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Leonardo da Vinci Project EUR/05/C/P/PP-84705

trinal method excercise on "Autonomy"- groupwork Prague


Posted: Submitted by bert on Mon, 2006-02-20 18:02.     Post subject: trinal method excercise on "Autonomy"- groupwork Prague



Within the CESTE-NET project: Training for Trainers, we worked as a threefold-composed group (art/practice/theory) on a proposal of an integrated approach on the matter of Autonomy for students in training for Curative Education and Sociotherapy.
After a brief introduction of the trainers-team, we’ll describe shortly the process of our work-sessions, then clarify the 5 different steps of this process and look back in a evaluation.
This exercise took place during the first block week of the CESTE-NET project in Karlstejn near Prague, from 20 to 25 November 2005.


Our team is composed of four members:
Karen Nesheim, representing art
Helle Känd: practice
Rüdiger Janisch: practice/theory
Bert ten Brinke: theory


I Group meeting: discussion of theme: relevance for students
Define goal group, when to introduce in training and hours required.

II Group meeting, discussing individual proposals from the 3 areas,
And defining the way of making the coherence.

III Individual elaboration of the proposals.

IV Group meeting to integrate the proposals and defining: - homework for students in-between the sessions
- feedback.

V Presentation to the other participants of our training.

Ad I Group meeting
Working on the common background of an article in INFOS 11 – Jan’05 : Autonomy, a question of attitude, institute-culture and partnership, we agreed that Autonomy is a most important matter for our goal group, who, usually as young adults, have to deal with many situations where they have to work in the field of tension: giving limits, and, on the other hand open up boundaries to enhance the development of disabled people.
We stated that our goal group would be students the 2nd year of their 4-year training in Curative Education an Sociotherapy, supposing that they had been made familiar already to the theme of Karma and Reincarnation.

We intended to deal with the subject in 3 sessions of 1 ½ hour.
We would like to find a basic approach, which eventually could be conducted by only one teacher, if the circumstances ( in pioneer-situations) would require.

Ad II Group meeting
As Autonomy has a lot to do with the inner attitude of the co-worker, we found that this theme was a perfect example to have the art as an experience to work from, so that eurithmic exercises would be the beginning of each session followed by practical experiences, and resulting in a rather short theoretical exposure, followed by a group-conversation.

To structure the whole field of autonomy, we choose for a threefold-approach: bodily-, soul- and spiritual autonomy, rather than the structure of the above-mentioned article.

In this meeting we had the fine opportunity to have Dr.Brater with us, who gave us his kind and well founded support.

Ad III Individual elaboration of the proposals

ART (Eurhythmy)
1st session: -forming an ellipse
- from there to a lemniscate to be walked, and from there
- forming 2 different circles,
to perceive: -the totality of a social group (ellipse)
- the isolation/own space of the separate circles, and the
- interactive dynamics of the lemniscate.
2nd session: walking the lemniscate with 2 persons where alternating both persons experience to be at the outer (space-providing) and inner curve (being limited by the other).
3rd session: Doing the EVOE, a primordial meeting/greeting between 2 persons, which has the intimacy and spiritual reach of the foot-washing ritual.

1st session: Exercises like being led as a blind person or as a wheelchair-dependent person or: everybody bringing his toothbrush, experiencing being brushed by somebody else.
Afterwards exchange experiences and emotions.
2nd session: Walk the ellipse in couples, one being led, the other leading, in different ways:
- closely conducted
- giving hands
- hand on the shoulder
- inviting to just walk aside,
And then change. Afterwards exchange experiences and emotions.
3rd session: Everybody lists carefully and detailed the things he usually does, say from awakening to finishing breakfast. Then in couples, change lists and eliminate the items you personally don’t do and give back the lists.
Everybody discusses the impact of being determined by somebody else (for example: no more meditation, no more coffee or boiled eggs, because somebody else determines what is necessary or what good for you…).

1st session: Bodily autonomy:
Recognise different levels of autonomy, for example in teaching personal hygiene:
- does (s)he knows what to do?
- is (s)he able?
-is (s)he wanting/motivated to do it (regularly and when needed)?
2nd session: Psychological autonomy:
Recognise that we work in the tension between giving limits (of unwished behaviour) and conducting in or creating opportunities to emancipate or pass boundaries, on an individual level, as an institution, and in society in general.
3rd session. Spiritual autonomy:
Teaching the idea that every human being has his own mission within his earthly life. We should be aware that the appearance is the top of the visible iceberg of a personality and that the people we care are greatly dependent of the conditions which we create for them.

Ad IV Group meeting
We adjusted the individual proposals to achieve a coherence between what the students experience in the artistic, practical an theoretical approach of each session.
We concluded that those experiences in art and practice are fundamental, and this should rather define the following exchange in the discussion, where the prepared theoretical issues could come in, but with an appeal on the teacher to prepare the theoretical part but rather withhold it, in the background to see what arises in the group.

We intended to give the students the following homework:
- between 1st and 2nd session: gather examples of daily life experiences regarding autonomy: what enables, what restricts.
- Between 2nd and 3rd session. Bring examples of situations with the people they take care of: what opens up/enhances autonomy and what restricts.

To achieve Feedback, we intend to make a questionnaire for the supervisors/mentors of the students, to try to get an insight in the aimed (change of) attitude.

Ad V Presentation
Beside this written presentation, we had the opportunity on the last day of the block-week to present our Teaching-program to our colleagues.
Because all the other groups had already related, and because the available time was short, we made an emphasis on a demonstration of one of the artistic, and meanwhile, practical exercises: walking the lemniscate with two persons in the variations as described in ad III: art and practice, 2nd session.
We exposed shortly the motivation why we would start each session with the Art and described shortly the foreseen exercises and theoretical contents, a well as the planned feedback- method.
Comments of fellow-participants confirmed the assumed strong impact of the proposed exercises.

Ad VI Evaluation

- This first exercise in working together within the 3 realms of art, practice and theory, underlined the importance and the fruitfulness of this approach.

- It would be interesting to put the proposed trainings-sessions now into practice and to experience the results.

- The input of four teachers, working many hours on one of the many themes in a training course, would not be realistic in a real situation. However, the positive evidence motivated us and opens up many other future possibilities.

Karlstejn, 25/11/’05

Karen Nesheim
Helle Känd
Rüdiger Janisch
Bert ten Brinke

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