Narrative Group Work in Schools as pedagogical method for inclusive citizenship in times of disintegrating democracies and polarisation

Dr. Harald Weilnböck
Cultures Interactive e.V.

“Intensified civic education” and its urgency for sustainably preventing violent extremism, group-focused hatred and conspiracy theories in schools are explained in view of the Narrative Group Work in Schools approach (NGW). NGW provides the narratologically facilitated, mediational setting of a „safe space“ provided by external facilitators who give students – esp. in social hot spot schools – the opportunity to learn to speak completely openly, engage in trustful dialogue and share thoughts, impressions and personal experiences without taboos. Methodologically, NGW is based on proven principles of narrative interviewing and self-awareness groups as known from social therapy. Flexible group divisions and an accompanied time-out area ensure impact and protection. An interface both to youth welfare interventions, as distancing/exit work, and to the school’s subject teaching support the impact of civic education. For, the overarching perspective is to foster 'emotional political intelligence' and democratic resilience, especially among hard-to-reach youth susceptible to violent extremism. The reconstruction of a group session, in which a brazen Holocaust denial had emerged, illustrates both methodology and potential of NGW. For the group process quickly opened up to issues of the village, family and individual predicament behind these statements and could resolve them to a great extent. and
DPT 2022 NGG+Holocuast Leugner (PDF)Deutsch


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