In frames of Footprints: 3 hours long workshop. Created by Justine Bulina, Ieva Grundsteine (Rauna Municipality), Agnese Bordjukova, Ilze Zirina (LAUKKU), Latvia. April 16, 2020.
We become aware of how unique we are when we realize how diverse we are. Diversity can appear when we become aware of freedom of choice. There is a wide and colorful range of options in us. We just need to get to know them, get to know ourselves. To find our own ways to move, to know when it is enough and when to say NO, to say what we want to say by words, by movement. Am I ready to accept those who are different? Am I ready to be different myself? How does it feel, to have the courage to open my weirdness and to see that I am not alone like that? When do we all become the same, and when do we split in million diverse pieces?
It’s very important to build the process of learning gradually, including activities what help to get to know better own comfort zone, limits as well as indiviual responsibilities of making choices.
- awareness of diverse perception towards one and the same information;
- self-awareness in the connection with another. Trust building through sharing personal experience;
- kinesthetic experience as a specific and individual way of learning & getting an experience. Expanding the personal vocabulary of movement;
- awareness of the freedom of choice, however it’s possible to stay in a contact and corporate having different views.
Duration: 3 hours
Target groups: a group of 11-18 young people in age of 9-16
Approach: non- formal kinesthetic learning trough movement and dance
Theoretical point of view.
During the creation of learning process we have found out and for now emphasize following aspects to become aware of diversity as a value:
- I have to get to know myself as good as I can:
- in order not to arrive in a situation where I am conflicted with myself (when I unreasonably expect from myself something other than what I can give, an indignation and judgementality takes place. I become blind to my opportunities to open the potencial and use it for being happy);
- to open awareness about the wide range options of choices inside myself.
2. It is crucial to promote the empathy to be able to really get to know another person and reduce judgementality.
3. To be aware of one and the same journey that we all experience to find our individual values and learning outcomes. Where are we united in diversity and where are we unique in diversity?
Some crucial readings we were basing on:
“The Value of Diversity” (Dr. Carina Pape):
Description of the exercises.
Different interpretations for one offer (20 min) Intention: to widen the vocabulary of movement. Source is individual body as well as possibilities of interpretations.
- range of actions are given by facilitator, like : to slide, to roll, to fall, to walk, to jump, to flow, to open and to close, to explode;
- and additives later on: quiet – loud, sharp – soft, minimal – maximal, on a spot – moving in the space, one body part – whole body;
- task is to find as many possibilities as one can for the given action. Additives are suggestions for learners of what can be added to make the difference or to add a different color to their movement.
Note: Finding the best way of communicating this task with learners still might be in a progress. Structured and clear instructions helps them to see what can be the possibilities to verify an action. Also the facilitator’s practical participation at the exercise can encourage the young people to experiment more. Sometimes examples help to start opening up.
Finishing the sentence (30 min) Intention: To offer kinesthetic way of expressing themselves. Introduction of the possibility to be different because it’s hard to be identical in a movement. To suggest that every version counts and is acceptable.
- proposed sentences by facilitator: My name is … I’m age of … I’ve got brothers or sisters … My wish is… I don’t get along with… I’m often feeling… I can… I can’t…
- task is to give an individual response to the statement in a motion.
- the first phase is when all group works together and step by step tries out different versions of movement for every sentence.
- then time (5 min) of individual exploration is given to formulate and to choose one answer in movement for each sentence.
- a simple structure: all the participants stand in one line facing a performing space which is empty at the beginning. The facilitator is calling out the statements one at a time. Those who want to show their responses enters the performing space and performs their continuation of the sentence in movement. When one has finished her/his movement, he/she stops and waits untill others have finished and then all of movers leave the space together.
Note: Many participants commented that they found it a nice way of sharing an information about themselves.
I – the different (20 min) Intention: Trust building through sharing personal experience. Observing and appreciating diversity of experiences, tastes and opinions.
- everybody takes a spot in a room where ever he/she feels like. Somebody (initiator) says a statement about self. Those people who can relate to this statement walks towards the initiator. Others stay where they are;
- then another person says another statement and again – people who agree they approach the initiator others stay where they are;
- later participants measure their attitude on the statement playing with the distance according to the position of the initiator ( very close – agree 100%, medium – not quite sure, as far as possible – disagree 100% etc).
Note: we were surprised how ready were kids to participate and willing to share their personal thoughts and experience. And we realized – when I open my “weirdness” and I see that I am not alone like that, it surprises, releases, and connects me with people surround me.
Among youngsters such statements as “I am stupid”, “I do not like my style”, “I like horror films”, “I like to dance and eat”, “when I have nothing to do, I draw on arms”, “I grew with my grandmother”, “we are weird” etc
Among adults such statements as “I am doing all the works quite slowly”, “It is very difficult for me to wake up in the mornings”, “I like to take a responsibility”, “I like to work with kids with learning difficulties”, “my father is my hero”, “I like to be into problem situation, it makes me to find effective solutions”, “I like to sit in a bath for a long time”, “I hate aggressiveness” etc.
We feel it as a good starting
Individual choice in a cooperation with others (15 min) Intention: to get to know personal needs and borders better. To suggest the idea that everyone can take a responsibility for individual choices. Following task are first step towards that:
- personal space: Participants form pairs. They stand in a long distance facing each other. Preferably they keep an eye contact. One person is A, other – B. A remains standing, B slowly moves closer. A uses his/her palm as a sign to stop and moves it towards B when it’s the edge of the comfortable distance for A. They keep an eye contact and stand still. If after a while A feels like letting B to come closer, he/she takes palm down. If not B moves backwards. It’s possible to let them play with coming closer and moving backwards. After a while they switch roles.
