, and thanks to the awareness of re-enacted roles it helped them to manage them better. I will not describe in detail the course of individual classes, as this part of the publication is not a textbook and is not to include detailed lesson plans. Its role is rather to demonstrate that such a method of work: interdisciplinary, emotional and based on values and on creating strong bond between the teacher and the students, while inducing the sense of individual identity, is of great pedagogical importance and translates into positive learning outcomes. I will describe only the fragments of classes, some of the exercises used and, in the summary, the possibility of implementing the method by a teacher in the classroom. What was particularly valuable in the observation and stimulation of behaviour in a workshop group? In the foreground there was the empathy of young people, mutual help and support in difficult emotional exercises, consisting in overcoming some personal internal blockage. Of course, it was not the case from the very beginning. The group of youths, accustomed to competing with each other, assessing each other and unknowingly agreeing to that, underwent a series of practical exercises and took a large dose of psychological knowledge on the perception of oneself and the world, the mechanisms governing this perception, formation of these mechanisms and the process of adapting them in our life. WHAT WAS THE STRUCTURE OF THE WORKSHOPS? The project workshops were divided into two complementary and diffusing blocks of classes: 1. Personal development workshops carried out in two stages: a) theoretical part during which we talked about and discussed, among others, the 42
topics related to the role of emotions in life, systems of reality perception, the role of experience and education in shaping personality and the importance of values in human life, b) practical part, in which through the exercises we could experience the knowledge obtained, discover individual potential of personality, work on expressing emotions, experiencing their effects on body and mind, get familiar with self-presentation and persuasion techniques, and how to control stress and stage fright. 2. Theatre workshops were some form of the laboratory of personal and social attitudes, and they involved the implementation of methods tested and formulated in the project. By using the elements of drama and psychotherapeutic tools, young people were able to “remake” their own experiences, write them down in the form of a short play scripts and perform on stage. This experience allowed them to look very carefully at individual emotional problems, diagnose them and accept, and begin the process of changes. Later in the paper I will describe an example script. Also the video material filmed during the workshops demonstrates implementation of the described method. In the initial exercise on personal development, it was important to conclude the „contract of values” relating to mutual respect, support and non-judging of each other. This created a durable, mentally and emotionally binding foundation for further exercises during the entire project. Among other exercises, two of them deserve particular attention: Lustro_Duszy© (“The mirror of soul”) and Oto_Moja_Historia© (“Here is my story”). In a few words I will describe the nature of these activities and their impact on the participants. Lustro_Duszy© is a very interesting exercise. It makes a person realize their empathetic possibilities and open up to deep perception of the external world, inner personal self (own feelings, emotions, values, experiences) and the ones of the workshop partners. In fact, it is very simple: the partners face each other and look into each other’s eyes. One of them is the “real one”, and the other one is their mirror reflection. The task of a real one is to focus on the so-called “inner monologue” – to recall and reconstruct (recollect) some event, story, or experience, looking all the time into the eyes of a partner who plays the role of a mirror. The task of the mirror is, however, to reflect emotions and open up to the flow of ideas from a partner. The person who plays the role of the mirror opens up completely to the message of the partner – he/she does not subject this stream to intellectual analysis, and does not try by any means to discover the thoughts of „the real one”. This person simply opens own heart and mind to the emotional message. The scientific basis of the exercises is the existence of the so called „mirror neurons” in our brain (Joachim Bauer „Empatia. Co potrafią lustrzane neurony” („Why I Feel What You Feel: Intuitive Communication and the Secret of Mirror Neurons”), PWN, 2008), which are responsible for our empathic abilities. They are groups of nerve cells (neurons) which become activated while performing certain operations or observing them 43
in other individuals. They were discovered in the early 90s of 20th century by Italian scientists in the brain of monkeys and humans. As confirmed by the research, thanks to them an individual observing certain activity is almost immediately able to guess the intentions of another individual, not only of the same species. In humans, they are probably also responsible for the ability to recognize other people’s emotions and intentions expressed nonverbally – empathy and compassion. The exercise showed that with strong focus and concentration the participating students could not only properly read emotions of another individual, but also described in detail emotional states of their partners. Some could fairly accurately cite the stories their partners thought about. The exercise Oto_Moja_Historia©, carried out at the end of the first part of the project dedicated to personal development, has provided the students with extraordinary experience. The structure of the exercise was very simple: the students told their own stories, which to a certain extent (as decided by the teller) affected their lives. The task was carried out in pairs. After telling the story by first student, his/her partner played the same story as if it was their own. This exercise required great concentration, while getting open to the experiences of a partner, and the need to retell the story which have been just heard, activated empathic abilities and translated into deep understanding of own experiences and the ones of the partner. Vivid emotional contact with own experience within the group and discussing together the way it renders into later life have brought the increase of self-awareness in students, understanding the importance of these experiences, better coping with consequences of difficult experiences and, above all, they induced the empathy. The stories told by the students were very diverse in terms of their nature and contents. Some of them related to very traumatic experiences, but there were also some very joyful stories! However, the „difficult” stories prevailed. For some students, this exercise was a kind of confession, catharsis – in a safe, accepting atmosphere of the group they took the liberty of expressing very sincere emotions and admitting to feelings, which they have never reveal before neither in front of their friends, teachers nor even parents. This actually confirmed the negative and persisting trend which indicates the growing sense of emotional alienation among the students. At the beginning of the classes it was difficult for the students to honestly talk about emotions, to express them in a peer group and boldly present them on stage. They were afraid of how they will be perceived by others, and the level of self-acceptance for them depended on the peer acceptance. They focused more on adapting to the requirements of the group and competing, rather than on authentic expression of emotions and needs. They feared that by showing particular emotions, they will be seen as weaker individuals and therefore more susceptible to manipulation by peers. This inner belief and assumption, however, disappeared after a few classes, and the final stage of their work in the form of a show was a surprise for themselves and the audience alike. It turned out that the same young people whose opinions 44
and criticism they were afraid of, were impressed by their emotional courage, commitment to the project and professional presentation in the form of a theatrical show. What they feared was actually their major strength. The key was to overcome internal intellectual and emotional blockage and fear of rejection, self-acceptance and courageous expression of emotions and needs. By learning about themselves they gained the ability to get to know others. Thanks to empathy they understood better their own behaviour and emotional states, and were able to see and accept diversity of emotional attitudes of their peers. Theatre workshops, using the method of drama, played a huge role in making the participants aware of the above assumptions. During that phase of the project they could see that what we were talking about in the theoretical part and what we experienced during the exercises translates into specific solutions leading to the change in behaviours, standards and attitudes. The assumptions were very simple: – based on their own experiences, the students will prepare short theatrical etudes, first individually, and then in pairs, – the theme of these etudes were values, such as love, faith, family, courage, loyalty, etc. The enclosed footage clearly shows the realisation of this task. Below there is a script of one of such scenes: IMPROVISED SCENE BETWEEN A BOY AND A GIRL THEME: LOVE – REJECTION – Oh, please ... I’m sorry ... – Get out! – Please ... – You’ve crossed the line! Get out of here! – Please, I’m begging you ... – That was enough. I’m not a toy, I won’t let you treat me like this. Get out. – Please ... – Here’s the door. You have a choice. Get out. – Please ... give me one more chance ... – No! Get out! – Please ... just one more... – Don’t you understand a simple refusal? Get out! [...] – I can’t! I just can’t! – Get out! – Please! I’m begging you! – Get out! You shouldn’t do what you’ve done! – I will never do it again... 45
– I don’t believe you. – I promise ... Please... – No! You only say so now. Get out! – Never again. – No. – Please, one more chance. – Get out! – ... No. – Get out! – No. – ... Then I’m leaving. – ... Wait! Please. That was the hardest part of the workshop. It required brave confrontation of the participants with their emotions, fears, perceptions about themselves and world around them. The biggest challenge was public speech in the final part before the audience consisting of their peers and teachers, and to speak about oneself and relationships with other people in a very emotional way. But the young actors were very well prepared for that! The most important thing was that they did not hide behind their role – fictional character and invented history – but they talked about themselves. The emotional exercises described above and all the activities during theatrical workshop confirm that we are not created to compete, but to cooperate. It is not a breakthrough discovery of course! However, it is extremely important for a teacher in the classroom to consciously promote any behaviours aimed at strengthening cooperation in the group of students while reinforcing their sense of individuality at the same time. In this process, I see the special role in developing the students’ empathy as a kind of „emotional tool.” And this is what I put particular emphasis on during all workshop exercises – to make the students aware of their emphatic abilities. If you understand yourself, you understand others – if you understand others, you understand yourself. The same applies to the acceptance. If you dare to open up in pain, in joy, in experiencing emotions to other people, you become emotionally and intellectually richer as a human being. These assumptions were the fundamental idea of the classes and their meaning was expressed in each activity and the final show of the workshops. TEACHERS In addition to the workshops directed to junior high school students, under the project I also carried out 30 lessons for teachers. Their thematic scope related to personal growth and partly overlapped the subject of the training for students. It was based on the assumption that the need to learn and acquire knowledge and experiencing this desire 46
