Support Instead of Education
- Beyond Any Education
- The Constructive End of Education
- Among Equals
- Non-educational Practice
- The Postpedagogical Impulse
- Hubertus von Schoenebeck
What does a non-educational relationship look like?
How many aspects! Equal individuals interact on the basis of their current position. They meet with all their diversity and the result of their meeting is of such wide variety as life itself is. 25 years ago, the possibilities of non-educational communication with children were investigated and confirmed in a scientific study. The results of this study provided the idea »Amication«. According to the amicative approach, non-educational relationships are practicable in every way and helpful and sensible for adults as well as children. Today the first children have grown up in a non-educational way and are adults with own children living in a non-educational environment. A new tradition has begun.
The theory of the amicative practice is mature and holds proven answers for the numerous questions.
For instance, many people expect that amicative parents let their children do what ever they decide. This is often thought to be the quintessence of all amicative theory! This, however, is not true.
»Put on your wooly hat!« – »I don’t want to!« A mother arguing with her three year old daughter. People interpret the world. Who interprets it in the right way? The amicative answer to this question is:
Everyone interprets in an individual way. One person is as right as the other.
The mother tells her daughter her point of view and the daughter tells her mother her point of view. The mother might repeat her view, and the daughter might repeat her answer. It is possible that they agree: »I will put on my hat« or »Okay, go without it«.
Or they both keep their opposite position and do not agree. In this case the mother probably will get her way, and the child must follow. This is no different in amicative families. However, despite all opposition regarding the action level: The inner world and sovereignty of the child remains untouched. The »No« of the child is received as the expression of an equal person with inner sovereignty who wants to choose another path – and for individual reasons the adult cannot accept this. The focus lies on the action-oriented behavior »Do it« or »Don’t do it« and not on the mental level »Accept this – I am right«. In an amicative conflict the adult does not attack the soul and identity of the child and the child has no necessarity to defend this attack intensly. An amicative conflict procedes on different paths.
On the mental level, the amicative position opposes the traditional educational position. The amicative adult accepts the child's sovereign inner world – and is in interaction and exchange with a full human.
The pedagogical adult concludes that there is no sovereign inner world of the child. He sees education and instruction as necessary for bringing up the child so that it will be a full human.
Amicative adults do not become incapable of action by recognizing the child's sovereignty – their actions, however, do have a special mental quality.
Free of paternalism, superiority, and breaking defiance, a new world opens itself to the amicative adult:
mental hearing – empathy.
In this same way, the child practices mental perception with the adult. Since it is not aggressed, it must not waste its energies in defence against the adult. This allows both sides to realize the actual urgency of the other person. They are open to notice how important the affair really is to the other on an emotional and existential level. They perceive each other and make the experience who the other is according to his selfconception, even during the conflict, and regardless of victory or defeat.
The adult and the child thus exchange their interests and at the same time communicate their urgencies on the emotional level. This interaction occurs back and forth several times with or without words and explanations. Then it might happen, that one person "wins" – sometimes the adult and sometimes the child – however, usually one side lets the other do it his way. Because it is rare that the urgencies of two persons match. »Then go ahead« – this seems to be more adequate. However, this is only possible as long as there are no existential aspects in the core of the conflict, being insight and obedience as a demand of the adult towards the child or the undisputed dignity and selfrespect the child expects from the adult.
In the non-educational practice, conflicts are not solved with remarkable efforts but dissolve themselves mostly due to the empathic structure of amicative communication. This is not done, prepared, elaborated or anything of that sort. The amicative everyday life with children cannot be put on. It represents an authentic exchange of equal partners.
The casual daily quietude with children is experienced as a gift which arises from the amicative attitude.