25. May 2024

Life skills with LARS and LISA -
Review of the second module of the pilot project of the school social work of the Stetten school centre together with learning group 6.1

"You have 100 work steps at your disposal," Toby Buck determines.
"Forty-five minutes time. And you are not allowed to talk to each other in this room."

The Collaboration Puzzle is a tricky one: a total of 8 wooden sticks have to be positioned evenly in a 60x40cm wooden box - the tricky part is that they are all different lengths and only fit into one of the eight channels provided in the wooden box. You can't see from the outside how long the individual channel is on the inside, so you have to trial and error find out the correct order. The whole thing is made even more difficult by the fact that the box is positioned in a small adjoining room where only one player is allowed to be active at a time with a maximum of two moves. The remaining players wait in the adjacent study group room until they receive the information from him about which rods he has moved and at what height they look out of the box.

What sounds like a nasty model attempt at a brain-twisting team game at a staff training course is, on the meta-level, an exact reflection of social skills relevant to life: anyone who does not express themselves precisely here, keep an eye on the progressing time and unconditionally support each other on the way to the goal, does irreparable damage to the entire group.

The effort is noticeable in 6.1: after initial amusement, the challenge quickly turns into a verbally tense situation, temporarily the actors make haphazard attempts at good luck. Under increasing pressure of frustration, however, the attitude of the group changes remarkably: suddenly, they confine themselves exclusively to the factual passing on of information, the attitude of the learning partners towards each other changes into a conducive and supportive climate, everyone contributes and makes an effort.

At the bottom of the picture, Diego Rodrigues from 6.1 in utmost concentration - can his move advance the task for the whole group?

In fact, they all made it - and were delighted with the breakfast voucher for the cube that was up for grabs.

With the Collaboration Puzzle, Toby Buck started the second module of LARS and LISA, life skills training for schools in the state of Baden-Württemberg, which is not defined as a mandatory component of the state-wide education programme for nothing. After the jigsaw puzzle impressively demonstrated the importance of meaningful cooperation, the topic of interpersonal relationships followed in the next learning session. The question was asked what a social network consists of and how it is held together: what gives it the necessary stability to remain crisis-proof? Further, the pillars of a friendly relationship were worked out together and the learning partners learned the difference between a schoolmate and a friend.

For 6.1, the two modules LARS and LISA were a complete success. They promoted the communication skills of the learning partners and allowed the group to grow together. Besides, "it was also a lot of fun", the 6.1 unanimously affirmed.