Foster Positive Communication and Self-Awareness through Autobiography

Table of Contents


Being constantly pressurized by educational bureaucracies, teachers often experience the frustration of having their chance to listen to their pupils’ life experiences limited by the necessity of pursuing academic goals. Against a background of tests and targets to meet, the need for a deep relational connection goes mainly unsatisfied, and educational opportunities are lost.

Creating deep and valuable personal relations between teachers and their learners and creating a positive classroom culture, however, is at the core of educational activities, and fundamental for their success. Luckily, this possibility is always at hand in the context of the classroom – if teachers only use appropriate tools.

This course proposes the autobiographical approach as a valuable resource to allow all students to participate even the ones who struggle with confidence in other academic areas, giving them a different outlet to express themselves.

Introducing narrative autobiography in a group may also help engage it with meaningful dialogues about values, beliefs, and perspectives, and facilitate the growth of the class into an interactive community while encouraging self reflection, self-awareness, shared experiences, and understanding among students.

As a participant in the course, you will be engaged through a highly participatory method to practice specific autobiographical techniques (including games and a lot of fun!) gently conducting through a self-awareness path. You will hence experience first the method on yourself, to be able to reprise it later to your students.

By the end of the course, you will be also confident in designing meaningful and inclusive experiences for your students and you will be supported in designing autobiographical workshops with a revitalized sense of purpose and a renewed boost of motivation for your educational role.

Learning outcomes

The course will help the participants to:

  • Enhance the active engagement and participation of all students;
  • Intentionally use inclusive, relationship-centered practices to create a healthy and supportive classroom climate;
  • Foster strong connections among students by engaging them with meaningfull dialogues that reinforce students’ social and emotional development;
  • Cultivate joy, creativity and fun to preserve wellbeing at school while working;
  • Encourage the identity development of students through the autobiographical approach;
  • Design autobiographical workshops using appropriate techniques and methods.

Tentative schedule

Day 1 – Introduction to the autobiographical approach

  • Introduction to the course, the school, and the external week activities;
  • Icebreaker activities;
  • Self-presentations of the participants using autobiographical experiencial activities;
  • Introduction to the autobiographical approach.

Day 2 – Autobiographical approach as an education tool

  • Autobiographical approach in educational settings;
  • Autobiographical kit: knowing and practicing autobiographical games and activities;
  • Experiential learning and debriefing.

Day 3 – The autobiographical approach: theory and practice

  • Autobiographical workshops at school: structure, objectives, methodology, techniques and in-depth study of autobiographical stimuli;
  • Designing autobiographical workshops for students.

Day 4 – Creating a positive classroom culture

  • Use of inclusive, relationship-centered practices to create supportive classroom environments;
  • Engaging activities for the participation of all the students;
  • Share and compare with course mates.

Day 5 – Emotional intelligence and active listening

  • Effective communication;
  • Empathy and active learning activites.

Day 6 – Course closure & cultural activities

  • Course evaluation: round up of acquired competences, feedback, and discussion;
  • Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance;
  • Excursion and other external cultural activities.

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