Development from Within in 60 minutes?

Erna Majormoen describes her attempt to familiarise a student group with Manavodaya’s approach in just one hour:

I attended the course run by Manavodaya UK in 2011. I wanted to present something of what I discovered to students who were graduating with a master’s degree in Health Promotion and Community Care at Lillehammer University. I presented this as an examination task with my colleagues Bjørg Stenersen and Anette Raasok.

Introduction: (15 – 20 minutes) First we showed a presentation given by Carl Poll (Time 13 min). The students found this informative. Everyone got a copy of the Eight Steps in Action.

Practical exercises (35 minutes)
Exercise 1: Calm down (2 minutes) Bjorg conducted a session with relaxing breathing exercises. Everyone appreciated this exercise.

Exercise 2: Self-Reflection (5 minutes) We asked everyone to reflect on ‘What have you learned this semester and how do you evaluate your own efforts.’ The students thought this exercise was good.

Exercise 3: Group-reflection (25 minutes) We asked the participants to reflect on ‘What have you learned this year and how can you use this in your work as health promoters?’ All was quiet for a while. But then nearly all came along with their reflections, one by one. Some found the reflection group tedious. They thought that the method was unusual and demanding.

Summary: (2 minutes) Anne Bregnballe, who had attended the course in Scotland, said she was able to recapture the feeling experienced at the Scottish course. However, several students stated that they struggled to find peace and concentrate. Our conclusion was that one hour gave a tiny taste but the message and the method of Development from Within requires more time for participants to become accustomed to this very different way of working.

Erna H. Majormoen.