The most extensive experience in the collective creative education is related to the field of leisure, hobbies and social activism, and this is one of the «constraints» of the methodology. The active participation in leisure associations and social organizations require increasing amount of time and inevitably come into conflict with the need for self-determination and professional growth in their chosen career, and something of this has to be sacrificed.
Trying to solve this problem we are working on a model of a special camp which is based on the principles of common care pedagogy with the central content of the activities being not entertainment but rather development in a particular subject area. In this model, we rely not only on the old tradition of the camps based on the CCE methodology, but also on another old tradition of the subject clubs («circles») and summer camps, primarily of Leningrad / St. Petersburg mathematical circles which also represent an informal movement with its own traditions, atmosphere, etc.
It is important to emphasize that a camp organized on the basis of the CCE method (as well as a club with rare meetings) is a bright and intense, but short-term event. However, this event is considered as a «pattern situation»: it is a source of new experience of human relations, revealing something new about what you can do and what you value, what a group can do in its creative work; and when you are aware of this experience it can be applied to those life contexts in which people live most of their lives.
Thus, if we want to learn and teach each other how to harmonize the professional and social activities, interpersonal relationships and personal growth — we should look for that harmony in the «laboratory of life», which a camp or a club offers. Therefore, we consider a subject profile of additional education (like mathematics or anything alike) to be the most natural organizing base for the I.P.Ivanov’s methodology.
So «Formulo de Integreco» can be considered as an attempt to renew the Communard movement drawing on additional education, where students choose the subject area as one of the central activities.
Besides, we consider cognitive qualities developed in subject clubs (the ability to work with multi-level abstract constructions, generate unconventional ideas, unusual analogies etc.) to be extremely important in social activitities and necessary for community leaders.
Another problem is a gap between the depth of human relations, meaningfulness of life, inspiration that we see in the сamps, and the daily routine. But we think that the experience gained in the camp will be used «at home», the accumulated potential will be realized in our everyday work, studies, social life and personal relationships. This idea can work because participation in the groups based on CCE methodology gives universally applicable skills: cooperation, leadership, self-awareness and self-organization.
However, in practice, to implement the standards of communard relations in school life or at work, as well as to create a new informal community on the same principles is a very complicated task for an individual without like-minded friends nearby. There is a gap between «I want» (seen and soaked ideal) and «I can» (increased but still modest individual capacity), which can lead to very serious negative effects.
This could be a personal crisis («Communar breaking») negative revaluation of the camp experience and distancing from it, or, on the contrary, attempts to stay in «cozy» world of camps and to be isolated from the «real» world with its problems. (The latter variant allows — and not without reason — to blame some groups for escapism and isolationism)
In the «Formula of Unity» our aim is to minimize this gap, and concentrate on supporting sustainable relations between the participants. We consider the «product» of our work to be not just a person with certain moral and professional qualities, all by him- or herself in life, but a system of connections between people.
We see (in the near future, and to some extent already in the present) «Formula of Unity» as a growing network of people united by a vivid experience of co-creation, people with mutual understanding, trust, awareness of their common values and aspirations. The greater the density of the network — the less each participant feels «alone», the sooner he or she finds help in solving problems and support of initiatives, the easier it is to maintain his or her beliefs and ideals.
In other words, we try to contribute to the consolidation of people with humanistic values such as taking care of people, sincerity, responsibility, faith in the moral and creative potential of every individual, critical thinking, and we try to make possible reproduction of these values. In addition, it is important to make the process purposeful.
We try to prevent isolationism and narcissism. Consolidation of the community (of any size) must necessarily be complemented by awareness of being part of a bigger entity, by honest self-esteem. In particular, in the «Formula», we look forward to working with everyone who has similar values and we are ready to leave alone anyone who feels that it is not his or her way in life.
Finally, another limiting factor when you are working with the CCE methodology: it can easily be profaned when some specific forms of activity persist, but the meaning and the spirit disappear. So far, it is important to take into consideration a critical view from the outside, live practical contact with other communities working on the basis of Igor P. Ivanov’s methodology.
«Formula de Integreco» is practically in the beginning of its way, but it’s based on the many communities‘ experience. We are ready to continue absorbing our friends’ experience, ready to analyze their mistakes, to accept solutions found by them. Therefore, we welcome any comments on the ideas, goals and problems mentioned here.