06: Critical of Power and Geared towards Equality
Working with groups often starts from the premise that all participants meet on an equal footing. However, this is not readily given. There are open and hidden hierarchies. While the power asymmetry between instructor and participants in a seminar is fairly obvious, asymmetries within a group of students often remain hidden. In order for the group to work well together, it is crucial to be aware of the different power relations within the group and to counter imbalance. Hierarchies can be based on different characteristics such as age, language, gender, origin, etc. Often, social power relations are also reflected in a group process, e.g. in the case of racist attributions. This can be addressed in advance by setting up a "safe space" or involving an "awareness person".
Educational work that includes a critique of power