For Schools and Youth Groups

Each workshop is adapted to the needs of the class or the group. In the following sections, however we try to list and briefly describe possible paths which can, however, be combined.

The starting point of our methodological approach is the participants, and consequently, following the flow of what emerges from the group during the workshop, the path also adapts to the needs and requirements expressed.

I grow, you grow

The exercise of acquiring self-awareness is a process, which lasts a lifetime. It is wrongly believed that the recognition of emotions, self-esteem, and resilience are paths suitable only for children. In this section you will find different proposals, suitable for different age groups, on the themes of well-being and self-knowledge.

Emotions

The courses on emotions are varied according to different age groups. For children, we suggest a basic emotional education in Level I and II, a workshop on the difficulty of accepting and expressing emotions.

The activities for teenagers and young adults focus on emotional education and on the usefulness of learning through emotions. The offer for adults ranges from emotional education to the use of emotional intelligence to the meditation of emotions.

Different methods are used during the workshops: physical exercises, drawing, and theatrical representations…

The workshops are divided into different age groups: from 4 to 6 years, from 12 to 15 years, from 15 to 18 and from 18 and upwards.

Resilience

Resilience workshops include exercises to train emotional resistance to conflict situations or situations normally perceived as unpleasant, which potentially risk lowering self-esteem and resulting in situations of discomfort in the individual.

The workshops are divided into different age groups: from 11 to 15 years, from 15 to 18 and from 18 and upwards.

Self-worth

A balanced self-assessment, of others or of the situation one finds oneself in, is essential to grow up and live with a sense of well-being and to be able to identify oneself dialogically and not depressively or manically with the people in one’s personal environment. The activities offered, therefore, stimulate self-confidence and one’s own capacities and abilities.

The workshops are divided into different age groups: from 4 to 6 years, from 7 to 11 years, from 12 to 15 years, from 15 to 18 years and from 18 and upwards.

Gender

“All human beings carry within them a perpetually evolving idea of who they are and what they are capable of achieving (…). The identity and abilities of the individual cannot, therefore, be circumscribed by what society considers being male and female behavior. It is essential that individuals have the right to define and redefine their gender identity as they progress through life, without worrying about chromosomal sex, genitals, birth sex or the original gender role.”

(International Charter of Gender Rights – Houston, Texas, 1993)

The paths range from the enhancement of difference to the questioning of stereotypes and prejudices related to gender identity. The goal is to give tools and keys of interpretation that can help to decipher/deconstruct critically the discourses proposed by the media and common sense.

The areas of work follow the age and development groups of the children, teenagers and young adult to offer different activities.

We grow in a community

In this section the different roles a person can take on within a group are described, as well as the different dynamics that develop as a combination between these roles and the personalities of people. In this case, the workshops aim to analyse the different ways of being together and to promote awareness of the potential of conflicts.

Stereotypes and Prejudices

Confronting this issue means composing a complex interweaving between which concerns the thought and feeling of the individual and his relationship with the context that surrounds him.

We have chosen to list it under the activities that concern the relationship of the young person with their community of reference because we believe that their point of view on “the other” – when static and monolithic – is one of the most powerful potential mechanisms of violence.

In this respect, the workshops aim to deconstruct the stereotypes and prejudices present in each of us and to analyze the mechanisms through which they are formed.

In this case, three age groups can be imagined for the elaboration of the proposals: From 6 to 11 years, from 12 to 15 years and from 16 and upwards.

Roles and positions within a group

The role concerns the behaviors exhibited and expected by the various members of a group.

Because every role is an intricate system of self-determined and hetero-determined expectations of activities and relationships that a person has in the context that surrounds them, it is important to train the dialogical and non-violent relationships and to create awareness of all these elements. Especially school classes and other non-formal groups like associative, municipal and sport groups are types that mix voluntary roles with institutionally established roles and therefore involve a considerable level of complexity. The activities we propose aim to help individuals and the group to have a better knowledge of these dynamics and therefore to help a more satisfactory management of relationships.

Competitive or Cooperative?

One of the great dilemmas of those in a group is how to relate to the other members of the group. Antagonism or collaboration? Rivalry or sharing? Not only is it not always easy to manage one or the other situation, but it is also not easy to make a choice that is not continuously conditioned by the cultural environment in which the group lives and acts, but simultaneously focuses on the well-being of all the people involved.

These workshops in this area focus first of all on the unmasking the so-called obligatory roads and on the promotion of creative thinking with regard to the solution of the group problems and the achievement of common goals.

History and memory

The knowledge of the historical processes, events, and protagonists of 1944 serves as a stimulus for a deep reflection on the mechanisms that led to those events. The workshop starts with the presence of the group in some of the places of the massacre, which activates cognitive and emotional processes that make the educational activity an all-around human experience.

