In schools we deliver seminars that involve interactive discussion, games and activities that promote awareness of the elements of democracy and citizenship, such as identity, culture, religion, sense of belonging and more. We use the Betzavta method as well as other methods to have students turn their projections into self-reflections. Certain group dynamics are formed in a high school or university, which also include many in-out group phenomena. This means inclusion for some and exclusion for others. Often we don’t have the time or space to really examine what this feels like, especially from the shoes of the one being excluded. The priority and energy towards belonging is so strong that it takes away from the ability to empathise.
It can be the case that students in school get the best grades in history, politics, and are able to say all the right things about minorities, and start projects and campaigns to fight for equality and justice. This is important and necessary. But right in this student’s own backyard there can be the most exclusionary practices that this student may not even be aware of.
This is because the way we often learn political and civic education is by learning about something else outside of yourself. By learning about something, it becomes more distant from you. The trainings that Mellem Education provide bring this learning right into your own “backyard”, by examining the dynamics happening right there in the class group. This is a powerful way to learn, as the ability to reflect on oneself connects you to yourself, and therefore to all of humanity.
For curriculum ideas and resources, click here to download SALTO’s Value the Difference Resource Pack, written by Mellem Education’s Director.