What is Group Analytic Pedagogy?
Group analytic pedagogy is a method derived from group analysis according to S. H. Foulkes1. Foulkes was a British psychoanalyst who recognized that people can develop strongly in terms of their emotional and social abilities, especially in groups that have a supportive atmosphere and positive group dynamics characterized by mutual trust. In order for a positive group atmosphere and group dynamics to develop, the group must be led by a person who adopts a so-called group analytical mindset. This mindset is characterized by the fact that the authority of the leadership is placed entirely at the service of the well-being of the group and its individual members. In other words, the cohesion of the group and the emotional well-being of its individual members are always the group leader’s top priority.
While group analysis was originally developed in a therapeutic context, it has been successfully applied in education. The pioneer here was the British professor M. L. J. Abercrombie, who completed her group analytic training under S. H. Foulkes and was able to apply what she had learned there with great success in the context of her teaching.2
Aim of the group analytic training
Teacher-ProGRESS’ teacher professional development training is based on the principles of group analytic pedagogy. In the course of the training, teachers are provided with a space which due to the basic rules of group analysis is characterized by a particularly high degree of security. In this space, teachers can develop their knowledge and experience about and in groups particularly effectively. In the course of this process, they learn which visible and latent dynamics can prevail in groups, which developmental stages a group typically goes through, and how a group leader can have a particularly positive influence on the group.
Group analytic training typically leads to a significant emotional stress reduction in teachers’ daily routines by…
… making teaching easier, since group dynamics in classrooms can be better recognized and understood, and more effectively influenced in positive ways, and also by
… allowing the relational dynamics among the teaching staff and with school leadership to be better understood and more positively influenced.
1 See, for example, Foulkes, S. H. (2017). Group analytic psychotherapy: the founder of group therapy on the developmental stages of his method in theory and practice. Westarp Science Fachverlag.
2 See, for example, Nias, J. (1993). The Human Nature of Learning: Selections from the Work of M.L.J. Abercrombie (Society for Research into Higher Education). Open University Press.
Group analytic training is usually not a short-term endeavor. It takes place regularly in a double-session format (90 minutes/training session), with teachers deciding for themselves when to begin and when to end the training process.
How can I participate?
If you are interested in a group analytic pedagogy training, would like to receive further information, or simply have questions, you are welcome to contact us via the following contact form: