The Structure of the Model
The final model is designed to build children’s capacity for inter-subjective observation and analysis as the basis for wisdom, empathy and compassion. The underlying purpose of most of o our activities is to help children understand that their interactions with people form who they are, which leads them to become more respectful persons and avoid dogmatic value systems. The ultimate pedagogical goal is for the children to realize that it is not the rules that matter, but the wisdom learned from trying to understand difficult ethical situations.
The model is divided in three phases where each phase runs in one academic year. The phases are:
Phase one – Subjectivity process
Phase two - inter-subjective process
Phase three - Integration Process
The age group for this Phase should be 4 to 5. The main objective for this year is to develop in children awareness, mindfulness and subjective understanding of inside Phenomena. When we use the term “subjective” we don´t mean relative we mean a capacity for feeling that is intrinsic, or interior, to the Phenomena under consideration--a what-it-feels-like-from-within. The key notion here is "experienced interiority" as distinct from external relations. A subject is constituted by internal relations, and these are felt or experienced. This is that a child should understand the difference between an object outside his mind and an object created by his conceptual mind. So when he relates to others he knows that this other being has also created a mental object that may be different to his own. This implies that this child will be asking questions in order to find out what really is on the mind of that other person rather than assuming or guessing what the other person is thinking or feeling. We create this awareness in the child by using a series of techniques that goes from mindful and awareness, different dances of Taichi, theater performance where we analyzed the structure of phenomena projected in the mind (or conceptual thinking), confrontational questioning and deep reflections regarding thoughts and language. It is at this level of the model that we create the roots for empathy.
The age group for this phase should be 5 to 6. The main objective of this Phase is to develop an awareness of the other in an inter-subjective way. This Phase cannot be achieve if the first Phase has not produced in the child the basic roots for empathy, since inter-subjectivity requires empathically thinking as a basic ingredient. Inter-subjectivity as we define it in the model is account for the inter-reflexivity of consciousness (subjectivity-reflected-in-subjectivity) in "I-thou" relationships. This second-person approach, lead to "dialogic" consciousness rather than “monologic” consciousness. It is at this level of the model that we create the roots for compassion. Compassion defined in our model as, finding the way in which we can help others to reach new conscious level of knowledge and in doing so we achieve the same (new conscious level of knowledge).
The techniques used during this phase are; Analytical meditations, the art of questioning and language and communication games and theater performances, mediation techniques and inter dialogues.
The age group for this phase should be 6 to 7. Our objective is to integrate empathy and compassion in a real framework in the child´s mind. That is to allow the child to experience how he can apply empathy and compassion in real life. It is at this stage that we instill the roots for wisdom. The main material use for this Phase is projects and simulators. Projects aim at creating the necessary conditions where the child can practice his inter-subjective skills. Where Simulators create a virtual reality in the classroom where the child together with his other classmates will be pushed to the limits of ecological, social and Ideological ethical dilemmas.
(Version available in Spanish and English)
All the material needed has been systematize and well documented in DVD´s using PDF files, explanatory videos and example videos. The material is structure as follows: