Using fairy tales and colour strategies in primary school in optional lessons.
The aim of this article is to describe opportunities and benefits of different strategies, which might be useful in educational process in the primary school.
Tasks of the article are:
To research how fairy tales and colour strategies improve motivation and educational results in the primary school;
To make and use in practice the system of strategies which increase knowledge and children`s motivation;
An exploration of fairy tales has special value for education. The deep truths embodied in fairy tales, which depict complex developmental processes and group dynamics, and afford the means for transforming the pain of psychological wounding into creativity, continue to offer much to the steadily expanding field of psychotherapy. Their very brevity, and arresting themes, and imaginative treatment of significant events allow them to be interpreted, reinterpreted, and expanded upon in an infinite number of ways to allow individuals to comprehend their environment and their personal difficulties and to construct guides to action through enhanced knowledge.
Close scrutiny of the patterns in fairy tales from such contemporary psychological perspectives as family systems, object relations, and cognitive frameworks can yield new insights. As Joseph Campbell stated, “The folk tale is the primer of the picture of the soul”. An understanding of the dynamics represented in the journey of the fairy tale heroine or hero that typically lead them from misery to their highest realization may reveal means for helping clients in their psychotherapy. Stories are important in our lives. We gain a sense of who we are through narratives, the telling of stories to ourselves and others about what has happened to us. We form our identities through integrating our personal family histories with the legends of our culture. However, when our stories become habitually sad, rigid and repetitive, they may become the subject matter of the therapy hour. Because fairy tales and myths follow the heroine or hero as they go through periods of darkness to transformation, these classic stories may be said to encode patterns that enable the restoration of vibrant functioning. Like the fairy tale protagonist, psychotherapy clients often begin a journey from a black mood of depression or personal crisis, onto a new path. Ultimately, through encounters with significant others and confrontation of challenging circumstances, both protagonist and therapy client may be led to higher development. The path of the fairy tale hero or heroine has much in common with the ritual process of psychotherapy: Therapist and client tell and retell, interpret and reinterpret the story of the client. Both children and heroes have typically had 2 difficulties in the family of origin: they have often suffered child abuse, shame and humiliation, parental rejection and /or abandonment. In place of a nurturing caretaker they must live with a tormentor or tormentors, such as Cinderella’s wicked stepmother and evil stepsisters, or Snow White’s cruel stepmother who plots to murder the beautiful girl in order to end the competition the girl’s beauty poses to her fading beauty. Chance may also contribute to the woes of the protagonist. For example, in The Girl Without Hands, the father unwittingly makes a pact with the devil that ends in the sacrifice of his daughter’s hands. In this story, the father dwells in poverty: his poorness can be viewed as a metaphor for a lack of emotional strength that can lead an actual father or mother to abuse a daughter or son. If a child is perceived by a parent as a potential resource to satiate his or her own unmet needs, then that child’s development, like the hands in the story, may be sacrificed in the service of parental deficiency. Psychological wounding, such as symbolically expressed by the father in the fairy tale who destroyed his daughter’s hands, is often at the core of psychotherapeutic treatment.
