Together with the Centre for Family Development and Ole Kirk’s Foundation, the Mary Foundation developed an interactive teaching programme about respectful communication for children from 7th to 9th grade, called Sweet Talk.
The course is designed to develop the pupil’s ability to handle difficult feelings and conflicts constructively with close friends and boyfriends/girlfriends, and to communicate with respect for themselves and others. The Mary Foundation wanted to spread knowledge about the programme’s content to teachers and other professionals who work with children in that age group and were invited to the ‘Respect the timetable’ conference.
Foto: Steen Brogaard
Photo: Steen Brogaard
Strong coherence between meeting format and content
The purpose of the conference was to provide a memorable overview of the teaching material and to give participants additional knowledge and insights into the behaviour of young people.
From start to finish, there was a strong correlation between the teaching material and the format and content of the conference – from the choice of venue, visual identity and MC, to the presenters and the participatory activities.
For example, the conference took place at GAME – a street sports centre for young people in Copenhagen. GAME's talented parkour practitioners kicked off the conference with a wild performance in which they embodied the three forms of communication: passive, aggressive and respectful communication.
Photo: Steen Brogaard
Feelings on the inside and feelings on the outside
This meant that the conference’s main message was delivered in an aesthetic and spectacular way. Halfway through, the participants went to each of the different stations where they tried out some of the exercises from the teaching material.
There was laughter and reflection as the participants tried to relate to how our thoughts, feelings and actions are affected when we face difficulties. Danish journalist and television host, Hans Pilgaard was MC for the day. He did not shy away from sharing his own experience of feeling powerless in a previous relationship, which helped to create an open, informal and safe atmosphere.