is a natural processes in the development of every human being – just as the transfer of this knowledge. Of course, this development is not limited to the period when we go to school and should accompany us and stimulate us throughout the whole life. Majority of issues concerning this part of the method description were raised when discussing the student workshops. Below I will try to recall the major ones: The main objective of this part of the project was to make the teachers sensitive to the necessity to develop conscious MASTER – STUDENT relationship, based on emotional stimulation. What does it mean? The relationship between a teacher and a student is the art of constructing conscious communication (relationship), and for such to be possible, it is necessary to maintain conscious communication (relationship) with own inner self. Our internal image of ourselves, perception of ourselves and the world, as well as the way we are seen, is shaped by our thoughts and feelings. To control it, it is necessary to increase self-awareness and constantly develop intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. We must also remember that our authenticity and sensitivity stimulates the authenticity and sensitivity of our students. Let us dare to be an authentic model for them and for ourselves. Other topics covered were: – Self-awareness – who am I? My strengths and weaknesses. – Awareness of individual self-presentation and personal potential – how am I perceived by others? – Self-knowledge as a precondition for success – by getting to know ourselves, we get to know others – through self-knowledge we understand others better, and therefore we also have better understanding of ourselves. To a large extent the teachers very openly carried out the tasks assigned to them during the workshops. Like the students, they also took part in the exercise Lustro_Duszy ©, which caused an incredible stir and brought series of questions on the options to use such emotional stimulation in their own work. A modified exercise Oto_Moja_Historia © was also interesting. A teacher was to select a value or proverb and, inspired by its message, in the most authentic and direct way tell the story relating to his/her own experience or imaginary events. It was a real test of their creativity and openness to the realisation of the assigned task. At the same time, it revealed „here and now” the strengths of their personality and exposed the aspects they should work on. The workshop with teachers was inspiring and motivating to own exploration in daring construction of relationships with students with the use of emotional stimulation. It indicated great importance of such work, which thanks to an innovative approach can prevent such professional ills as burnout or routinisation of teacher’s actions. Working on personality can significantly contribute to self-development, stimulate creativity of a teacher, teach how to effectively solve difficult professional situations, such as con47
flicts with students and frequent communication problems with parents. It also points to a very important issue: how strong and empathetic a teacher should be to pick up possible emotional problems of the students, provide support and endeavour to find right solutions. COMMENTARY – CONCLUSIONS – GUIDELINES Young participants of the classes, during a series of exercises, experienced incredible and often extreme emotions (crying, scream, laughter, anger...). It united them within the group and at the same time helped to build their inner strength, as individuals, without understating the value of others or building own position to the detriment of others. Such stimulation of the teacher and mutual reactions of the youth made them realise that we all have emphatic potential and we are designed for mutual respect and cooperation. This is what makes us united and strong. This increases the level of our inner positive self-acceptance. It is also an assumption which should be consciously stimulated by the teachers of any subject. Not to punish but to support. To show what is positive. To promote mutual respect and cooperation as the values which lead to victory: in sport, in science, on the pitch, in private and professional relations. And how to apply these principles in practice? Let me present a few examples solutions which I personally use: – better student helps the weaker one and together they are responsible and rewarded for this cooperation, – older student supports the younger one, – instead of being punished, the so called “difficult individuals” should be taught cooperation in the group and assigned with tasks that require such cooperation. The list of such solutions is unlimited, just as human creativity has no limits. The only thing is to courageously approach the tasks carried out and to seek right solutions. If we commit to some activity, with emotional attitude, our brain produces huge amounts of endorphins which give us a sense of elation, the “flow” effect, awareness of participation in something special. And such situations we should be consciously sought by us: we should choose interests, projects, work in which our potential can be put into effect. It is recorded in our DNA and thanks to cooperation we have achieved evolutionary success as a species. It was thanks to mutual support and care, rather than rivalry and mutual elimination. We are designed to support each other, live in community and take care of each other. We are programmed for this and it’s our role (as teachers and educators) to allow our best side to be revealed. It is shown in every good deed and support we give to people who are close to us. Thanks to fulfilling this mission – and teaching is the mission! – we will be rewarded (not to be confused with compensation!ſ) with inner sense of emotional elation, awe, richness and mutual gratefulness. I think this was an added value of the project: to realize the strong inner bond with the community as an integral part of human nature. This sense of bond and self-discovery resulted in the courage to live being born in young people. The courage was visible in the project 48
in various aspects, ranging from overcoming small internal constraints, to coming onto the stage and telling, without fear and stage fright, the stories which have been made up of their authentic experiences and archetypal behaviours. The method used in the project most of all proved to be successful. Thanks to it, the group subjected to research process managed to develop emotionally. Young people, in much greater extent than at the beginning of the project, demonstrated great understanding and acceptance of their own emotional states and the ones of their peers. They knew what they felt, why they felt that and what the consequences might be. This in turn resulted in activating a high level of self-awareness in them. The project also inspired them to further development and exploration of new emotional and intellectual stimulation. There was also decrease in the feeling that they might not be accepted by the group because of expressing their own views. The fear of being judged by others and the accompanying stage fright connected with public speaking was also reduced.
7. „Theatre activities as a means of developing personal and social skills” Mojca Repič
1. Abstract Theatre education is a wonderful activity which helps children and pupils while they are growing up. The pupil learns about his physical and mental abilities, practises communication, and is constantly moving and exploring. In a play he learns to cooperate, to fail, and to build positive self-esteem and self-confidence. With the help of creative expression he expands the boundaries of his imagination and conquers the space around him. In her article Methodology of direct theatre education Spolin explains that the aim of education is not to create a theatrical performance, what is important are achievements in working procedure, which will help the pupil to act on stage as relaxed and spontaneously as possible, so we devote a lot of time to exercises which help pupils to acquire skills. This article presents some exercises which help pupils not only to acquire theatre skills but also to develop social skills, with the help of which they grow, learn and expand their personality. The evaluation of the exercises from the mentor’s and pupils’ point of view is in the conclusion of the article. Key words: Theatre activity, relaxation exercises, attention, movement, technical exercises, cooperation with partners, improvisation Objectives: Social: - Get to know yourself and accept yourself, - Feel part of the group, - Develop empathy for others, - Learn how to resolve conflicts, - Learn to overcome fear and deal with it, - Gain self-confidence, - Learn to work with others, 50
- Know how to go towards goals, - Learn to easily communicate with each other. Theatrical: - Develop the ability to express yourself with facial expressions, gestures, movement and speech on stage, - Gradually develop know-how at theatrical expression, - Practise acting technique: relaxation exercises, balance, agility, speed, rhythm, breathing, oral exercises, - Practise how to easily improvise feelings, emotions, tasks, - Improvisation based on stories (perform a fairy tale) and dramatic situations. 2. Introduction When we talk about theatre education, we have in mind mainly theatre in the strict sense, wherein the main roles are artistic expressiveness and delivering dramatic text by acting. However, theatre activity is much more. The main pedagogic object of theatre education lies in what this activity could contribute to the development of the pupils’ personality and to the awakening of their inner experience. It should be emphasised that the pedagogical purpose of theatre education is to help familiarise the pupil with the theatrical arts, teach him how to appreciate and love it, and at the same time develop in him a culture of his own heart and soul. (according to Ahačič, 1982, p. 158-159) Below the individual exercises of our theatrical activities are represented, with the help of which pupils get in touch with new knowledge, methods, skills, and expand and develop their personality. Therefore, at theatrical activities we devote most of the time to this part. Activities are, according to the book Joy of theatre workshops by Helena Korošec, also suitable as a motivational activity to start a lesson, or as a relaxation during the learning process. 3. Introductory workshops The first contact with the pupils is very important for further work in the workshops. In the first few hours a tutor creates his place among the pupils and helps them to work within a group. First workshops are an opportunity for the group to create a pleasant and creative atmosphere where the pupils can expand their personalities and create. Preliminary exercises are primarily for relaxation, breaking down barriers, shyness, sharpening cognition, and getting to know each other, since the children are still uneasy and shy, so we choose exercises that will help them overcome this. (Korošec, 1996, p. 11). Exercise 1: Greetings. The pupils gather in a circle. They hold hands. They get instructions. Someone in the group begins with a specific sign - any number of handshakes, which are long and strong... This sign, a message, must be properly transferred through a full circle 51
back to the person that has sent it. This game is especially suitable if the pupils are too playful, because it attracts their attention. It is a game where with a touch of a hand - within a closed chain - children feel each other and free the shackles. Exercise 2: Observe each other - get to know each other. Pupils sit in pairs. They are turn against each other. They look each other in the eyes and talk about anything. During the conversation they observe a face and facial features, and try to guess who this person reminds them of. After a short conversation the same pair turn back to back. They talk again. After a minute we all sit in a circle and discuss the differences. In this exercise, pupils need to get rid of the feeling of shame and fear, so that they can feel an intimate atmosphere. This is very difficult at the beginning, so we need to guide pupils and repeat the instructions constantly. They realise that we can communicate in different ways and that facial expressions and body language are very important in communication. Exercise 3: I am. We stand in a circle. Each individual represents himself by saying his name while clapping his hands in a certain pattern and then he makes a certain move. Other members repeat his name (â€žHi Miha ...!â€?) and repeat the move. Each tells his own name in a different way, with another rhythm, movement, voice, singing. Pupils get to know each other not only by the name but also by the ingenuity, dynamism and lyricism of the speaker. Because of the greetings, everyone feels welcome and accepted
Picture 1: Exercise: I am
Picture 2: Exercise: Mirrors
Exercise 4: Reflections. Pupils are divided into pairs. They turn towards each other. One of the pair is the reflection in the mirror. The second, opposite him, is watching himself in the mirror. Moves have to be precise and not too fast. This exercise is good especially for the shy and insecure pupils. The pupil feels that his behaviour and movement does not depend only on him. He also realises that we can 52
communicate without words. We observe pupilsâ€™ physical vibrancy, accuracy, ingenuity and humour. 4. Concentration Concentration is different between pupils. It is necessary to use exercises that elicit concentration from pupils. With pupils, attention has to be drawn out by play and exercise. We cannot expect them all to be equally attentive and concentrated. With work and exercises we try to create an atmosphere that will draw them into self-motivation. Exercise 1: Shake hands. We tell to pupils that in this game they have the opportunity to shake hands with anyone. In so doing, they have a specific task. They should try to remember a way of shaking hands, the power of a handshake, warmth, features of hands... all without a word. After shaking hands, the participants try to recognise hands with their eyes shut. Sometimes they feel very uncomfortable when they come in direct contact with the opposite sex, but this exercise makes them not notice this at all. They are even not aware of how vigilant and focused they must be to identify each hand. Exercise 2: Touch. We give to pupils some items to touch: they have to memorise as many of their properties as possible. Pupils touch and hand over the items. When all the objects have finished going around the circle, we try to remember the item. The goal is for pupils to feel the subject by touch. The exercise is difficult because it requires from them to concentrate on their hands. Exercise 3: Touchy-feely. They walk around the room blindfolded. When they feel someone in front of them, they have to find out whoâ€™s standing there by touching their face, hands, hair... The pupils relax at the play, although it forces them to pay constant attention.