Note: teenagers find it extremely confusing to look into each other’s eyes.
2.1. a touch: Participants work in the same pairs. One person is looking to the other person and names different body parts by it’s own choice. If other person finds the particular body part comfortable to be touched, he/ she places his/her own palm on that spot. If she/he wouldn’t like to be touched there – no placement of the palm. After a while they change roles.
2.2. Next phase is that A touches B in different spots of the body. Whenever the touch is uncomfortable for B, she/he takes other person’s palm off. Both of couple experience it by switching roles.
Note: As touch and personal space is rather sensitive topics for young people, good decision could be to let them to experience
- managing the information about yourself coming from others: Couples stay the same. Working together for a longer time is a possibility to build certain level of trust between them. Both make quite a long distance between each other again. A says some fact about B. They can be different kind – obvious or personal ( for example: you are blond, you are shy to show your gentle side, you are creative, I saw you were rude to the teacher). Task for B is to evaluate the fact and own attitude towards that with making a step forward or either backwards. Step forward means that person agrees to that, approves it likes it, step backwards – opposite. After a while they switch roles.
Note: teenagers revealed great interest towards facts what other think about them.
CO-CO-CO (copy, contribute, contrast) (45 min) Intention: to be aware of freedom of personal choice. To develop consciousness of the individual choice and diverse options how is it possible to participate in a group work being comfortable with yourself.
A complex task in groups of 4-6 people. The facilitator guides the timing of the whole structure. There’re 4 stages in this exercise. Every stage has equal time frame, for example 4 min. The facilitator says when task need to be changed:
- one person in the small group is the leader. The leader starts to do a movement on his own choice and other people in the group copy it. When the leader wants to switch the role, he/she delegates some other person in the group by giving simple sign with a hand. It is up to the leaders if all the participants of the group could try out to be leaders within the time frame of 4 min;
- the routine of leader who is suggesting the movement pattern is being kept. On this stage other group members supports leader’s motion. It’s nice to give some options, what does support could mean, but it’s equally fine to give space for exploration what support can be for them. Participants use the same sign to switch the position of the leader.
- the structure stays the same. This time other participants of the group contrast the movement offered by leader. The same sign to switch roles. Give time for explorations.
- the structure is the same but followers make individual choice of how to react to leaders’ movement: to copy, to contribute or to contrast. This stage can last longer than 4 min.
Note: this is an exercise, which can be explored more than one time. The structure offers space for participants to get familiar with options how they can work together with other people. The 4th stage can be played in the big group structure.
Questions for reflection at the end of workshop
In order to make sure that the workshop gives a chance for young people to harvest some conclusions/learning outcomes and also gives some verbal feedback to us, we suggest to end it with ~20 – 30 min discussion part. Sit down in a circle and make sure that each person says at least something. Do not rush the discussion, allow people to think a bit.
Generally, following the Experiential Learning cycle, it is good if the questions asked follow a certain logic…nevertheless, do what you can and ask questions that seem relevant to you.
- How do you feel after today’s workshop?! (2-3 keywords each)
- What did you enjoy the MOST? (Why?) And what was CHALLENGING? (Why?)
- When did you feel the most connected? And when disconnected?
- According to you, what were the main topics of today’s workshop?!
- In which exercises could you discover more about the diversity and uniqueness IN YOU – in the way you make choices, act, move, express yourself?
- And which of the exercises helped you to discover diversity (and similarities?!) with the other people in this group?!
- How do you think – when diversity is a value/valuable? And when it can be challenging and maybe even disturbing?!
- What did you discover about yourself (throughout different exercises) and the people around you?
- How the things we did in today’s workshop are related to “the life out there”?!
- What would you like to keep from it [today’s workshop]? And what you wish could be different next time?!
- Any closing remarks…
Final notes to step in our footprint:
We would like to give space for playfulness while designing this workshop for specific group of participants. We encourage the facilitators design the dramaturgy of the workshop by themselves by setting the exercises in a specific order (of your own choice), spending more time on exercises which you like more and directing the intention towards qualities which are appropriate for your group. For somebody one exercise would be the main activity while for another – just as a warming up exercise and it will give totally different outcome. And we find it interesting to observe.
Please add energizers, intermissions or conversations with the participants as you need.
Resources to theory research materials.
- Diversity and Empathy competence framework for educators (1 page overview): https://drive.google.com/open?id=1IlHGn-1PRepGKzwA4qQOwMzwOXYt_ATo
- Manual for Facilitators in Diversity and Sensitivity Learning: https://www.salto-youth.net/downloads/toolbox_tool_download-file-1975/Manual%20for%20Facilitators_very%20small.pdf
- Value the Difference – resource pack: https://www.salto-youth.net/downloads/4-17-3332/Final.pdf
- T-kit on Intercultural Learning: https://pjp-eu.coe.int/documents/42128013/47262514/PREMS+042218+T-kit4+WEB.pdf/37396481-d543-88c6-dccc-d81719537b32
- Competences for Democratic Cultures: Living Together as Equals in Culturally Diverse Societies: https://rm.coe.int/16806ccc07
- ID Booklet: Ideas for Inclusion and Diversity: https://www.salto-youth.net/downloads/4-17-1050/IDbooklet.pdf
- Europe in Transition: Diversity, Identity and Youth Work – collection of essays: https://www.salto-youth.net/downloads/4-17-3716/EuropeInTransition.pdf
The Key to Connection is implemeneted in the framework of Erasmus+: Youth in Action programme – key action 2, Strategic Partnership for exchange experiences.