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The Application of Systemic Constellation in Education

Attending Teacher Marianne's class was incredibly rewarding. Besides learning about systemic constellation through case studies, she introduced many new concepts and knowledge that were truly enlightening. It felt like experiencing a moment of profound wisdom—akin to the feeling described in the Chinese idiom, "聽君一席話,勝讀十年書" ("A single conversation with a wise person is better than ten years of study"). Throughout the course, it was evident that Teacher Marianne aimed to impart her vast knowledge and lifelong expertise within just three days, at the workshop.

Engaged in educational administration and research myself, I found Teacher Marianne's insights on the appropriate teacher-student relationship and the ideal attitudes for educators particularly enlightening. Her perspective offered a chance for a mental reorganization of preconceived notions.

Teacher Marianne emphasized that the only authoritative relationship in the world is that of parent and child. In our lives, only our parents (or parental figures) wield authority over us. We stand in front of them every day, figuratively small in their presence, as it should be.

But what about in school? The teacher-student dynamic should be one of freedom, where students have the choice to listen to the teacher. The relationship should be egalitarian; while the teacher holds a position of authority (similar to the eldest sibling in a family), they stand on the right side, leading the way, yet still on an equal footing. Moreover, guidance, rather than instruction, is crucial in teaching. Though there are times where teaching is necessary, most of the time students already possess the knowledge within themselves, often more than they realize, given their access to vast resources such as the internet.

Teacher Marianne expressed, "I stand alongside you. If you're willing, you can ask me. While I may not know everything, I am here as your teacher." She mentioned the role of family systems in perpetuating life and highlighted that the school system is a man-made societal construct, designed with the following objectives:

1. To foster camaraderie, friendship, and mutual support. (The first goal is to build a strong community where we nurture friendships and have fun. If you don't understand, don't hesitate to ask.)

2. To make each student feel like an independent individual, with personal dignity, promoting mutual growth between individuals and the group. (The second goal is for each student to have their own dignity.)

3. To learn content and course knowledge at various levels. (The third goal is to keep learning and learning, continuously improving our knowledge and skills.)

The teacher's role is to work alongside the students towards these three goals, rather than positioning themselves against the students or becoming the focal point. Additionally, if the class operates as a cohesive team and respects and appreciates everyone's dignity, learning will become much easier.

Teacher Marianne's insights align with international and domestic movements advocating for Project-Based or Problem-Based learning (PBL). Drawing from my experience in medical education, where Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is prevalent, the shift in learning methodology is evident. It moves beyond conventional rote learning and lecture-based instruction, opting instead for a curriculum designed to foster group collaboration among students and tackle real-life problems. The role of the teacher (referred to as a tutor) shifts from lecturer to guide, fostering a supportive learning environment where students not only learn from each other but also evaluate each other. Assessment becomes multi-faceted, incorporating self-assessment, peer assessment, teacher evaluation, and 360-degree assessment, fostering a student-centered approach. The focus of learning shifts from being teacher-centered to student-centered, leading to a total transformation of the curriculum and learning environment.

This once again underscores the interconnectedness of knowledge domains. Each endeavor, each effort, leaves its mark, contributing to the vast tapestry of human understanding.

By: Educational Researcher, Chu Yu-Fang

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