Picture 3: Exercise: Handshake
Picture 4: Exercise: Touching
Exercise 4: Passages. The exercise takes place in complete silence. The pupils are asked to classify themselves according to the chosen requirements, e.g. in alphabetical order of name, surname, growth... Each one estimates for himself where he belongs. The transitions must be precise, silent, effortless and without excess movement. The pupils must be calm during the exercise, as it requires their maximum attention and concentration. 5. Movement Events take place on the stage, scenes come to life, and change. The pupils must get the feeling that their movement is organised. For that they need to have enough freedom, so their movement comes from within. The mentor merely directs their movements. Exercise 1: Passages. We always stand in the basic position (circle). Upon a signal the pupils begin to walk around the room, taking into account three rules: you walk three steps forward, you change direction, you go where you have not been yet or where no one else is. Pupils carry out the exercise in complete silence. Their view is directed straight ahead. They walk past each other without touching or bumping. Subdued and unobtrusive. The exercise can be upgraded by changing the walking pace, with additional tasks: facial expression moods, speech, meeting with handshake, with views, with roles...
Picture 5: Exercise: Passages
Picture 6: Exercise: Passages with tasks
Exercise 2: Search. The pupils pull out pieces of paper with the names of animals. They have to keep the papers to themselves. Among them they need to find the one, that has the same animal written on the paper. They can use only non-verbal communication, imitation. Voiceless. The pupils struggle with their movements, which must be exaggerated for them to be able to find one another. Due to the different animal movements, there are several elements involved in the movements of the children through which they also develop their agility.
6. Speech The relaxation of the improvisation and the performance can certainly be achieved through technical breathing, pronunciation and speech exercises. These help the pupil to reach the audience, for without a degree of control of his facial mimicry his performance will be unconvincing and painful for him and the audience. By numerous exercises and improvisations the pupils are placed in different situations in which they must adapt their speech. For the development of speech and imagination, the pupils’ improvised tales are also interesting.
The technique of voice and pronunciation: Proper breathing (learning to breathe from the diaphragm), Mumbling, Grimacing in front of the mirror, Voicing: Clear pronunciation of individual voices (drawing votes), for example: VLKNPPKTPLP, Pronunciation of vowels (especially all at once), Syllabbification, Saying one’s name loudly and clearly (with varying pace and intensity), Highlights (highlighting individual words), Pronouncing complex sentences (in different tempos), for example The Z is C across the street in the Rožca zone, Speech while walking (moving around the room talking).
Picture 7: Exercise: Breathing
Picture 8: Pronunciation exercises
7. Working with partners Pupils should be aware that in most cases they will not be alone on the stage. They perform with other actors. Therefore they need to feel that they are a group and that each individual is important for the group. They have to learn by themselves that cooperation with other actors is necessary. Exercises where the focus is to work with partners, are good „medicine” for both individualists and unstable learners. The first are reminded 55
that there are other pupils there with whom they must cooperate, while the unstable learners are helped to find courage. Exercise 1: The mirror increases. The exercise is similar to the mirror exercise (described earlier), but in this exercise couples do not perform individually, but in multiple couples. So in this exercise the mirror increases and becomes collective. Now various persons are looking into the mirror at the same time and enter into interaction with other group members. Those who are in the role of reflection should act out their movement as accurately as possible. In the exercise pupils should be aware of their partner and everybody else in the group equally. Exercise 2: Rope tug. Each couple must imagine a rope between them, which they have to pull. So the rope is imaginary. They must try to make the imaginary rope â€žrealâ€?. We constantly encourage the pupils so they can slip more easily into their role. The partners must make sure to do the exercise in a coordinated way, otherwise the rope does not become real. Everything they do, they must show as much as possible with their facial expressions, arm gestures, legs, and their whole body. Exercise 3: Frightening. We form two circles (an inner and outer circle). Instructions are given later as we proceed. At the beginning we tell them only to perform everything with mime (with movement and grimace). The instructions that I give: - A haunts his partner, B should get afraid (change roles). - Switch places. A moves one place to the right. - A haunts his partner, B should not get afraid (change roles). - Switch places. B moves one place to the right. - A haunts his partner, B haunts his partner. Switch places. After the exercise, the pupils are quite playful, so we have to use it at the appropriate time. After the exercise the pupils come to the conclusion that their response depends on the partner (the better the partner acts, the more realistically they can respond). 8. Improvisation The pupils are able to use all their acquired knowledge in the improvisation and the later play. We dedicated a lot of time to them as it allows them a relaxed creative expression that is genuine because it comes from within themselves. The improvisation was divided into two parts. In the first part, the improvisations referred to the display of objects, tasks and characters with no special emphasis on the content. The pupils were trying out different possibilities for displaying scenes without using words and props. The second part includes improvisation, linked to their experience of the world, and is the pupils greatest pleasure. The improvisations are full of ideas, without any specific restrictions. Pupils weave stories, I never give them any concrete instruc56
tions how these should be derived. Sometimes I only give them something to think about or some point of reference to build the scene. These improvisations take place verbally. Examples of content that we have used for improvisation: - Scenes from everyday life, - Friend in need, - My favourite toy, - Things in school come to life, - Meeting for the ideal school, - Parents travelling without me. All performed exercises were regularly evaluated by the pupils. We talked about their feelings, doubts, questions and reasons for the success/failure of each exercise. So both the pupils and I received feedback. 9. Decision The school has been active in theatrical life for a very long time. I think it is of utmost importance for the pupils, because it affects their integrated development. There are several theatre groups active at the school. The pupils love attending them and they look forward to it every year. They cover all three educational cycles because pupils of different ages enrol, with different expectations and interests - most have a desire to perform in a play, some a desire to acquire new skills, others hope to find an activity in which they will feel accepted and successful. The included pupils also vary according to their abilities. All pupils are treated equally and they receive an equal measure of attention, because talent can change significantly as they mature. I am particularly careful with withdrawn and shy pupils who are looking forward to acting, but whose shyness prevents them from going in front of an audience. The exercises we conducted at the workshops, in addition to conferring new skills, proved to be a great means of obtaining all the social skills mentioned above. However, I would emphasise that the objective of theatrical activity is not creating a show, but rather to give the pupils the opportunity to develop (to gain confidence, to feel accepted, to grow personally, to shape, to learn to cooperate, be patient, express themselves, make sacrifices, understand dedication, accept criticism, overcome fears...). Each year the play comes to life mainly because of their outstanding desire to show and present themselves to those around them (colleagues, parents, teachers). The greatest satisfaction is to watch how the pupils progress, especially those who do not turn out so well academically but express themselves and shine in an individual activity. Also with every achievement of the pupils, the teacher develops as well, for he/ she is looking forward to all their achievements. Sources: 1. AhaÄ?iÄ?, D. (1982). Methods of direct theatrical education for beginners. Language and 57
literature, 27 (5), 158–159. 2. Maksimovič, Zoran. (1991). Youth workshops. Ljubljana. Section for preventive work, Slovene Psychological Association. 3. Korošec, Helena (1996). Joy of theatre workshops. Celje 4. Spolin, Viola. (1980). Improvisational exercises. Ljubljana. MGL Library. 5. Spolin, Viola. (1982). Improvisational exercises for the theatre. Ljubljana. ZKOS.
