Trying out p2p methods with the Study Motivated Folk High School course, Sweden

In the morning of 10th of November 2015, facilitator Tomas goes in to the class of SMF.  Many are young and not older then 24 years old. After months of method development within the EU-project P2P, together with Street College and The Young foundation, Alma is now testing these methods with young people who have dropped out of school but who have returned to try a new approach at the Folk High School.

In the back, Tomas has the method of Young Foundation of short sessions and at the same time the Street Colleges way of meeting the youth where they are, in their feelings. However, Alma has twisted it a bit by structuring many short sessions which work as a ‘red thread’ throughout the SMF’s time at Alma Folk High School. The class on the 10th of November starts with discussing the differences between feelings and actions. One of the participant says: ”To get angry is not difficult, the hard part is to get angry at the right moment and in the right way”. Tomas writes up all reflections and comments on the white board. This is good for the group to see the different reflections, and to think about it. After this Tomas asks the group to talk about the concepts: Thought – Action – Consequence. He leaves the participants to discuss it between themselves; it is important that everyone will be heard. The youths seems quite excited, they are involved in the discussions and everyone really has something to say.

Thereafter Tomas asks everyone in the group to reconstruct, exemplify and discuss around a real-situation scenario:

What brought out the conflict?

What did I do?

What did someone else do?

What was the consequence?

This is a method in order to get the participants to discuss solutions together and reflect upon the conflicts. After a short break the group continues with the concepts of Thought, Action and Consequences. In this session the facilitator comes up with a solution for the participants, how they can think in a situation when anger triggers. As an example Tomas says:

  • Breathe calm and deep
  • Count backwards
  • Think positive thoughts
  • Think about he consequences

At the end of the class the participants and the facilitator says one thing which was good during the session and one thing that oneself has done well during the session. This is important in order to highlight that the participant has taken part in the session and also strengthen their self-confidence and self-esteem.

One participant said that the best thing was to see how other people thinks in a conflict. Another participant thought the tools in order to stop a possible conflict was valuable. The same person also said that he thought he brought a lot to the class during the session, and that was good. Tomas said that he thought that the good part was that the class shared their feelings and this helped the class forward.