Spiritual growth is at the heart of every fairy tale: As the protagonist leaves the disturbing influence of the original family to enter the unknown forest and to face and eventually conquer difficult challenges, he or she is led to 3develop her highest potential. During periods of suffering at levels deeper than the pain, lies a possibility that something sacred within may eventually emerge. Through the combination of fairy tales with psychotherapy, new sources of strength may surge from one’s existential knowledge: Though life may be unfair and unjust, suffering is eased by an awareness that one is not alone. Hope is curative, and fairy tales especially have the power instill hope by the means of their happy story ending. According to Joseph Campbell, “Perhaps some of us have to go through dark and devious ways before we can find the river of peace or the high road to the soul’s destination.” The symbolic figures and imagery in fairy tales such as the cruel stepmother, loving fairy godmother, winter darkness, or lost-in-the-forest, mirrors disturbing inner emotional states. As the protagonist overcomes trials in differing situations, an individual in psychotherapy is shown the ways to deal with his or her upsetting affects. For example, Hansel and Gretel leave a trail of breadcrumbs to mark their way, and trick the witch into not eating them, offering proof of sorts that strategic action serves to assure that one does not get overwhelmed by emotional upsets. For many psychotherapy patients, it is important to learn to comfort and soothe or to discover metaphorically their own inner “godmother” or “helpful animals” to transform emotional pain into growth. If a connection to these common symbols that can be perceived as representing possibilities for self care, then psychological improvement can follow. The discovery of an “inner prince” or “fairy godmother” that likewise, can rescue one can empower an individual at the deepest levels. Redemption becomes possible because of an individual’s courage to leave the known world of a difficult family and to face inner pain as symbolized by the forest, in order to eventually discover more nurturing circumstances. A full encounter with one’s emotions is frequently associated with recovery. Adrian, a twenty -five year old biologist had been reared in a home wherein emotional abuse from her mother was commonplace. She identified with the heroine in Ender’s Game, a novel in which the youngest child in a family is chosen to save the world from destruction. Ultimately, the story hero creates a different home entirely. This tale provided the map for Adrian as she ultimately left the original family that had seemed to threaten her with destruction, and chose to live her life with a religious identity radically different from that of her original family. The compassion and support she experienced within that new culture provided her with an experience that seemed to her to compensate for the lacks she had felt from early childhood.
Weak and vulnerable, children eventually become powerful and strong, so clients can be reminded that painful periods are often fleeting. Fairy tales mirror natural processes of all kinds, and depict life as dynamic process that constantly moves between the opposites of darkness and light, summer and winter, weakness and strength, and poverty and wealth. By encouraging clients to accept one’s place within the naturally fluctuating universe, one is reminded that painful periods usually do not last, and that change for the better is likely to follow. Seasons, such as winter can both be “outside” and in the heart as well.
The use of fairy tales as positive cognitive reframes may enable children to view difficult life periods as prerequisites for the development of personal strength that may ultimately lead to great success. Thus, clients can establish expectations for positive changes. In classic stories, heroes and heroines embody the truth of the capacity for psychological wounds to heal. Life is unfair and unjust, yet compassion toward others may lead to escape from pain, and knowledge that others share this human condition is comforting. Contrast the beginning of the story of The Ugly Duckling, wherein “The ducks bit him, the hens pecked him, and the girl who fed him kicked him aside”....” Even his mother said I wish to goodness you were miles away” with the ending when “He thought of how he had been pursued and scorned, and now heard them say he was the most beautiful of all beautiful birds”. The fairy story reveals the heroine as a model who calls upon using inner resources to solve problems. According to Carl Jung, we have a favorite story that goes with us throughout life. By connecting clients to their cherished early stories, the therapist can highlight the means for coping and problem- solving and suggest to one still struggling that she too can discover solutions to problems. Thus the stories serve as important reminders that can enable one to find inner resources beyond conscious awareness even when one is overwhelmed by states of anxiety or depression. Readers of fairy tales can weave every day personal events intertwining their own inner processes to give more understandable forms to previously inexpressible painful emotions through the imagery of witches, cruel elder 6 brothers, and stepmothers. As the fairy tale heroine or hero escapes or defeats threatening destructive forces, they provide powerful images that can help point those still suffering towards transcendence. For example, in Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Match-Seller, a poor child wanders the streets in freezing cold and darkness. “She did not dare to go home; for she had not sold any matches and had not earned a single penny. Her father would beat her and besides it was almost as cold at home as it was here”. Lighting her unsold matches at Christmas time to warm herself, she has fantastic visions of herself as she is warmly nurtured in a warm dwelling enjoying a roast goose feast under a lovely Christmas tree whose candles are transformed into shining stars flying heavenward and the child interprets the star flying down to earth as the sign of someone dying, of a soul going up to God. Striking her last matches, she has a vision of her dead grandmother who takes the little girl in her arms and they fly, “in joy and splendor” to be with God. “Nobody knew what beautiful visions she had seen, nor in what halo she had entered upon the glories of the New Year”. This tale considered by many to be a sad tale of want and death, also shows that old, painful patterns of living can die, so that more fruitful new ways of living can come into being.