8. „With art through the ages” Monika Depa
Subject / type of classes: The theatre and music show, „With art through the ages”, presenting the achievements of music, literature, art and theatre over the centuries (from the Renaissance to modern times) - joint performance of students and teachers. Objectives - the student: - learns to receive cultural texts consciously and reflectively, - cooperates in a team, takes joint interpretative decisions, - interacts with people of all ages, not only peers but also with young children and adults, - overcomes the fear associated with public appearance, fights the shyness, accepts criticism. The process: - conversation during Polish language, music, art and English language classes about the achievements of the past periods; selecting the greatest achievements in these areas (writers and their works, artists and their paintings and sculptures, musicians and their compositions), - creating script scenario of the show; allocation of tasks (roles, musical and technical setting, decorations, invitations), - preparation of individual parts of the show in small groups under the supervision of a designated teachers, - auditions, final rehearsal of the entire show, - the performance with the participation of students, teachers and members of local community. Comment: The festival was participated by children of each age group - from 6-year-olds to the students of the final grade of junior high school. The festival “With art through the ages” 59
showed that typical school theatre play in the modern form, with the use of multimedia, is still very popular. The students committed to all activities at each stage of preparations. In a practical way they get to know organizational “backstage” of a large event, and learned that the final success can only be achieved through planning, good organization and cooperation. They were able to demonstrate their interests and talents (e.g. gymnastics show, rock band concert, performing the scenes of European theatre classics both in Polish and English, and so on). Young people were able to see their teachers in uncommon social roles which revealed the previously unknown skills of the teachers. The final performance was for the audience (especially the students) an unusual and attractive lesson about Polish and world culture. After the end of the show, most of the participating students declared their willingness to organize another part of „With art through the ages.” An important role was played by the coordinator of the whole project - a teacher whose responsibilities included supervision over the project, offering (assigning) individual elements to other teachers, cooperation with them, and ongoing consultation. On the day of the show different organization of work at school is required - no traditional lessons. Large hall allows to prepare large-scale show with big audience. The performance-related expenses need to be planned, e.g. renting costumes from the theatre or making them, materials necessary to create scenography, props, etc. Cooperation with parents is very helpful when it comes to solving various organizational problems.
9. „What do the characters of „Tartuffe” by Moliere feel and think about?” Ryszard Pempera
1. Objectives – the student: learns to receive cultural text consciously and reflectively, recognizes hidden intentions of the originator, names own reading reactions (e.g. impressions, emotions); receives the text of culture on the literal and figurative level (understated one), creates a coherent text on the topics discussed in class, communicates the intention of the text by reading aloud and clearly, cooperates in a team, takes joint interpretative decisions.
2. Forms and methods of work: - work with drama text, - teamwork, - directed conversation. 3.Materials: - worksheet - the fragment from “Tartuffe” (Scene III, Act III) 4. Course of the lesson: a) Providing the students with the main objective of the lesson - putting down the subject. b) Dividing the class into the teams of 4. c) Exercise I - distributing worksheets and giving instructions to groups. (pair work) Instruction: Before you start working on the piece of drama, determine who is the character and who is the character’s Mind (inner voice). Then discuss in pairs what the character really thinks and feels during the conversation. Put it down on the right, next to the line spoken (always in the first person singular and in all the copies). Try to read part of the scene, taking into account both the text of Moliere and the one “thought” by you. Duration: 30 minutes 61
d) Exercise II - work in groups of 4 Instruction: Share the effects of work performed in pairs and try to compile your texts in one scene. Agree on when the individual lines will be uttered by the Mind (before the character speaks, after he speaks or perhaps simultaneously with the character). Make table rehearsal of the resulting scene and practice it so it can be nicely presented to the class. Duration: 20 minutes. e) Presentation of the scenes prepared by the students. f) Discussion on the scenes listened to (watched). What thoughts and feelings did Elvira and Tartuffe have? Why did we complement the words of Moliere with such texts? Justifying the interpretation made by the students will allow to reveal the hidden intentions of the characters; this way the young people will better understand human behaviour and the situation presented by the writer. g) During the conversation with the students the teacher marks down the character traits of Tartuffe and Elmira in the form of mental map. h) Rewriting the notes into notebooks. i) Summarizing the series of lessons; repeating conclusions - for example, people can mask their intentions well; vile people can seem very friendly, etc. This problem is still up-to-date - you can ask students to explain the mechanism of so called “grandson method”, a modern way of deceiving elderly people. j) Homework „Man, you have to admit, is a vile beast!” - write characteristics of Tartuffe. 5. Comment of the teacher To carry out these activities we need 3-4 lessons - it depends on the size of the class, its advancement in teamwork and intellectual level. Only such drama scenes should be selected for this method in which the characters evidently hide their true intentions. Each student must receive their own worksheet copy. Commands (task instructions) need to be provided on paper - exercises I and II cannot be assigned verbally! The teacher needs to make sure that the students write down their texts in first person singular during the exercise (It happens that they make note in 3rd person singular, which is improper for the final effect). During the presentation the “theatrical” effect is irrelevant, what matters is the interpretation of the students expressed by the words of Mind. Do not force the students to style the language to be consistent with the language of the writer (historical period). Their comments are to express their views, so contemporary language is very natural. While summarizing the classes, it is worth to point to the interpretative convergence (the attitudes of the characters are similarly perceived by everybody), diversity of the Mind’s comments, different words used to express the same feelings and thoughts.
6. Materials, worksheets The example of a worksheet (fragment) and comments devised by junior high school III class students.
HIS MIND We put it down in the first person singular!
Scene III, Act III Elmira, Tartuffe TARTUFFE May Heaven’s overflowing kindness ever Give you good health of body and of soul; And bless your days according to the wishes And prayers of its most humble votary! ELMIRA I’m very grateful for your pious wishes; But let’s sit down, so we may talk at ease.
I have to be nice to her.
TARTUFFE And how are you recovered from your illness?
ELMIRA Quite well; the fever soon let go its hold.
Idiot! What is he thinking?
TARTUFFE My prayers, I fear, have not sufficient merit, To have drawn down this favour from on high; But each entreaty that I made to Heaven Had for its object your recovery.
ELMIRA You’re too solicitous on my behalf. (...)
Save your effort.
TARTUFFE I do far less for you than you deserve.
Let her think she is important.
ELMIRA There is a matter that I wished to speak of In private; I am glad there’s no one here to listen. TARTUFFE Madam, I am overjoyed. ‚Tis sweet to find myself alone with you. This is an opportunity I’ve asked Of Heaven, many a time; till now, in vain.
We are alone now, I have to take advantage of the situation.
10. „Development of personal and social skills and encouragement of creative (visual) and critical thinking through art. Creating a self-portrait - profile, photography workshops and art colonies.” Aleksandra Vidovič
1. Abstract All his life a man explores, experiences and discovers himself and the world around him. We can develop personal and social skills and encourage our creative (visual) and critical thinking through art. This article discusses art activities that encourage pupil creativity, his observation and judgement skills, and the activities with which he develops an understanding of the environment which he helps to create. Examples of activities, which can be carried out within a Fine Art lesson, the elective subject of Design, class meetings, extra-curricular activities or projects, are represented 2. Introduction All of his life a man explores, experiences and discovers himself and world around him. We can develop personal and social skills and we can encourage our creative and critical thinking through art. Fine Art activities proceed from the fundamental tasks of art education and we encourage pupils’ creativity, skills of observation and judgement, development of his ability to understand the environment. The first activity is cognitive workshop. In this activity a pupil or a teacher creates a self-portrait (profile) using a selected technique, for the purpose of giving and receiving „information” about himself and others through an art image. The second activity is fieldwork, where nature is the creative inspiration for the pupil. The pupil transfers his perception of the landscape to the canvas or takes pictures with a camera. The aims of this activity are to understand the environment, to relax, and to express feelings. Both of the activities close with a retrospective exhibition, where the artist confronts criticism and/or puts himself in the role of the spectator and gives his critiques. 3. Objectives The objectives of both activities result from the fundamental tasks of art education: • Develop the skill to evaluate art and visual culture; • Identify and promote pupils’ creativity, innovation, artistic sensitivity, skills of observation and judgement; 64
• Develop imagination and artistic thinking, research skills; • Develop an understanding of the environment, the expression of feelings, attitudes and values; A Tasks and objectives of the first activity - creating a self-portrait (profile): 1. Personality and character - answering the questionnaire. 2. Discussion on How I See Myself? How do others see me? 3. Explanation: What is an (auto) portrait, what is a profile? 4. Drawing a profile - drawing a contour with the help of the shadows. 5. Artistic depictions of answers (words or images) in contour drawing. 6. Presentation of art works - profiles at the art exhibition. Role of exhibitor and role of spectator. 7. Evaluation and discussion: Development of critical thinking about yourself and about others, development of social and personal skills. 8. Discussion: Creating profiles in social networks on the internet. B Tasks and objectives of the second activity - photography workshops and art colony: 1. Discussion: Learning about the environment in which we live, nature as an inspiration for creative work. 2. Fieldwork: Exploring nature and feeling it. Drawing sketches and taking pictures. 3. Fieldwork: The camera as a medium of exploration and expression. 4. A sketch and/or photo as an inspiration for the painting in the studio. 5. The release of emotions, identification, use of artistic skills, interpretation of the landscape on canvas. 6. Search for your own solutions, or work together in cooperation. 7. Presentation (art exhibition, art exhibition online, travelling art exhibition). 8. Evaluation and discussion about artwork 9. Organisation of the art colony „Small Art Colony Haloze.” 4. Forms and methods of work Forms of work: • Frontal • Individual work of pupils • Group work • Work in pairs Methods: • Discussion • Explanation • Demonstration
5. Workflow A Creating a self-portrait - profile A creative workshop can be carried out with all the primary school population, pupils, teachers. The task is also feasible in other subjects and can be used as a preview with pupil exchange. The workshop lasts 2-3 school hours (depending on the artistic techniques). 1. Personality and character â€“ answering the questionnaire. Pupils answer the questionnaire (attached) in writing. Questions relate to the personality and character of the individual and not on the visual characteristics (e.g. favourite colour, animal, flower, interests, what makes you happy, words you like to hear, words you like to say, describe your character, how do you feel at this moment). 2. Discussion on How I See Myself? How do others see me? Pupils work in pairs. They orally describe one anotherâ€™s characteristics and answer the questions in that way. The finding is that it is easier to describe the visual characteristics of people (e.g. eye colour, hair, style of dress, build or figure...). Pupils conclude that each person notices the visual characteristics of people first, and in this way often misjudge or wrongly evaluate their character. 3. Explanation: What is (auto) portrait, what is profile? With the help of reproductions of artworks the teacher displays examples of portraits. The portrayal of a man in a picture, photography, drawing or sculpture shows not only his visual characteristics, but also reflects the personality and mood of the portrayed person. We are talking about self-portrait when we depict ourselves Depending on the orientation of head of the portrayed person, there are frontal, three-quarter and side view (profile) portrait forms. In our task we use the side view or profile, which in the history of art epitomises immortality and glorification, often occurring on ancient coins and Renaissance medallions (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portrait, http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-portrait, http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/profile, http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titian_Self Portrait_(drawing)). 4. Drawing a profile - producing a contour with the help of shadows. Pupils are divided into pairs. One, a model, sits or stands in front of a board with light cast on his profile from a spotlight or projector. The second pupil traces the shadow thrown on a drawing sheet attached to the board. A portrait is produced, of the profile of a head of the posing pupil. The pupils then exchange roles.
