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Practice Showcases

Appreciative Inquiry in Challenging Situations

Executive Director Dawn Dole, The Taos Institute (USA)

In this Practice Showcase we will explore the guiding principles of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) and look at how an AI process can be effective in learning environments where the challenging situations of inclusion, diversity, youth at risk, under-achieving, creating understanding and more, can be overcome. As the term implies, AI is an inquiry that focuses on appreciating and then building upon an organization’s, school’s, classroom’s, or person’s core strengths rather than seeking to overcome or minimize the weaknesses.

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Art projects and youth on the edge: a new arena for agency

Anne Mette W. Nielsen, CeFU - Centre of Youth Research (DK)

Creative Director Jesper Vildmand and Emil and Lukas, Livsbanen (DK)

This presentation will focus on alternative social arenas making a change for young people in marginal positions. The presentation will include the findings from a recent research project looking at youth on the edge and their experiences in art projects (Nielsen & Nielsen 2017). It will show how these projects create a difference for them seen from their own perspective.

Representatives from one of the projects participate in the workshop: Jesper Vildmand, creative director from Livsbanen, and two young people from Livsbanen. They will discuss what the potentials of art and alternative arenas for agency might be for young people on the edge.

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Cooperative Games to Build Positive Relationships, Collaborative Capacity and an Appreciative Eye

Executive Director Dawn Dole, The Taos Institute (USA)

Creative, cooperative and improvisational games offer exciting opportunities for people to get connected - in therapy, in education, and in organizations. In this practice showcase we will introduce the concepts and principles of Cooperative Games and invite everyone to play and experience a few games that are great for deepening relationships and building cooperative capacity within a school or classroom. Cooperative and collaborative games provide the students and faculty opportunity to play together, to learn in a safe way, to be inclusive, to appreciate one another, and to have fun together. All this builds relationships, respect, and cooperation.

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Creating Resilience in Educational Settings

Gitte Klein, Independent consultant (FO)

In this workshop, Gitte Klein - co-author of Developing Psychology in Schools - will discuss the theory of thriving, PERMA, and her ideas about how we can work together with youth to enhance mindset, self control and grit. These factors contribute significantly to the child's capacity for resilience and for changing behaviour patterns. Together we develop collaborative ways to help the child to thrive.

Developing relational and dialogical skills through role-playing

Lone Hersted, Aalborg University (DK)

Skills in relating are crucial to the educational process, and particularly in working with troubled adolescents. In this workshop I will share practices for enhancing relational and dialogic skills, as developed for the professional staff in an institution for youth removed from their home. The practices took the form of guided reflective role-playing, a collaborative process that engaged all participants. Workshop participants will also work with examples, transformed into small dramatic scenarios, from their own organizational life.

Read excerpt from Lone Hersted's PhD-thesis

Forum Play on Cross-Cultural Communication Challenges: A Method for Inviting Discussion by Acting

Birgitte Ravn Olesen, Roskilde University (DK)

Forum Play is based on Augusto Boals ”Theatre of the oppressed”, which is shortly described as a method to “discuss in praxis”. That is to try different ways of acting in order to find ways to shake or transform challenges in interpersonal relations. In a Forum Play, “the audience” become active, as actors, while they and we explore, show,analyse and transform challenging situations. The point is not to show what we think other people should do — it is to discover what we can do! 

After the workshop, Birgitte will make a short presentation on qualities and dilemmas when working with Forum Play.

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From Special Needs Coordinator to Care Coordinator: An Educational Training Program

Loek Schoenmakers, Hogeschool de Kempel (NL)

Every child has desires, hopes, and needs; every child is special. So let’s stop talking about special needs children as if they are separate from others. Words make worlds, as social constructionists put it.

This workshop draws from a case study in the republic of Surinam. Specifically we mounted a teacher’s training program that shifted the focus from “special needs” to “taking care for all children.” Further, we shifted from an individualistic orientation to education to a relational perspective. In this workshop we will feature key elements of this program, emphasizing as it did, the development of social learning and relational practices.

More information and free downloads here

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How schools produce at-risk positions in dealing with interactive trouble – and how to prevent it!

Gro Emmertsen Lund, Independent consultant (DK)

In this workshop Gro Emmertsen Lund (Ph.D.) will present the results of her PhD-study: Making Exclusionary Processes in Schools Visible. Gro has investigated invisible social exclusion of students and families in schools and found a six-step model for how the production of at-risk positions escalates into a spiral of marginalization and exclusion.

