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The training course of DisAbuse project taking place in Italy was implemented in February and March by Fondazione Mondo Digitale at the Phyrtual Innovation Gym in Rome during four appointments, for a total of 21 hours.
Aiming to reach citizens with special educational needs and disabilities the course involved all together 27 participants aged 15 and up, teachers, support teachers, psychologists, psychotherapists and individuals with disabilities. Thanks to the rich network of contacts of Fondazione Mondo Digitale with school and Civil Society Organisations, the participants involved in the training came through the following:
. Liceo Edoardo Amaldi (school) – Rome
. IIS Piaget-Diaz (school) – Rome
. IIS Antonio Magarotto (school) - Rome (for individuals with hearing impairments)
. Liceo Dante Alighieri (school) – Latina
The course activities were held by Cecilia Stajano and Ilaria Graziano, two experienced certified Lego® Serious Play® Method and Mta Learning facilitators. Developed in Denmark in the 90s at the Lego® company, the Lego® Serious Play® Method first aimed to enhance business performance with a disruptive, innovative and experiential process, in order to facilitate decision-making, communication and negotiation processes for problem solving. With years, the methodology spread and the use inside non-formal contest grew, involving groups of various type and from various context.
During the DisAbuse training, participants were led through a series of questions, probing deeper and deeper into the subject. Each participant builds his or her own 3D LEGO® model in response to the facilitator´s questions using specially selected LEGO®. By utilizing visual, auditory and kinesthetic skills, the Method requires participants to learn and listen, and it provides all participants with a voice. The Method served as a shared language regardless of culture or background, and it enables to explore the relationships and connections between people and their world, explore various hypothetical scenarios, and gain awareness of the possibilities.
While building landscape models the participants gave them meaning through story-making, and playing out various possible scenarios – a process which deepened understanding, sharpened insight, and socially “bonded” together the group as it “played” together. The physical and tangible construction allowed the participants to have free and honest exchange of opinion, and conversations which flowed without the fear of treading on personal feelings. The feeling of belonging to a strong group, open and respectful to all its members enable the course participants to increase confidence and communication skills during the whole training.
The non-formal, playful and involving methodology of Lego® Serious Play® confirmed once again how effective it can be in terms of impact inside a group of individuals. Participants discussed, shared and elaborated strategies to build resilience against bullying situations, they strengthen their capacities, skills and belief they had the right tools to face any future unpleasant situation and to stand against bullying.