5. Fine art depictions of answers (words or images) in contour drawing. Pupils put their answers from the questionnaire into their contour drawings of profiles by entering words or transforming words into art and visual symbols. They can express themselves in various drawing and painting techniques and they can combine them with each other (e.g. coloured pencils, markers, crayons, tempera paint, collage). We encourage their individual artistic expression during the work.
6. Presentation of artworks - profiles at the art exhibition. Role of exhibitor and role of spectator. When finished, we make an exhibition and evaluate our work. On one hand, with their artworks pupils represent themselves in the role of exhibitor. On the other hand, they are in the role of spectator, because they begin by searching for visual similarities in other pupilsâ€™ profiles, and then start to seek character traits in the words and images depicted.
7. Evaluation and discussion: Development of critical thinking about yourself and about others, development of social and personal skills. From discussion with pupils exhibiting works we conclude that in the role of spectator we often operate on the principle of first impression and the evaluation of superficial features, and that is necessary to first know yourself, to put your â€žimageâ€? on display. Pupils discovered many new and interesting things about their classmates and friends. 67
8. Discussion: Creating profiles in social networks on the internet. Online profiles can occupy a variety of different social networks, which include fields where users can insert various items of personal data. A discussion about the security of our personal data therefore makes an interesting topic to discuss with the pupils. We can talk about real or fake profiles that are created by users, and about the strengths and weaknesses of social networks. B Photography workshops and artistsâ€™ colony The photography workshops and art colony can be carried out with lower secondary school pupils or with secondary school pupils within the hours of Fine Art, the elective subject Design, extra-curricular activity, holiday activity, or project work. For fieldwork we need cameras, mobile phones able to take pictures, sketchbooks and pencils, easels, canvases, brushes, and acrylic or tempera paint. Due to the use of information and communication technologies in fieldwork, we divide pupils into small groups. Photographic activity can take place throughout the school year. The art colony is carried out in one day. 1. Discussion: Learning about the environment in which we live, nature as an inspiration for creative work. With the help of reproduction artworks the teacher represents to the pupils the artists who sought the source of their creativity in the beauty of nature. 2. Fieldwork: Exploring nature and feeling it. Drawing sketches and taking pictures. We go for a walk to explore the surroundings of school and town. We record our impressions with the help of a basic knowledge of camera technology, a mobile phone camera, or sketchbook and drawing tools. 3. Fieldwork: Camera as a medium of exploration and expression. Throughout the in different seasons of the whole school year and at various times of day the pupils learn about their surroundings and try to capture in detail the beauty of cultural and natural sights in the camera. Through the practical work they learn the basics of the technology and the basic rules of photography. Digital photos are processed in basic computer programs for design and are being prepared for photographic exhibition â€“ in classic form and as a digital art exhibition on the web.
4. A sketch and/or photo as an inspiration for painting in the studio. During Fine Art lessons the pupils can use their sketch and printed photos as an inspiration for drawing on the drawing sheet or canvas. In accordance with the syllabus we give them art tasks, such as aerial and colour perspective, warm and cold colours, rich and neutral colours, colour relationships, the effect of colours and their symbolism.
5. The release of emotions, identification, use of artistic skills, interpretation of the landscape on canvas. We go on walkabout with a small group of pupils. They transmit their gained experiences, knowledge, emotions, and talent to the canvas via painting technique. While creating, the pupils have a new role: they are recognising their own potentials and enhancing strengths, they are enhancing self-esteem, they are getting used to independence, they are developing social, emotional and aesthetic skills, they are exploring different materials and tools, and they are learning different ways of artistic expression. Pupils engage in fieldwork, which requires a great deal of self-confidence, acceptance of the mentorâ€™s criticism, and that of other spectators.
6. Search for your own solutions or group work and cooperation. While the pupils can create on the canvas by themselves, the teacher encourages their individualism. Pupils can be divided into smaller groups, each of which creates a collaborative work. 69
7. Presentation (art exhibition, online art exhibition, travelling art exhibition). After completing the activities, we allow pupils to prepare an exhibition of their work so they can develop a critical attitude towards art, and by facing the results of personal work learn to accept and interpret criticism, develop a respectful attitude towards diversity and the variety of artistic expression and their relationship to the cultural environment, which they themselves co-create.
8. Evaluation and discussion about artwork At the exhibition of artworks, pupils themselves orally present their work, describe the experiences and feelings that occurred during creative work, try to present other works as well, and learn to criticise and accept the criticism of others.
9. Organization of the Haloze Small Art Colony. In collaboration with cultural associations, the municipality, and other local partners, the artistic event can take place in the city and in the school. In 2012, Videm Primary School in cooperation with the Kulturno društvo France Prešeren and municipality Videm performed a cultural event Large and Small Art Colony in Videm, where the municipality organised a large colony of adult artists, and the school handled the running of a small art colony for all pupils of primary schools throughout Haloze. We invited eight primary schools from Slovenia and three schools from Croatia. To facilitate this, the art teachers of the abovementioned schools selected three gifted Fine Art pupils from each. Pupils have been painting on canvas – in 2012 the topic was Haloze, and in 2013 the topic was Videm. In 2013, pupils from Poland joined the art colony. Pupils had the opportunity to create amid nature for the whole day. It is very important to give the young, especially the locals, who are very familiar with their landscape, the opportunity to express on canvas their talent, skills, visions, feelings, and emotions. Visitors from abroad also get to know and experience the beauty of our landscape. Even more. While creating they were able to relax and socialise with their peers. While creating, not only mentors but also adult artists encourage them and share with them their experiences and expert advice. The Small Art Colony concluded with an exhibition, which during the school year travels around all the places and schools that participated. Moreover, reproductions of works are available on the school website. In its annual program of cultural events the Municipality of Videm scheduled the Small Art Colony to coincide with the municipal holiday. Reproductions of the children’s artworks can be used as a method of tourist promotion in the form of postcards and promotional material for the needs of schools and municipalities. 6. Evaluation In the creation of artwork, the pupils discover their potentials and enhance their strengths and self-esteem, develop social, emotional and aesthetic personality qualities, and explore a variety of materials, tools and technologies. They love to try new methods, as well as new techniques, so fieldwork and working in the computer classroom is definitely a positive motivation, and a different approach to work. In a public presentation they develop critical thinking, they learn to accept and interpret criticism, and develop a respectful attitude towards the cultural environment that they co-create. Although they are still forming their opinions, they are learning and gaining experience by accepting the criticism of their peers, adult viewers, teachers, and mentors. After the activities were completed, the pupils wrote their opinions. They all agreed that they liked the different approach, working with new tools, using different art accessories and technologies, and that they gained new knowledge and experience, could 71
relax at the work while interacting with their peers. Teacher and pupils are satisfied with their work. 7. Attachments Questionnaire: self-portrait Favourite colour: ______________________________________ Favourite animal, favourite flower: ______________________________________ Favourite hobby: ______________________________________ Favourite part of the day: ______________________________________ What makes you happy? ______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________ Favourite word/phrase that you like to hear: ______________________________________ Favourite word/phrase that you like to say: ______________________________________ Describe your character in three words: ______________________________________ How are you feeling at this moment? ______________________________________
11. „What I experienced in Orgon’s house! - diary page written in prison” Ryszard Pempera
1. Objectives - the student: improves the skill of literary text creative reading, characterizes central figures of the literary work, recognizes the ideas they follow, describes the attitude of the character (motives and consequences), evaluates personality and deeds of literary character, formulates stylistically and syntactically correct written utterance.