The workshop will include discussions around the topic, as well as a presentation of a six-step model for working inclusionary with interactive troubles in schools and daycare institutions, so that the production of “at-risk positions” and marginalization are prevented.

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Mediated Learning Experience: brain, cognition and social relations.

Micki Sonne Kaa Sunesen, Axept - Pedagogics and Learning (DK)

Based on his PhD thesis (2013-2016), Micki Sonne Kaa Sunesen will present the theory of Mediated Learning Experience (MLE). Concrete examples on how Mediated Learning Experience can strenghten the relational and pedagogical work and also qualify choises in the complex everyday life in the school-contexts will be illustrated, communicated and co-reflected in close dialogue with the participants. Keywords are: brain, cognition, relational coordination andinclusion.

The showcase will be held in Danish and is relevant for all with interest in inclusive schooling.

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Moments of Meeting and the Social Construction of Trauma

Susan Lord, University of New Hampshire (USA)

Children and youth “on the edge” often come from backgrounds in which they have experienced profound trauma. In the US, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network has developed 12 Core Concepts for Understanding Traumatic Responses in Children and Families. This workshop will introduce participants to these core concepts, and will acquaint them with the Meditative Dialogue process (Lord, 2007), a mindfulness practice that I have developed for use in the classroom, and in individual, family and group psychotherapy sessions. Participants will be able to engage in the Meditative Dialogue process as they discuss cutting edge issues that are of current importance to them.

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On the Trail of Learning in Working Communities

Vice Principal Annette Riisager Alskov, The Production School in Greve and Høje-Taastrup (DK)

Production schools challenge the perception of learning as an individual pursuit of skills or knowledge by placing it in social relationships - in situations of co-participation. Learning therefore takes place in a social practice, in a binding working community, involving and developing the young people both professionally, socially and personally.

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Schools that Inspire: A Collaborative Inquiry into Educational Flourishing

Director Ingebjørg Mæland and Learning Colleagues, UngInvest AIB (NO)

This workshop will first allow participants to appreciate in more detail some of the most powerful learning tools developed by the Youth Invest School. Then, joining with students themselves, participants will share their most positive experiences, and build appreciatively on these to envision schools that would enable the flourishing of all.

SMART Upbringing

Bjørn Hauger, Elisabeth Paulsen & Eira Iversen, SMART upbringing, Re Municipality (NO)

The workshop will present experiences from a continuing strength-based and innovative development project conducted in – and between all services working with children and youth in Re Municipality. All managers and employees are involved in the developmental work, the goal of which is to develop a practice with a greater capacity to realize the potential of all children and youth.

The workshop will give the participants the opportunity to try out some central tools developed to involve children, youth and their parents as co-creators of the services and their own upbringing environments. The workshop will invite to generative dialogue about the presented experiences.

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Talking to children about growing up in families, with alcohol abuse

Jacob Cilius Vinsten Christiansen, University College Lillebælt (DK)

This presentation will show one way to make an invitation to a conversation with children and youngsters on the subject of having a parent with an alcohol problem. It will explain some of the dilemmas that the children and youngsters themselves tell about in these conversations, and the presentation will revolve around how we can help the child in the different contexts it lives in, stretching the conversation into school, family life etc.

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Using neuro-affective teachings as a tool of strengthening children in-care

Director Ina Thorndahl, The Children’s Aid Foundation (Børnehjælpsdagen)    

The aim for this session is to discuss the importance of personal, emotional and social skills as a prerequisite for learning. The Children’s Aid Foundation (“Børnehjælpsdagen”) will like to share knowledge and experience about using neuro-affective teachings as a tool in order to develop emotional and social skills in groups of children and youth aged 6-18, and sometimes up to 23 years.

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Youth at the margin of education and work – How do we include them?

Camilla Hutters & Mathilde Jensen, The Danish Evaluation Institute (DK)

What characterize young people at the margins? What are their stories and needs? What kind of challenges do they experience? How can professionals and institutions support the inclusion of this group in education and employment? 

In this practice showcase we will present and discuss the results of our research from The Danish Evaluation Institute. From this point of departure, we invite the conference audience to explore and discuss targeted approaches and innovative practices that promote inclusion of at-risk young people in education and employment.

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