Thursday 18 December 2014

The Action-cake, Skipping to the Chase and Kolb

Walking past two girls emptying out onto the street from a door in a building, I was struck by their lack of awareness of the rest of the world as they began to skip past me into the square. As I headed in the opposite direction, I looked around me and finding no one in the vicinity, I skipped a few steps, to try it out, somewhat delightedly, but self-aware as if I would be caught out any moment. It had been a long time since I had skipped along a street, and even longer since I had done it without a self consciousness.

When I work with children and young people I see the mixture of levels of self-consciousness which arises with age. Some young children are fearless and can disappear into their own worlds not caring about the consequences. Some older children start to feel awkward, judged, aware, observed and escape into their own worlds on-line or on-phone for safety and security. Other older young people are confident one minute and not the next and can switch at will, or just have no choice but to change as their feelings change.

There are times when I work with children and young people when I am trying to one minute encourage someone out of their shell, the next trying to provide boundaries or opportunities for practicing and reinforcing positive and appropriate behaviour. I feel like I am forever adjusting thermostats. Fires are burning, snow is on the ground and everything changes with the wind.

Christmas parties at our centre have had musical statues at the end. The tone has ranged from self conscious shifting from one foot to the other to unabashed frenzies of joyous explosions of dancing.

We are controlled so much by society's expectations of appropriateness. The thermostat isn't enough...We also need other control measures like a measurement of the physical space it takes up or timing. We weigh out the ingredients for our action-cake and put it in the oven at the correct temperature for the cake and its size and watch the clock to see its cooked and when we take it out cool it for eating.
Action-cake: Recipe

1. Weigh up whats needed for an end result
2. Put together the verbal and non-verbal ingredients needed to achieve desired outcome
3. Gauge the temperature of the atmosphere ...adjust setting for optimum rising to the occasion.
4. Put into action.
5. Check on progress
6. When done remove from situation
7. Check if met standards
8. Cool down and check end result
9. Enjoy having your cake and eating it or humble-pie
10. Adjust recipe for future endeavours


Throw something together not worrying how it's going to turn out...just enjoying the in the moment by moment unwritten recipe of life.

Either way it's Kolbs cycle and reflective practice in action...but some is more conscious or self-and-others-aware than the other.

Sometimes you make the conscious decision to skip and other times you just skip !

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