2. Forms and methods of work: - work with drama text, - directed conversation 3. Materials: „Tartuffe” by Moliere 4. Course of the lesson: a) Providing the students with the main objective of the lesson - putting down the subject. b) Conversation on the ways of plot resolution in comedy; talking about the likelihood of this type of ending; providing the term: deus ex machina plot device c) Free exchange of views on the topic: Did Tartuffe change in prison? As arguments, the findings related to the nature of the character from the previous lesson are recalled. d) Reminding the basic principles of RAFT writing strategy. e) Providing the topic of written work; independent work of the students. f) Summarizing the classes; collecting the works to correct them. 5. Comment of the teacher The method of work used can be called: Can you see yourself as one of the characters in the book? The RAFT method - Role of the Writer, Audience, Format, Topic - aims to 73
inspire the students and develop their imagination and creativity. It enables the recipient of a literary text to become involved in the story of the characters, bond with them emotionally and hence - closely follow the development of the plot. Thanks to this technique the student deepens the process of understanding the text and expands the areas of own knowledge about the behaviour of people, their motives. To proceed with writing, the student must seek answers to some important questions: 1. What would be the view of my character on a given topic? 2. Why am I dealing with this particular subject? 3. Where should I look for information to enrich my view? 4. What information contained in the text should I carefully analyse? 5. What should I focus on? 6. What feelings should I be guided by? 7. Can the character, the role of whom I have been assigned with, choose a few different points of angle on the topic? Which of them suits me best? 8. How can I “weave” a bit of my own personality into the role? During the first lesson when the RAFT technique is used I recommend discussing individual questions with the students to achieve best possible final result. During subsequent classes of this type it is sufficient to review the assumptions. The advantage of this form of work is that the students receive clear outline of how to prepare the written work. Model of such outline: the role of a writer Tartuffe
Topic What I experienced in Orgon’s house!
request for help
invitation / begging to visit in prison
It should be added that the presented method can be used in teamwork (and also in pairs) or in individual work; the choice is up to the teacher. The method has been described in: Doug Buehl; Strategie aktywnego nauczania czyli jak skutecznie nauczać i uczyć się (Classroom strategies for Interactive Learning), Kraków 2004. 6. Materials Examples of students’ essays - spelling and punctuation errors fixed, linguistic and stylistic errors preserved. Paris, 2 November 1668 1. How is it possible that they caught me, my plan was perfect, everything prepared to the 74
slightest detail. And what good is all this? I’m in prison and I have nothing. Neither Orgon’s wealth, nor his wife. Maybe I played it wrong, but where did I make a mistake? It certainly was Elmira, I underestimated her, she’s smarter than I thought. I could have seen it coming! If I was able to earn confidence not only of the old fool, but also of Marianne, I could’ve thought about it earlier. I do not regret what I did, but it’s a pity it ended like that. I will probably get out of the prison soon and find another naive old man. But first I will take revenge on Elmira, she deserves it, she outsmarted me. author: Monika G. Paris, 13 October 1667 2. All for nothing! So much effort to rot in jail now! They are treating me now like the worst scum and criminal. I don’t know how am I gonna live through this. The cell is small, the bed is hard and smells of mildew. I’m getting hardly no food. They bring me a slice of bread and a glass of water per day. I was given some old and torn rags. I do not know yet how long I’ll stay here, but I will not be let go soon. I was doing so well! Orgon considered me as perfect. I was gradually closer to the success. Unfortunately, others began to suspect that something was wrong. I already had wealth, house ... I exaggerated a little with my behaviour towards Elmira. It is true that I felt for her, but she noticed that something was not right. And this Damis! Did he have to be there? He spoiled everything. Life could have been so beautiful ... I would be drinking wine now, taking a walk around the house. I would have everything I wanted, but the truth came out. Oh, well. author: Barbara M. Paris, 10 April 1670 3. I am writing this diary because I need something to give vent to my anger. I’ve been sitting in a smelly and dirty prison for over a week, although in my opinion I did not do anything wrong. They treat me like a dog here. I do not even get proper food and have no bed, only some hay! It’s a scandal! How an innocent man can be treated like that? I will get back at Orgon someday, and his wife will be mine anyway. I’m waiting for the trial, I’m hoping to be acquitted. Then I will take my revenge. author: Weronika Ł.
12. „Maths workshops, or mathematics done a little differently” Klementina Orešek
1. Abstract Think about three emotions (happiness, love and sadness) and represent their meaning with the help of mathematical tools. Pupils make groups, cooperate, develop social speech and think about emotions in a mathematical way. Mozart’s Requiem, known for its favourable impact on the human brain, helps them in the background. 2. Key words: Primary school, maths workshops, emotions, Mozart 3. Objectives: The objective of the task was that with the help of mathematical tools alone, pupils would illustrate emotions, group together, and make a poster. 4. Forms and methods of work The work was done in groups of four pupils. Pupils divided themselves into groups. The instructions were clear and unequivocal. One little girl with special needs participated in this workshop and she cooperated very well with the group. She needed additional clarifications, for which she first asked the group and then the teacher. 5. Workflow The work was done in groups of four pupils. Three areas of strong feelings: love, happiness, and sadness, were divided between the groups. The work was done in four school lessons. Lesson 1: Interpretation of work, dividing pupils into groups and selection of the topic. A discussion about feelings and their connection with mathematics followed. Are emotions and mathematics connected to one another? How do you feel when you hear about mathematics? Which emotions dominate in this subject? How could you show an emotion in mathematical way? 76
Lesson 2 and 3: Workflow. Plain papers for draft and workflow were given to the pupils. After finishing a draft, they drew a previously chosen feeling on coloured paper using compasses. They added colours and different patterns depending on the mood of each individual and with the participation of each individual in the group, and the result was a completed and coherent whole. During the work exploring various emotions, I played Mozartâ€™s Requiem, which is famous for its favourable impact on the human brain. Why music? Music is heard by that part of the brain that is crucial for direct perceptions, experiences and feelings. Why Mozart? Mozartâ€™s music is supposedly dominated by light, harmony, serenity and the joy of life. In his work, the volume of the tones varies across intervals of around thirty seconds, which corresponds to the initial sample of our brain waves. The internal completeness of Mozartâ€™s music, which is reflected in its clarity and simplicity, has a positive effect on the emotional and physical condition. Likewise, experts have revealed that classical music stimulates mental development of children by encouraging creativity and imagination. During the work and listening to the music, pupils were very focused on their work. They did not interfere with each other. Conversations were held in a very intimate atmosphere. Lesson 4: Completion of the products. Pupils completed their articles and photography, and evaluation of the entire workshop followed. Pupils were relaxed and excited about their outputs, and enthusiastic about the entire workshop, which was performed a little differently. Photos HAPPINESS
6. Evaluation The pupils were enthusiastic about the formation of the lesson. They were relaxed and full of mettle. Some of the views of the pupils: KATJA: „This maths workshop is very educational, entertaining, interesting; in short, I feel good. The thing I liked the most was that we could pour our own feelings out on paper.” NUŠA: „We have chosen my favourite emotion - love. I felt in love and happy, I liked it very much, because we learned about mathematics through different content than usually.” ANJA: „With the help of pair of compasses and drawing circles we have shown emotions such as happiness, sadness and love. It was interesting and challenging at the beginning, because I did not exactly know how to present this, but with the help of the teacher and some additional tips we managed and it was fun.” TINA: „We have shown an emotion - sadness. I have experienced various feelings of anger, sadness, bad and negative energy. I have realised that I can also pour out my feelings in a picture.” BLAŽ: „We have been creating and discussing in a maths workshop. We also listened to the music, which had very relaxing effect on me. I felt happy.” SARA: „It was very interesting and fun. Our group drew sadness. We had fun, especially at the beginning when we were coordinating what to draw. We succeeded. I learned a lot about feelings, and cooperation and coordination within the group.” References http://www.akropola.org/clanki/clanek.aspx?lit=396
13. â€žGlogster â€“ multimedia ECO posterâ€? Robert Murko
1. Abstract In the flood of modern information and communication technologies, it is important to choose a suitable working environment for a specific age group of children, thereby satisfying professional requirements and enabling their high-quality social and professional development. One of the most suitable environments is Glogster, which makes it easy to create interactive multimedia materials and to enhance the quality of learning and increase motivation. On the theme of ecology as related to the home environment, the pupils produced a multimedia poster with the use of Glogster - a web application. Pupils work in threes. Their work is divided according to their strengths: one takes photography fieldwork, another prepares background music, the third a logo. Before starting they jointly determine the basic concept of the poster. On the basis of jointly set guidelines each prepares its own contribution. The emphasis is on cooperation, coordination and the development of strong personal skills in the context of the end product. The product is created online so the pupils can see it in its entirety at any time, change and improve it. 2. Key words: Primary school, Glogster, ICT, digital photography, multimedia, free software 3. Objectives: Pupils and teachers develop the ability to recognise their personal skills, potentials, and ability to co-work in public presentations with the help of modern information and communication technologies. They develop critical thinking and evaluation of themselves and others about their own and other multimedia products. While creating (field photography, designing computer programs, digital adaptation of songs and the accompanying sound track) pupils recognise their potentials, enhance their strengths and self-esteem, develop social, emotional and aesthetic personality qualities, explore different technologies and working methods, and reinforce collaborative work. We allow pupils to present their work before an audience and on the internet 80
