Educating 120 teachers in adult learning centres in Agder

May Olaug Horverak and Kedir Diary gives courses for adult learning centres October 2019

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.

Winner of competition organised by the Norwegian Directorate of Integration and Diversity, Region South

Pernille Baardsen from IMDi gives a prize to Birkenes municipality, here represented by May Olaug Horverak, principal at Birkenes Adult Learning Centre.

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.

The motivation method presented in Iraqi Kurdistan

Kedir is interviewed about the motivation method, live on GKurdistan Television

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.

Research conferences at London University July 2019

May Olaug Horverak, Eva-Kristin Paaschen-Eriksen and Mariette Aanensen at Birkbeck, ready for the conference.

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.

May and Mariette are presenting the motivation method for an interested audience.
Gerd Martina Langeland outside Birkbeck
May and Gerd Martina in front of the main building of London University

SAMM cross municipal development workshop established spring 2019

Summer gathering in SAMM development workshop, from the left: Kedir Diary (Lillesand), Anette Lindhagen (Lillesand), Eva Carmen (Grimstad), Karianne Rosef (Birkeland) and May Olaug Horverak (Birkeland, leader)

From January, we have met regularly in SAMM development workshop to further develop the project. We started in upper secondary school with this method, and then we introduced it in adult learning centres, and then lower secondary and primary schools, and in this process, it is important to evaluate and adjust as we proceed. This is what we work with in the development workshop. Other participants not present on the picture are Gerd Martina Langeland (Møglestu, project leader uss), Mariette Aanensen (UiA) and Svein T. Heddeland (UiA). To keep focus, we have the plan for the processes we work with on the wall above us. There are 4 main tracks, and these are 1) to further develop the motivation method, 2) to plan implementation in the different contexts, 3) to make a structure that ensures follow-up of teachers and students if challenging health-topics appear and 4) to develop a plan for evaluation and research.

The motivation method in new contexts – meetings for multicultural entrepreneurs

Jens Anders Risvand from the EVA-centre gives motivation courses with May Olaug Horverak

This spring, we have taken the motivation method into new contexts, and given courses for multicultural entrepreneurs in the southern region of Norway through the EVA-centre in Kristiansand (Etablerertjenesten i Vest-Agder). Through the concept idealab, we have gathered people from various cultures who have recently started, or are about to establish, businesses. Below, we can see what the participants considered important when starting a business.

We have so far run the course in Kristiansand and in Arendal, and the feedback from the participants is very positive. As one of the participants said: «It is important to be with others in the starting phase, it feels good not to be the only one who encounters resistance». The course is part of the Agder-counties’ project «Multicultural value creation», and is supported by the Norwegian Directorate of Integration and Diversity.

What is important when starting a business? Some ideas from the idealab

Summer atmosphere in the SAMM project at TT Beach in Lillesand, May 2019

By May Olaug Horverak

The school year is getting close to an end, and it is time for the SAMM-crowd to gather to go through the year’s activities and say something about were we’re headed in the future. About 50 people that either have been involved in SAMM, or will be involved next semester, were present. THANK YOU to TT Beach for good service and food, we will be back 😊.

It was a magical evening with many exiting presentations from teachers and others that have used the method during the yar. THANK YOU to all the teachers that shared their experiences and that have contributed to adjust and develop the motivation method throughout the year. It is incredibly fun to run a project when having such fantastic people to work with.

The reason that we this year have been able to expand the SAMM project from upper secondary school to new contexts like adult learning and lower secondary/primary schools is that we are part of Healthpromoting Kindergartens and Schools, one of the Norwegian Directorate of Health’s public health projects in Agder, THANK YOU to the project leader of HBS, Eva-Kristin Paschen-Eriksen, who has been a faithful support on the way and that has helped us and motivated us to move forward, we really appreciate it. THANK YOU to other central SAMM-collaborators in HBS; Eva Carmen (Grimstad), Kedir Diary (Lillesand), Anette Lindhagen (Lillesand), Karianne Rosef (Birkenes) og Mariette Aanensen (UiA/Kristiansand), it’s only fun to work with development with you on the team. Another person who deserves a THANK YOU is aour good collaborator in SAMM, psychologist Fagerhaug who contributed this evening with an inspiring appeal, and like someone said, we should have heard it once more so we could take notes. The day after, he came to the lower secondary school in Engesland, and had a good response there as well, many great youths smiled at his jokes.

