Students are brought together and given detailed information about the purpose and functioning of the study and the method to be used.
The non-formal education method used refers to a structure in which the participants are active and a learning environment is built together by going beyond the learner-teacher cycle.
Students are invited to stand up and a circle is formed. The first person who takes the ball of string in his/her hand throws the ball of string to any person he/she wants in the circle, characterizing the person with a positive adjective. (sharing X, calm Y) While determining the adjective he/she will characterize, he/she is expected to start from the characteristics he/she observes in his/her friend. The person who receives the ball of string wraps it around his/her arm once and throws it to another person in the circle after characterizing them with a positive adjective. The circle is completed in this way. It is important that the rope is thrown to everyone; the person who receives the rope once is not thrown the rope again until the circle is completed.
In addition, if the person is not satisfied with the adjective, he/she can request a change.
While the rope continues to reach everyone in the circle, the facilitator writes the positive adjectives on the board. The first part of the practice ends when the rope reaches everyone in the circle and all the adjectives are written on the board. In this part, answers are sought with the participants to the following questions;
What kind of shape do we see?
How did we feel while throwing the rope/when the rope was thrown to us?
Based on the answers given to these questions, the analysis of the first part is completed by emphasizing that the rope reaches everyone in the circle, that everyone is in a relationship/communication with each other, and that every movement made towards the rope will somehow affect everyone holding the rope. The last person to take the rope throws it back to the person from whom it was taken. No adjective is said while doing this. When everyone is untied from the rope, the second part is started.
In the second part of the application, the participants are divided into two groups. The words written on the board are divided in half and given to the groups. One group is expected to write a poem and the other a song. While doing this, they must use the words given to them and they have the right to add new words. The total time for writing songs and poems is 15 minutes. At the end of the period, the groups present their work to each other and the activity is finalized.
INFORMATION AND EVALUATION
After the work is completed, the analysis part is started in the circle. In the debriefing part, an analysis is carried out within the framework of the following questions.
How did you feel during the group work?
How was the group work, what happened during the work?
Was there cooperation in the groups? If so, how was it?
How did the decision-making mechanism work? How did the groups make decisions?
Did group members look out for each other?
How was the participation of the participants in the group work? Was everyone able to participate to the extent they wanted?
How was it to produce something together?
Was the time enough, how was it organized throughout the whole process?
How was it to present the prepared work?
What was it like watching the other group's work?
What happens in daily life when you need to do something together?
Based on the answers given to all these questions, the following information is shared with the participants.
During team/team/group work, it is one of the principles of participation that each participant can be included in the group to the extent they wish, and that their right to speak or remain silent is respected. In order to be able to say that the work is created by the team, everyone is expected to be involved in the work within the framework of their interest, skills, competence and volunteerism. The importance of communication comes into play in this process. Because communication is not always as easy as we think.
it doesn't. What we assume we are saying and what the other person understands may not match. The way to make sure of this is to clarify the communication by using some tools. There are some elements in communication that make our work easier if they are known and used as tools.
These are; active listening, empathy and you-me language.
Active listening; Although we tend to focus more on what we are going to say in communication, focusing our attention on what is being communicated to us from the other party will make it easier for us to express what we want to express and help us speak the language of the other person. Therefore, it is very important to be a good listener and to have a motivation to understand the other person.
While actively listening to the other person, the most important things to do are to ask questions ("did you mean this?" "I understand that what you said was this, right?" "what you said made me think of this, could it be that?" etc.), to focus on feelings ("could you have felt this?" "what you said made me feel this, could it be that?"), to make eye contact, to turn towards the other person with the body, to act by thinking that we will learn from what is said and to keep in mind that listening is a process. In other words, when we do these things, we are actively listening to the other person.
Empathy; When we ask what empathy is and its definition, the answer we get from the majority is "putting yourself in the other person's shoes". Here, it would be meaningful to expand this definition with a very thin line and interpret it a little more in depth. Because in its current form, this definition can be blocked in a perception that one person should be in the other person's shoes and feel what they feel. However, when we start from the assumption that each individual is unique, the feelings/thoughts/behaviors in every situation are what that individual experiences and what is unique to that individual. However, this does not mean that we cannot understand or predict the feelings/thoughts/behaviors experienced by the person. On the contrary, when we say empathizing, our primary focus is our motivation to recognize and understand whatever the other person is experiencing. What might be the underlying reasons behind the other person's feelings/thoughts/behavior in the face of what happened to them, which needs of the other person are not met, all of these
The process of understanding what it makes him/her feel/think/how it leads him/her to behave is in itself an act of empathy. In other words, we can also call empathy a journey of recognizing and understanding the other person's space. What we call being empathetic is a process just like listening, it requires a lot of labor and time. This process, kneaded with patience and curiosity, teaches us a lot.
You-language & I-language; one of the most important tools when actively listening and empathizing is to use I-language. But first, let's explain the you-language. You-language consists of sentences that have an extreme content and are formed by directly accepting the other party as the subject. For example; "We couldn't catch up because you were late." "I'm tired of your carelessness, I'm always cleaning up after you." When we use the "you" language, the other party will either give up communicating completely or go directly to self-defense. This can lead to an unresolvable conflict.
We are very likely to be pushed away. An effective solution may be to give up the "you" language and turn to the "I" language, to change the subject from the other person to the situation/event and the feelings it creates in us. For example, "Because you didn't come to our meeting at the agreed time, I couldn't make it to the job interview, which is very important for me, and now I feel both very angry and very sad." "When you are not careful enough in doing a job, I am always completing the missing things and this makes me very tired." When we use I-language, it will be easier for the other person to see the result, so they will be able to gain awareness of the reasons for their own behavior. This awareness provides the person with the motivation to take responsibility for his/her behavior and transform it. The use of I language involves focusing on our own feelings/thoughts/behavior and expressing to the other person what the situation has created in us. It takes time and a process to establish this language in our lives. But when it is used, great relationships and partnerships emerge through effective communication. It is nourishing and transformative.
POST-WORKSHOP - FEEDBACK/REPORTING
Instead of throwing a rope in a circle with the participants, another practice can be designed in which they can produce words, emphasizing at the same time that they are all part of communication. I observed that some participants were bored. Also, some groups had a strong sense of competition. It was difficult to deal with it in the second part. In order to prevent this, instead of rope throwing, a practice that will enable the large group to coalesce and act together can be preferred.
On the other hand, it is important that they make positive characterizations of each other.
It was an experience. When evaluating that part, most of them said that they avoided doing it in daily life and felt awkward doing it during the practice.
Therefore, the tool can be changed, but the emphasis on producing words with positive attribution and each of them being a part of communication should remain.
They expressed that they enjoyed producing something together a lot.
In order to avoid a competitive environment, it is important to emphasize that our aim is to produce something together, that they are in different categories and that there will be no selection after the presentations, especially when working with groups without non-formal education experience.
INFORMATION ABOUT THE IMPLEMENTED GROUPS
It was applied to university preparatory classes between the ages of 18 - 25.
A total of 120 students participated in the workshops.