so they can develop a critical attitude towards multimedia creations, and by facing the results of personal work learn to accept and interpret criticism; develop a respectful attitude towards diversity and the variety of means of multimedia expression and their relationship to the environment, which they themselves co-create, and in doing so emphasise concern for the environment. 4. The objectives in the field of ICT: • widening and deepening the knowledge of computing and the use of various information technologies; • comparing knowledge of computing and the use of various information technologies among pupils; • Training and motivating young people to use information technologies that will enable them to create innovative, efficient, attractive presentations and communication of their ideas, knowledge and skills; • popularisation of learning about and the use of information technologies; • identifying capable and talented pupils; • Developing collaborative spirit and training young people for effective presentation skills using ICT. 5. Objectives of the fundamental tasks of art: • develop the ability to evaluate visual culture; • identify and promote pupils’ creativity, innovation, skills of observation and judgement; • develop imagination and research skills; • develop understanding of the visual environment, expression of feelings, attitudes and values; • develop a sense for aesthetic design in visual communication; • introduce independent design drafting and selection of the motifs in visual communication; • develop a critical approach to visual communication in the social space. 6. Forms and methods of work Forms of work: • Frontal, • Individual work of pupils, • Teamwork. Methods: • Conversation, • Explanation, 81
• Demonstration, • Research. 7. Workflow 1. Creating groups according to their strengths. I propose that one pupil is a good photographer and cameraman, i.e. artistic, a second is talented in music, and one pupil will be good at using Glogster. 2. Poster themes are determined, for example a current ecological theme within individual schools (or in conjunction with any school project such as collecting waste toners and ink cartridges, paper collecting, preserving natural learning paths...). 3. A team of pupils, consisting of three members, who divide the work (one photographs and films, the second composes a soundtrack, the third makes a draft of a media eco poster on paper, which can subsequently be composed into Glogster). Each group gets the code and access to Glogster from the teacher. You can also arrange for each team to create a new (empty) poster. 4. To make a good poster it is recommended that each team first makes a model/sketch of the poster on plain paper. Depending on the topic the pupils should agree what will be their basic message (e.g. slogan, choice of colours and other elements). 5. In order to facilitate its execution, clear instructions should be given before starting the project, and we should discuss any ambiguities. Pupils are once again drawn attention to the important factors of a quality poster. 6. The choice of software is completely free. The only requirement is that they are not pirated versions, but open source or freeware, shareware, etc.. We draw pupils’ attention to the importance of licensing software and warn them not to use unauthorised copies of software. • Image processing can be done with Paint, Gimp, PhotoFiltre et al. • Sound processing can be done with Audacity or any other software which recognises audio files of the *.wav, *.mp3, *.aif and *.ogg types. • Any software that saves video as *. avi is suitable. 8. Instructions / Notes for the operator At the very beginning of the work it is necessary to choose an appropriate tool; in our case that was Glogster. We wanted to make the results available to the general public and also to all classmates because so far the posters were only in the classroom. Use of Glogster is free of charge for educational institutions. Registration can be done by the teacher, who distribute usernames and passwords for the project to the pupils (Figure 1). Another possibility is that pupils can register themselves when they are 13. If they are under 13, they can register only if they have a mentor. New users may also register using their Google account, which simplifies the matter further (Figure 2). Registration is simple and contains basic information, such as the username, password, e-mail and name of the user. 82
Figure 1: Teacherâ€™s Registration
Figure 2: Pupilâ€™s Registration
If we decide on a school registration, usernames and passwords can be generated for 125 pupils (Figure 3); the pupils then just register and we as teachers can have the access to all users; this is more appropriate than if pupil makes his own account. Every pupil gets a username, password and link for initial registration (Figure 4).
Figure 3: Adding accounts for pupils
Figure 4: Example of generated users
Following registration, pupils can begin to work. User tools are very simple, pupils can master them in a couple of school hours. When they master the tools, the creative part begins and the only limitation is artistic inspiration and imagination. To get started easily, there is a variety of ready-made templates that pupils adapt and change according to their wishes and ideas (Figure 5).
Figure 5: Example of a template in Glogster
Photo and video The child who is responsible for the photography visits the terrain (e.g. around school) and takes pictures for which he thinks will best present the issue and meet what has been jointly agreed upon. These photographs are then processed to illustrate the point. For example: if he takes a picture of a bin for waste toners, then bins should be in the centre of the photo and not other items. He uses a function to crop etc. There are also lighting and other effects to enliven the look. In relation to the content the pupils learn about their surroundings and try to catch its beauty and cultural and natural attractions in the camera. Through the practical work they learn the basics of the technology and the basic rules of photography. Digital photos are processed by basic computer design programs and the pupils prepare them for insertion into a finished product - a poster. In this project, we used the program PhotoFiltre, because it is in Slovenian language, is very easily to work with, and contains all the basic tools you need. The program can be found at: http://photofiltre.free.fr/download _en.htm. An example of a simple zooming and cropping and frame design and a transparent background is shown in Figure 6
Figure 6: PhotoFiltre
If pupils choose to use a video in the poster, they process it with Windows Movie Maker, or can search out other similar free programs for video processing, which support .avi. Sound The pupil responsible for the sound/audio makes an entirely new background track using the provided audio files, in two parts. The first part (up to 30 seconds) is compo85
sed according to the instruction below, the second part (up to 30 seconds) is completely open to experimentation. The background sound can last of a maximum of 1 minute. Between the different parts of speech and music there should be soft acoustic passages (crossfade, fade in, fade out). The first part The pupil gets in the attachment some audio files of different formats. He must compile a sound trailer, which has an introduction, core and conclusion: - An introductory jingle with music lasting 10 seconds. - All the text, located in different files, should be in the core. The pupil must properly compose the text according to the given requirements. - When the core is played, the music should be slightly quieter (usually by up to -3dB). - The conclusion is again music, where you can include applause. The second part The pupil can experiment with the sound files which are in the attachment (e.g. repetition of certain letters, words or other audio samples, use of the delay and other effects). The whole piece can last up to 30 seconds. Freely available audio tracks can be added to round off the piece. For the sound processing we selected the program Audacity, which is free and open source software available for Windows ®, Mac ®, GNU / Linux ®, and other operating systems. The reason for choosing this program is also in the fact that it is in the Slovenian language, contains all the necessary tools, and is of course free of charge. You can find it at: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/?lang=sl.
Figure 7: Using Audacity
Composition of the poster The pupil who is responsible for the final appearance of the poster, uses a Glogster template based on the paper draft. He must take into account all the parameters that are required for a good multimedia presentation. At the same he must find a good slogan for the poster and include photos (not too many and not too few) with the appropriate layout, photo message, etc., and soundtrack (e.g. autoplay or on click, etc..). Presentation of the poster Presentation takes 5 minutes. In presenting the poster the pupils should be attentive to diversity, be sure to convey the essence of the message, and make the presentation eyecatching. I suggest that they divide the presentation and that each of the pupils present a part of the poster. After the presentation they answer questions: 1. What exactly did you want to communicate with the poster in relation to the topic? (So not only ecology, but how they imagine this.) 2. Whom did you want to target with this poster? (E.g. teenagers, pupils, parents or others.) 3. How would you justify the title of the topic? (E.g. whether the selected theme is really topical in the given environment?) Worksheets, photos, questionnaires Photos of products, work in the field
Figure 8: Taking pictures in the field
Figure 9: Presentation of the product
Figure 10: Example of a poster produced by Glogster
Figure 11: Example of a poster produced by Glogster
9. Questionnaire for pupils a) Which area of work did you choose in making the poster? b) On what basis did you decide on the selected area? c) Which personal qualities of yours were especially helpful when working in a group? d) What new work techniques did you encounter in making the poster? e) What did you especially like when making a poster with Glogster? f) What would you change in the production of the poster? 10. Evaluation In producing the poster with Glogster, the pupils discover their potentials and enhance their strengths and self-esteem, develop social, emotional and aesthetic personality qualities, and explore a variety of software tools and technologies. They love to try out new methods, as well as new techniques and tools, so working in the field, and with modern information and communication technology, are definitely a positive motivation and new learning opportunities. In a public presentation they develop critical thinking, they learn to accept and interpret criticism and develop a respectful attitude towards the environment that they co-create. They form their opinions and gain experience by accepting criticism of their peers, adult viewers, teachers, mentors. After the activities were completed, the pupils wrote their opinions. They all agreed that they liked a different approach, working with new tools, creating in the field, that 89
they gained new knowledge and experience, that they could relax at work, and at the same time interacted with their peers. Only one of the possible use of Glogster in education is introduced and it may also take the form of a competition. We are now testing the use of Glogster for making posters in Physics. I am sure we can include the use of Glogster in our work in several areas, as many teachers use posters in their work and pupils make them too. Posters on paper are locally available and tend to stay in the classroom, while posters, produced with Glogster, are available globally and can be a good tool for learning and dissemination of knowledge. The new form of work is interesting and motivating for pupils. 11. Conclusion A good poster is original, gets noticed, is attractive, its message is transparent and it is aesthetically pleasing.
