The Heart of the Programme
The programme is radical in that it demands not so much an acquisition of new knowledge but rather the development of new faculties.
A very strong focus in the programme is to provide opportunities for students to understand what “reading and making meaning” of social situations enables in their practice, and at the same time to build their capacity to become good “readers”.
As practitioners however we are both “readers” of, and participants in, any situation. We are the situation we find ourselves in. We need to be able to read a situation through ourselves, and read ourselves in and through a situation. Our reading and our practice will be as deep and insightful and skilled as we are as human beings. Another core focus in the programme therefore is on deepening understanding of ourselves in our relations and our work with others.
The programme will help students develop a deep discipline of learning how to make meaning – of situation and self – beneath the surface, in the midst of ongoing change. This provides a basis for practice – for developing an understanding, and a response appropriate to the situation and the moment.
The programme works particularly with, and to help develop, the qualities of attention, awareness and openness in our practice. We re-discover the faculty of intuition as the basis of social intervention. Not a ‘soft’ intuition which dissolves into fantasy and subjectivity, unable to deal adequately with the hard choices that confront us, but a rigorous, disciplined intuition which enables us to deal creatively with the unfolding of the situations we face.
Working patiently and respectfully with attention, awareness and openness allows the full complexity and richness of a social situation to emerge, to present itself completely. It allows the situation to speak for itself.