During the school year 2020-2021, the plan was to implement the motivation project in several schools in Peru in cooperation with the Department of Education. Toril and Ingebjørg work for NLM in Peru (the Lutheran Missionary Association), and they were to present and implement the project in several public schools there, but this ended suddenly when the corona-virus hit the world. They managed to present the project in one school before everything closed down, and it was well received. Caring teachers with many pupils who live under rough conditions were very happy to learn about this way of working. The principal was very grateful, and expressed that this was like having prayers answered. When the world starts again, we can again follow the development of the project in Peru.
A small oasis in the SAMM-life, with brainstorming, adjusting and planning – an efficient workday while others are on vacation. We have tried out the method quite extensively now in different contexts: adult learning, upper secondary school, lower secondary school and primary school, and now it was time to make some adjustments in instructions and evaluation forms. New material will soon be published.
We had a long and exciting day in Åmli in February, where John Petter gave several lectures, first for the youths in school, then for teachers at the school and finally for parents. One of his messages was that some times in life, everything is not okay, and it is important to accept that this is the way it is. One cannot always be happy, and some times things happen so we have to feel some pain. Then, it is important to see what you actually can do to make things change, what next step to take. The audience were satisfied with the evening, and some teachers have already started working with the method in classes. We look forward to continued cooperation.
In Januar, the motivation project was presented at another IAFOR conference, this time in Honolulu. Many were interested in the project, and we made new connections. From Peru, we had data from as much as 15 groups, as the method is spreading quickly there, and this is perhaps not so surprising when we look at the results. Publications in the project are updated under “research”.
In April 2019, everything started when Toril Espegren, teacher at Birkenes Learning Centre, brought the motivation method to a school in Peru, and from there it has spread to several schools through another person from Norway who works in Peru currently (for Lutheran Missinary Association). So far, around 400 students in Peru have tried the method. What the students report in their evaluations is very positive, they are satisfied with the method and experience increased motivation and that they become better at planning. Also the Directorate of Education has become interested in the work, and want training of teachers to try out the method in a region.
Close to 50 people gathered to our conference, again a diverse group of people with representatives from schools and the health sector. There were school employees from around 10 schools and psychologists from several municipalities, and representatives from UiA, from Blå Kors and other interested. There was a high quality on the presentations, and some of these are found here (in Norwegian).
The autumn 2019 the county governors chose to give courses in the fivestep motivation method on their regular event in October, and many teachers were interested in our work. We gave two courses, and there were about 60 participants in each session. We even had to find extra chairs for the second session, and this is always a good sign. We’re looking forward to further development of the project and cooperation with more adult learning centres.
We sent an idea to this year’s competition at IMDi’s regional conference about how to improve the quality of the qualification work the municipalities offer refugees. The idea was called “The participant at the centre – increased user participation in work with individual plan”, and was sent in by Birkenes municipality represented by May Olaug Horverak, principal at the adult learning centre, Maria Bjerke Dalene from the refugee services and Inger Mosgren from NAV, in cooperation with Kedir Diary, social worker at Lillesand adult learning centre.
The idea is that the participants in the introduction programme for refugees bring the reflections they do at school when working with the motivation method, to their meetings with the refugee services and NAV, and that these reflections are used actively when developing and adjusting individual plans. This way, the participants are more at the centre of planning their own lives, and at the same time, it can contribute to a common understanding of the participants. In the evaluation from the jury, it was emphasised that we worked thoroughly and systematically in our project, and that we build on theory from several disciplines to find a solution to something that has been a challenge for a long time in work with qualification of refugees, i.e. the work with individual plans. We really appreciate this recognition we have received from IMDi, and hope that we will succeed with realising our idea in real life.
This summer, Kedir travelled to his home country, Iraqi Kurdistan, and talked about the motivation method in different contexts. Many people were interested, and it ended up in a tv-interview on Kurdish television, and pictures from our website were shown on the screen. He was challenged on whether we will bring the method here…or rather when we would come. In addition, he was in contact with an organisation called Rwanga which organizes conferences for the education sector, and they were also interested in contact with us. It is exciting to see how this will be continued.
This summer, the SAMM-team and the HBS-leader went to London to two research conferences and presented findings from studies. The study from lower secondary school was presented at The European Conference on Education, and the study from the adult learning centres were presented at The European Conference on Language Learning (Organisator: IAFOR). We had some interesting days here, and we got particularly good response on how we work with life-mastery skills in lower secondary school, and as someone said, this is something that should be done worldwide.