14. â€žThe importance of developed social and personal skills in the modern schoolâ€? Ksenija Samojlenko
1. Abstract Good relationships are the cornerstone of any successful school. First, we need to create them among employees, since only happy and successful teachers who feel safe among their colleagues and trust each other, can spread positive attitudes among pupils and parents. A Head Teacher who is aware of the importance of good interpersonal relationships and encourages activities that positively affect them is very important. Good interpersonal relations are based on trust, listening and mutual assistance. All of which include both social and personal skills. Social skills are reflected in verbal and nonverbal communication skills, in the ability to work in a team, in conflict resolution, in the field of leadership, the ability to communicate in foreign languages, function in different cultures, etc. Social skill development is effected by promoting communication and cooperation (sl.wikipedia.org). A personal skill refers to the ability to have an open and positively oriented approach towards colleagues, and co-operation with them. It covers the ability to independently and responsibly establish goals, reflecting an awareness of oneâ€™s abilities and shortcomings, to bear responsibility for own actions, to discover new things, and to create and accept constructive criticism (sl.wikipedia.org). Development of personal competences is promoted by measures which facilitate the development of cognition and self-reflection, and develop school values. Not only professional skills are needed for good results in school, but also co-operation and teamwork, willingness to cooperate and assist each other, willingness to share and transfer knowledge between colleagues, joint problem-solving ability, and the ability to motivate the entire team, thus creating the appropriate organisational climate. 2. Key words: Good interpersonal relations Social skills Personal skills Successful school 91
3. Objectives: Being able to listen to yourself and others Improvement of cooperation between teachers Strengthening mutual trust Active participation in workshops Personal and professional growth 4. Workflow The purpose of this paper is to present the importance and role of personality and social skills in school. Since we are aware of the importance of good interpersonal relations, for some years now we have been organising a two-day seminar for teaching staff of our institute before the autumn holidays. For five years now the venue for the gathering has been the Planinka on Pohorje centre of curricular and extracurricular activities. The seminars start on Friday afternoon and conclude on Saturday, after lunch. Dom Planinka can accept 60 people and each year so many participants attend the seminar. The topics are different each year; we select them according to our interests and needs. When we joined the Comenius Regio project, whose main purpose is to strengthen the social and personal skills of our children through art, the theme of the seminar was how to strengthen these skills. The seminar started at 16:00 hours. The organisers of the seminar, mainly this advisory service and the headmistress, made sure to welcome the participants, who took care of good homemade food during the meeting. After accommodation in the rooms and tasting some local delicacies we went to a lecture, organized by the educator Ksenija Samojlenko. The 45-minute lecture was about the importance of social skills.
Figure 1: Lecture on personality and social competence (photo: Aleksandra VidoviÄ?)
5. A brief summary of the lectures Social conditions today provide inadequate atmosphere for the socialisation of children, therefore there is more and more anti-social behavior. Teachers and educators are obliged to help pupils to acquire social and personal skills in addition to knowledge in school subjects. 92
In doing so, we raise the question, to what extent have teaching staff developed these skills. We learned the difference between empathy and altruism, which are in today’s society very rare; we note also that the children of today are not sufficiently empathic, just a few of them are. We updated knowledge on the development of moral judgment. We have emphasised the importance of positive interaction with peers as it has a positive impact on not only social learning, but learning in general. Children who are accepted, loved and recognised by peers, are happy and satisfied. Only a happy child can also be successful in learning. Children who can converse with peers about the motives and consequences of the morality of interpersonal conflicts, strengthen socio-moral reasoning and thus pro-social behavior. In the work described below we have learned skills that help children agree among themselves and make friends and settle conflicts. (Samojlenko, 2012) Of course, the lecture also referred to us, teachers and educators, since we often find ourselves in similar situations to our pupils. The lecture was an encouragement to remember how very important it is that children are accepted and happy among their peers. In doing so, however, each of us pondered on himself/herself and searched for weaknesses, as well as confirmation of good relations with colleagues, pupils and parents. After the lecture we had dinner. After a short break, where we exchanged thoughts and questions that have emerged during the lecture, we divided into three groups. Each group contained an approximately equal number of participants, who were chosen by lot. As our school consists of a parent school, two branches and ten sections of kindergarten, we do not know each other very well and therefore it is even more important that the groups are very heterogeneous because we can get an opportunity to get to know each other a little better. Activities in workshops were led by: • teacher of fine arts Aleksandra Vidovič - art workshop
Figure 2: Art workshop (photo: Aleksandra Vidovič)
• school teacher Aneja Cafuta - dance workshop
Figure 3: Dance workshop (photo: Aleksandra Vidovič)
• school teacher Mojca Repič - theatre workshop
Figure 4: Theatre Workshop (Photo: Aleksandra Vidovič)
Each group participated in all three workshops. Groups circulated and in an hour and a half, we have acquired artistic, and of course social and personal skills. Above all, we enjoyed our socialising, we laughed, and got to know something new about each other, gained confidence, self-esteem... All this was reinforced further by evening gatherings after the workshop. For many the gatherings ended in the early morning hours. 94
After breakfast and after hearing the stories of those who persisted the longest to the morning, we went for a walk to a nearby mountain hut, stretched our legs and enjoyed fresh air. This was followed by cleaning and then lunch. Before we parted, each of us briefly told how he/she felt, what he gained at the seminar... All the while we decided to come again next year. 6. Evaluation What yearly seminars mean to us will be best shown by the opinion of some participants: Fanika: Education on Pohorje is always very interesting, live, useful and important for personal growth and improving interpersonal relationships. Good relationships are crucial to satisfaction in life. They take place in a pleasant atmosphere and with lectures and talks we learn a lot. I’m glad of the new knowledge. Darija: Fundamental factors of well-being in the workplace are good communication and interpersonal relations among employees. I am glad that our school staff devotes special attention to that. One of the forms of promoting and creating a good atmosphere within the team are annual trainings on Pohorje, which I regularly attend. I am attracted by up to date topics that help me with my future work. And, we still have plenty of time to chat and socialize, good cakes, autumn walk ... and this is particularly good though. Manja: It seems important to me that the teachers attend trainings regularly and that we work on ourselves - for ourselves and for others. Meeting with different lecturers helps us to look at things from new angles, refresh and upgrade the knowledge, enabling new experiences and new ways of life and work at school. Discussion, which touch the teacher’s soul are always welcome. Olga: The mere idea to change the location and socialize with each other, is very good. Selected educational topics are right up one’s street to all workers in education sphere. It is right that we have to work together - also with people that I do not meet much. The results are brighter ideas. In all these years since we have these seminars, I gained a lot of confidence and received confirmation that I’m working in the right direction. I wish for more such gatherings. Mateja: Change in environment has a favorable impact on the well-being of the individual and 95
allows for relaxed communication. All this contributes to a greater connection between people. Thatâ€™s what I felt on training seminar in Pohorje. Trainings are instructive, helpful, relaxed and enjoyable. Maybe we do not realize that all these wishes and good interpersonal relations depend on the development of our personality and social skills. We can never be definitively learn them, because we can always do better. We can not learn them, we can live them if we really believe that they are important. Today many talk about the crisis of values and not enough about the lack of social and personal competences. Today, the world is dominated by individualism, pride, greed and struggle for power. All who work with people and for people, especially educators who have a tremendous impact on children, we must realize the importance of development of social and personal competences and give them, in addition to knowledge, the most important place. References 1. Kompetence (kadrovsko podroÄ?je). (21.8.2013). sl.wikipedia.org, pridobljeno 30.12.2013, iz spletne strani http://sl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kompetence_(kadrovsko_ podro%C4%8Dje). 2. Samojlenko, K. (2012). Socialne kompetence. Unpublished work.
The main problems considered in this publication were included in the following questions: how to improve emotional competences of young people and how can it be learnt? The participants of the project aimed at, most of all, achieving the main objective with educational activities different from the traditional and standard way of education. The diversity of ideas clearly demonstrates that it is a feasible task. The results of the evaluation conducted among the students confirm the advisability of the chosen path; the vast majority accepts such forms and methods of work. Emotional development combined with intellectual development makes young people perform better in life, including the life at school. From the point of view of the body overseeing the work of educational institutions, the material collected in the course of the project and the analyses conducted confirm that implementation of system solutions seems necessary in this area. As the students often come to school with emotional baggage accumulated outside the school, many of them is not able to control these emotions, and this in turn results in their reduced ability to concentrate and passive participation in the classes. On the other hand, it was found out that the teachers also require training as they need to acquire knowledge on the emotional development and to be able to skilfully share this knowledge and resulting conclusions not only with the students, but most of all, with parents and guardians of the students. Of course, this aspect of education is there, but it seems that its range is not sufficient - it does not always include all pupils in a systematic and planned manner. To sum up, we can conclude that cooperation between all the parties involved in the education process seems essential - the teachers need experts who understand well the needs and situation of the profession, and these, in turn, need rational and effective methodical programs. We hope that the materials collected in this publication will contribute, to some extent, to propagating the idea of the program and will be useful during its implementation.
City of Poznań
Primary and Secondary Sports School nr 1
Community Centre „Pod Lipami”
Edu Gate Foundation
The Municipality of Videm
Primary School Videm
The France Prešeren Cultural Association of Videm by Ptuj
Educational materials being the outcome of the project implemented within the framework of Comenius Regio 2012 – 2014
Published on Jul 31, 2014
Educational materials being the outcome of the project implemented within the framework of Comenius Regio 2012 – 2014