Readers of fairy tales can weave every day personal events intertwining their own inner processes to give more understandable forms to previously inexpressible painful emotions through the imagery of witches, cruel elder 6 brothers, and stepmothers. As the fairy tale heroine or hero escapes or defeats threatening destructive forces, they provide powerful images that can help point those still suffering towards transcendence. For example, in Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Match-Seller, a poor child wanders the streets in freezing cold and darkness. “She did not dare to go home; for she had not sold any matches and had not earned a single penny. Her father would beat her and besides it was almost as cold at home as it was here”. Lighting her unsold matches at Christmas time to warm herself, she has fantastic visions of herself as she is warmly nurtured in a warm dwelling enjoying a roast goose feast under a lovely Christmas tree whose candles are transformed into shining stars flying heavenward and the child interprets the star flying down to earth as the sign of someone dying, of a soul going up to God. Striking her last matches, she has a vision of her dead grandmother who takes the little girl in her arms and they fly, “in joy and splendor” to be with God. “Nobody knew what beautiful visions she had seen, nor in what halo she had entered upon the glories of the New Year”. This tale considered by many to be a sad tale of want and death, also shows that old, painful patterns of living can die, so that more fruitful new ways of living can come into being.
Our most important energy source is light, and the entire spectrum of colours is derived from light. Sunlight, which contains all the wavelengths, consists of the entire electromagnetic spectrum that we depend on to exist on this planet.
Light flows through our eyes and triggers hormone production, which influences our entire complex biochemical system. This biochemical system then affects our being. And light does not travel alone. Light travels with other energies as shown below.
Another useful strategy is to use in educational process different colours. We know that each colour found in the visible light spectrum has its own wavelength and its own frequency, which produces a specific energy and has a nutritive effect. We know some rays can be dangerous if we are exposed to them. But the visible light, the rainbow, has a soothing effect on us.
Light is the only energy we can see, and we see it in the form of colour.
Our body absorbs colour energy through the vibration colour gives off. All organs, body systems, and functions are connected to main energy centres.
Through colour we receive all the energies we need to maintain a health body, mind, and soul. The National Institute of Mental Health has done studies showing that our mental health, behaviour, and general efficiency in life depends to a great extent on normal colour balance. When something goes wrong, or is out of balance, we can strengthen our energy centres through the conscious use of colour.
Light consists of the seven colour energies: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet. Each colour is connected to various areas of our body and will affect us differently emotionally, physically, and mentally. By learning how each colour influences us, we can effectively use colour to give us an extra boost of energy when we need it.
If you wake up in the morning with little energy, or you need to prepare for a business meeting, this is where the power of colours can help. All you have to do is reflect on the type of day you have planned; choose the colour that will help you meet the demands of the day; and then absorb that particular colour. It's like fuelling your system with the right kind of gas!
The practical application of a specific colour for a bodily condition requires common sense and experimentation. Generally, dis-harmony that produces a cold, wet condition requires red. Conditions of a hot, thermal nature require blue to calm and effect a stabilization of the subtle body in question. Therefore, contra-indicated to any red condition is the use of a red colour application such as with sunstroke. The use of red will aggravate the problem. The same is true of any blue condition; contra-indicate for colds or pneumonia is the use of cold blue.
Some color therapists believe colours contain energy vibrations with healing properties. Exposure to a color and its vibrations can be used to assist the body's natural healing and recuperative powers to achieve and maintain health and well-being.
The are seven natural colours in the visible light spectrum (rainbow): red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Each color vibrates at its own individual frequency. In Color Therapy each color corresponds to one of the seven chakras (energy centres in the body), which in turn can influence a specific gland, organ, or tissue of the body. for example, the color red, which corresponds to the root or base chakra, can be used for problems with the adrenal glands, kidneys, and bladder. The color rays may be in the visible or invisible spectrum and can be administered through colored lights or applied mentally through suggestion.
B.Buzuma The psychology of a colour. S-Petersburg, 2005
V.Behtereva The origin of the children`s pictures, S-Petersburg, 1910
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