The Container Concept •. Creating a Climate Filled with a Sense of Community. AEE Annual International Conference November 2011. Agenda. Introduction/Framing Gathering Activities Protocols The Container Concept Vision: Why a Sense of Community? Research & Rationale.
AEE Annual International Conference
What are the qualities of your container?
WHY CREATE A SENSE OF COMMUNITY?
Think about young people (between 2 - 20 years of age) with whom you work or come into contact with on a regular basis.
What skills, qualities, and attributes do you want them to have 20 years from now (when they are between 25 - 34 years of age)?
• LOYAL• RESILIENT
• CARING • PATIENT
• HAPPY• AT PEACE
• INTEGRITY • RESOURCEFUL
• SUCCESSFUL • CONTRIBUTOR
• FORGIVING• GOOD PARENTS
• POSITIVE ATTITUDE
• GET ALONG W/ OTHERS
• GOOD SELF ESTEEM
• CRITICAL THINKER
• PRODUCTIVE CITIZENS
• Absence of threat
• Meaningful content
• Adequate time
• Enriched environment
• Immediate feedback
• Mastery (application)
From ITI: The Model, Integrated Thematic Instruction, by Susan Kovalik, 1994
Caine and Caine refer to “relaxed alertness” as when the brain is at its best for learning.
… four-year study confirming that school-based social and emotional learning programs that help students build positive relationships, develop empathy, and resolve conflicts respect-fully and cooperatively also have a positive effect on academic performance.
(from article by International Institute for Restorative Practices:www.safersanerschools.org/library/caselstudy.html)
* Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning
From: Fredrickson, B. (2009) Positivity: Groundbreaking Research Reveals How to Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity, and Thrive. New York, NY: Crown Archetype.
“… only when positivity ratios are higher than 3 to 1 is positivity in sufficient supply to seed human flourishing.” (Fredrickson, 2009)
WHAT IS A SENSE OF COMMUNITY?
“In genuine community there are no sides. It is not always easy but by the time they reach community the members have learned how to give up cliques and factions. They have learned how to listen to each other and how not to reject each other. Sometimes consensus in community is reached with miraculous rapidity. But at other times it is arrived at only after lengthy struggle. Just because it is a safe place does not mean community is a place without conflict. It is, however, a place where conflict can be resolved without physical or emotional bloodshed and with wisdom as well as grace. A community is a group that can fight gracefully.” ~ M. Scott Peck M.D.
Thomas Sergiovannistates that “the need for community is universal. A sense of belonging, of continuity, of being connected to others and to ideas and values that make our lives meaningful and significant -- these needs are shared by all of us.”
“… Communities are collections of individuals who are bonded together by natural will and who are together binded to a set of shared ideas and ideals. This bonding and binding is tight enough to transform them from a collection of “I’s” into a collective “we.” As a “we,” members are part of a tightly knit web of meaningful relationships. This “we” usually shares a common place and over time comes to share common sentiments and traditions that are sustaining. When describing community it is helpful to speak of community kinship, of mind, of place, and of memory.”
Community is consciousness of connection, combining and comprising: Courtesy, communication, collaboration, cooperation, consideration, caring, compassion, curiosity, commonalities, common goals, confidence, creativity, courage, challenge, camaraderie, and conceivably chocolate.
CTC Group, 2004
“The people in one’s life are like the pillars on one’s porch you see life through. And sometimes they hold you up. And sometimes they lean on you, and sometimes it’s just enough to know they’re standing by.”
This is what we shall look for as we move: freedom developed by human beings who have acted to make a space for themselves in the presence of others, human beings become “challengers” ready for alternatives, alternatives that include caring and community… We want to discover how to open spaces for persons in their plurality, spaces where they can become different, where they can grow.”
It is important to hold in mind … that the person – that center of choice – develops in his/her fullness to a degree he/she is a member of a live community.
Maxine Greene (1988) The Dialectic of Freedom
CONDITIONS FOR CREATING A SENSE OF COMMUNITY
The central message of the consumer culture in which we live is: You’re the most important thing on earth. You’re the heaviest object in the universe and everything orbits around you. And we’ve enshrined this idea as ‘human nature.’ Not remembering that most people in most places have had other things very near the center of their identity – the tribe, the community, their relationship with the natural world, or the Divine – something that gave them more of a sense of identity not obsessively rooted in themselves
Bill McKibbon (Interview aired on May 26, 2007)
A routine is merely something we do, a ritual has emotional significance. “Rituals are powerful because they speak to a different part of the brain than we use for thinking,” says JoynBorysenko, Ph.D., author of Inner Peace for Busy People. That’s because rituals bypass words, connecting us to what matters through symbols or gestures. A ritual is a ceremony. A rite-of-passage is a formal ceremony.
“People and environments are never neutral, they are either summoning or shunning the development of human potential.”
Purkey & Novak,
Inviting School Success
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