Every teacher knows it: positive group dynamics in a classroom are fundamental for the success of group activities as well as for individual academic success. Thus, establishing a collaborative environment, where everybody feels safe and included in giving their contribution, should be a priority for any teacher.
In fact, the same applies in any work environment: collaboration, mutual respect, and trust in the team are the basis for any successful performance.
Yet managing group dynamics and altering existing ones can look very hard sometimes. Too often, the relations among pupils or students are stuck on the ongoing conflict, fixed roles, polarized divisions, and social dynamics of bullying and victimizing.
How to influence existing group dynamics, and create a positive learning environment that promotes the genuine expression of everyone’s full potential?
The course will explain how to use social drama games to build positive relations among students and people, therefore setting the bases for more effective communication, and novel cooperation.
Participants will play structured social and drama games built for establishing an atmosphere of trust and support. The games have been selected to be funny and engaging but also to promote self-expression, and make hidden dynamics more visible.
The trainer will place great emphasis on debriefing the game activities. Participants will be prompted to observe the playing of the whole group with a different eye, noticing how the interaction among the players reflects everyday dynamics, hidden roles, and ambiguous attitudes.
Afterward, they will learn to work with the group and exploit the material from the game interaction to provide new input to polarized situations and dead-end relations.
Participants will also learn to look behind the rules of the games, modifying them to adapt the games to the particular needs of the classrooms or groups they manage.
By the end of the week, participants will feel confident in proposing social games in their classroom, to promote a more positive learning environment. They will have discovered a new powerful tool to re-create relations and contribute to the overall well-being of their community.
Note. The course has been designed for any professional working with any kind of group, being them a teacher of a classroom, an educator working with teenagers, a school principal or the manager of a team, or a worker dealing with adults at risk of social exclusion.
The course will help participants to:
- Understand the importance of positive group dynamics for individual and collective success in any work or learning environment;
- Use social drama games to create a positive learning environment that fosters collaboration, mutual respect, and trust among group members;
- Observe group interactions and identify hidden dynamics, roles, and attitudes that may be contributing to negative group dynamics;
- Facilitate structured social and drama games that promote self-expression, open communication, and positive relationships among group members;
- Modify and adapt social drama games to the specific needs of different groups and contexts, including classrooms, teams, and communities;
- Practice debriefing social drama game activities and learn to use the material from game interactions to provide new input and address polarized situations and dead-end relationships.
Day 1 – Introduction and team building
- Introduction to the course, the school, and the external week activities;
- Presentations of the participants’ schools;
- Icebreakers and teamwork activities.
Day 2 – Trust, support, and combining elements
- Games that contain different ways of building trust and different ways of encouraging and supporting;
- Adding extra content to the previous games;
- Inventing new versions and combining elements to form new variants. Testing the functionality.
Day 3 – Cooperation and creativity
- Games that have hidden objectives for cooperation and other educational values;
- Adding creativity and drama to enrich games and be able to learn through them.
Day 4 – Perception and divergent thinking
- Developing divergent thinking;
- Exercises for perception, acceptance, and appreciation of different approaches of people in any group;
- Tasks for doing outside and bringing back to our working space;
- Perception and drama exercise for developing creativity based on what we notice around us.
Day 5 – Structured drama and innovation
- Practicing some already existing structured drama games and exercises;
- First playing and having fun, then connecting and innovating.
Day 6 – Course closure and cultural activities
- Course evaluation: round-up of acquired competencies, feedback, and discussion;
- Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance;
- Excursion and other external cultural activities.