The workshop starts with the presence of the group in some of the places of the massacre, which activates cognitive and emotional processes that make the educational activity an all-around human experience.

“Living” on Monte Sole

The workshop begins with the physical presence of the group in some of the sites of the massacre. The young people through the facilitation of the educator reconstruct the historical context of the massacre: in this way they draw on all the previous knowledge on the subject (even unconsciously: family and nonfamily stories, films, documentaries, novels, etc.) reassembling them in a shared but not monolithic framework.

In the same way, listening to the stories of some survivors, in addition to stimulating empathy towards the victims of violence, triggers, through the meditation of the educator, the debate on the complex concept of “executioner”, “perpetrator” and “viewer”. Who could have done this? Were they humans? How could a human be capable of doing this? Could you disobey? What is the boundary between personal responsibility and the influence of the context and the group? Do these things only apply in times of war? Can you just “stand and watch”?

The educator, through interaction with the participants, raises doubts and questions about the dynamics of human actions, encouraging examples directly taken from the everyday life of the students.

From being on the spot to completing the laboratory activities of elaboration and deepening, the main objective of the courses is to develop a capacity for critical thinking, to have and make available space and a time to think and discuss fundamental issues that deeply question the conscience.

The aim is not to leave Monte Sole with the comforting idea that violence is a thing of the past or only happening in places far away but to ask uncomfortable questions to the individual conscience: what is the sense of remembering the tragedies of the past? Are the mechanisms of propaganda and enemy building that led to the disasters of World War II confined there? Or do reoccur in other spaces and times? To what extent can we self-solve if we obey an order, conform to the will of the group or “watch”?

Citizenship education: starting from self-awareness as a human being with light and shadow as a basis for an authentic relationship with others and a democratic and non-violent coexistence.

The history of Monte Sole is not an easy one and we do not believe it is ethically correct to sweeten it. At the same time, however, we deeply believe that education should not involve shock but the listening to and taking care of each individual participant in the process. For this reason, we would like to stress that it is not possible to do this route with groups of more than 15 participants per educator and that we do not recommend the “classic route” for people under the age 12.

However, the Peace School relies on professionals who are experienced guides, mediators, facilitators and educators at the same time, in this sense, they are able to adapt the work even for the youngest, after having talked with the teacher or the head of the group to work out the most suitable proposal together.

Remembering the forgotten ones

We are in an Italian town, after 1943. The authorities have decided to send those detained in a sorting centre to the extermination camps for deportation. The part of the population not at risk has been warned. Some families want to try to hide and help others, others think it’s too risky and that it’s not worth risking so much for people so different from them. Through a simple role-playing game, participants are asked to decide what to do. Once the decision is reached, after a brief discussion, it is revealed to the participants that the people to be deported were not Jews, but …

The reactions to this revelation can be very different: displacement, statements made in a playful tone on the fact that it was right to save Jews bit not “others”, annoyance for “teasing”… From here we move on to a complex reflection on the stereotyping, flattering and trivialization of the phenomenon of the Shoah and its symbols. At the same time, the reflection will deepen the mechanisms of functioning of stereotypes and prejudices, which today as in the past, act in each of us. The idea is to move from the often “Never Again” to the incessant question why again? How was and is it possible?

The Grey Zone

An experiment in active memory, from The Drowned and Saved by Primo Levi – Einaudi 1986

The Grey Zone is an experiment in theatre and active memory education that takes place in any place that can hold up to 45 chairs in a circle. The method that META uses to raise doubts, questions, curiosities and help break stereotypes and clichés, derives from the union of two different but similar professional experiences: that of Archivio Zeta (in the context of the Teatro di Parola) and that of the Scuola di Pace (in the context of education to memory and individual responsibility). The danger that the rhetoric linked to each celebration will generate addiction; detachment or disinterest has been a reality for some years now. META, therefore, pursues an educational method based on responsibility and attention in the use of word and image. Starting from the last book that Primo Levi left us, I sommersi e I salvalti (The Drowned and the Saved), and in particular from the chapter La Zona Grigia (The Grey Zone), the heart of Levi’s discussion and thought, the theatrical begins the story of the human, political and moral story of Chaim Mordecai Rumkowski, president of the Łódź ghetto, an autocrat and accomplice of Nazism, a character that Levi takes as a symbol to make us reflect on the grey zone.

Participants will become active participants and will have to get involved, in the discussion.

To organize a workshop, information, reservations, and costs please contact: Archivio Zeta 334 9553640 – email: info@archiviozeta.eu

Elena Monicelli – email: elenamonicelli@montesole.org

Contact us to plan your workshop

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