In this first workshop, which lasted a whole weekend, more than half of the teaching staff and some of the parents participated. The aim at the outset as well as during the entire workshop process was to jointly develop practices which create a consciousness for the school's most precious assets: its humane social and cultural potential. How can we make this invisible capital visible? What are the seeds - in me, in the children, in the school - for a sustainable, healthy growth? In what sense are we, as parents and teachers, artists? These were key questions with which we started.
At the beginning of the workshop all participants received their workbook. On its first pages, the workbook describes the key ideas of the art project. Many empty pages for personal notes follow. Scattered here and there are some inspiring quotes by artists and thinkers. And each of these workbooks contains a "Mindmap" by George Steinmann, made from the juice of wild blueberries. This underlines how much the workshop process is an artistic process and an integral part of the Growing Sculpture Heiligengeist School Lüneburg.
While trying to develop practices and rituals that create awareness for the potentials and strengths in and of the school, we soon got an unexpected, painful yet revealing insight. Not only was the school building stuffed full with things and materials, much no longer needed. The inner space - the time and the physical, mental and psychic capacities of those working in the school - had also reached its limit. All kinds of activities, expectations, projects, demands, intentions and obligations had accumulated to an amount threatening to cause breakdown and burnout. How can something new come into the world, into the school, when there is virtually no available space? Thus we came to understand: In order to make space for desirable growth we first have to free ourselves from uncontrolled, devastating, pathological proliferation.
In our understanding, this situation is exemplary not only for schools, but for most if not all areas of work and life nowadays. As much as we all suffer from it, it's almost impossible to free oneself from this "bad growth" alone. Therefore we decided to devote the next phase of our joint process to this essential work: to clear the school out - in terms of time, organisationally, structurally - so that the necessary space for new, healthy and sustainable growth would open up.
Two weeks after this first workshop the teachers published the guiding principles and values of the work on the school's website (in German). The key idea of this paper was and is: "We are a school that creates consciousness for the capacities and the strengths of the children and ourselves."
You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.