A last THANK YOU goes to Gerd Martina Langeland, who started the whole thing, and started this journey that SAMM has become; I couldn’t have wished for a better travel companion.

Gerd Martina talks about the focus model applied in the classroom

This was a lot of thanks, but after such a fantastic evening, where one after the other tells me what the SAMM-project has meant to them, both in their own and in students’ lives, I cannot do otherwise but give thanks back to everyone around me that contributes to carry this project forward.

We close with the quote that has followed us since an inspiring talk by Aiman Shaqura the autumn 2018, (iIt’s not about receiving (få), but managing (få til)” and we add that it is not only about managing “because of”, but also “in spite of”.

Photos by Svein T. Heddeland and Kedir Diary

Tour de SAMM, February 2019

SAMM-team, from the left: Eva Carmen Jenssen (Grimstad), May Olaug Horverak (Birkenes), Gerd Martina Langeland (Møglestu), John Petter Fagerhaug, Anette Lindhagen (Lillesand) and Kedir Diary (Lillesand)

In February, we had a new round with Fagerhaug and lectures for both parents and students. We started the two-day roundtrip with a lecture for parents at LUS – Lillesand Lower secondary school, where close to 100 people met Wednesday 13. February on the evening.

The trip continued the next day to Birkenes, and Fagerhaug gave a lecture to all the students at the adult learning centre in the cafeteria of the town hall. In his lectures, Fagerhaug challenges his audience to take control over, or to «design» their own lives, and create a balance between the inner world, the outer world and the digital world, which is taking over more and more in people’s lives.

He also challenged the students at the adult learning centre to go out and talk to others, and to defeat their own fear of what others think. Another one of his main points was that it is important to keep a focus on the road instead of the ditch, in this case, to have focus on what you know for certain rather than focus on the insecurity of the situation. «You are here, you attend school, you learn Norwegian»…these are things we know for certain.

Many people showed up at the city hall, in addition to teachers and students, many people from the local municipality administration showed up; the mayor and other leaders in the administration, and other representatives that know our student group.

…also the major in the town, Anders Christiansen (to the right), took time to join us to hear about motivation and life mastery in the everyday life.

The last stop on the roundtrip was Valstrand lower secondary school in Birkenes. Here, Fagerhaug talked with youths facing important choices in their lives. Also here, many people smiled and laughed during the lecture, and the event was a success. Some students mentioned that learning German was an obstacle in school, as they found it difficult to master this well, and again, Fagerhaug challenged the students to do what they feared. «Walk around the hallway and speak in German, then it could be fun, but you should perhaps wear earplugs, so people around you don’t think you’re completely crazy».

Engaged parents and a good atmosphere at motivation lecture in Birkenes, November 2018

Øyvind Mellem for the administration in Birkenes give thanks to John Petter Fagerhaug for a great lecture.

Wednesday 28. November Birkenes-parents filled the blackbox at Valstrand cultural arena to listen to psychologist John Petter Fagerhaug talk about motivation and life mastery in school. It was both inspiring and engaging to hear about how one can work with changing thoughts and patterns to experience more joy and motivation in the everyday, and parents contributed with a lot of good comments that Fagerhaug could «play around with». This was some of his message, that it is important to be able to «play around with» thoughts and perceptions. This was a new type of setting for the psychologist in our project, giving a lecture to parents with a focus on motivation work for children and youths, and we were curious about how the message would be received. Judging from the response, this was very successful, and something we hope to do more in our project.

Great interest for motivation conference at Møglestu, October 2018

Written by Knut Erik Vikan and Oday Bin Khadra, 2MK/STC

A large and varied group of over 70 people met to the motivation method training-conference at Møglestu in October. The projectleader and other central representatives in HBS in Agder were there, teachers from different school levels, and many others interested in the work at Møglestu and the adult learning centre in Birkenes came to learn about our method. Also in the health field, there is interest for the method, and both a psychologist and a doctor in the local community took time to come to the training conference.

The audience was really enganged, and many teachers asked good questions during the conference. The teachers from the schools in Birkenes were challenge to join us and try out the method at different levels in school. The main message to the lecturers was that students need to take responsibility for their own lives, their own learning, and in particular, their own motivation, a message that was well received by the audience. We have experience ourselves from working with this method, and we think it can help many people.

Photo: Oday Bin Khadra