IFF Competency Team Report to the IFF Assembly, 2007

Finding movement

Photo: © Rosalie O'Connor 2005-2007. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission, courtesy of FGNA.

August 18, 2007 - 9:18am -- Rob Black
IFF ACADEMY COMPETENCY PROJECT TEAM REPORT
APRIL 2007

 

Introduction

At this point in time the draft Profile is being used in facilitated workshops in North America and Europe. 18 practitioners from the European Guilds and the FGNA met in Soesteburg in January of 2007 the learn how to present the profile to their colleagues. This report will cover where the competency team is in this final phase of the project and outline a plan to complete the competency profile by 2008.

This profile has been written to describe one possible description of what Feldenkrais practitioners do in their professional use of the Method. It does not exclude, but does not explicitly describe the use of the Method for a practitioner’s own personal life and philosophy, except to the extent that they are integral of any practice of the Method. It is not a description of the Feldenkrais Method per se. It is not a set of rules for the practice of the Feldenkrais Method – and should not be used as such.

Following the familiar metaphor – the Profile is a ‘map’ of our professional practice of the Feldenkrais Method, rather than the ‘territory’ of our actual practice. The Profile rather offers perspectives or frames of reference from which to approach the territory. It then becomes possible to move between frames of reference, create new ones, and work in the spaces where practice creates rather than follows the map. We can think of ourselves as ‘map makers’ who ‘draw‘ the map of their own competency in practice: filling in the details, shading and colouring certain areas, finding our own particular contours of practice – and even finding new territory.

 

Previous ‘maps’ of the professional practice of the Feldenkrais Method include the Standards of Practice and the Berufsbild. We have referenced these documents in preparing this Profile and will again before the final version of the Profile. This Profile is the first ‘map’ of the work of the Feldenkrais practitioner that is written in competency-based terms. One thing that is particularly significant about this Profile is that it comes out of intensive research and consultation with many Feldenkrais practitioners.

The present Working Draft Profile is a result of a qualitative social research process involving Feldenkrais practitioners in all stages of its development. This included exploring different possible research methodologies, gathering of stories (phenomenological descriptions), workshop processes, and review of theoretical and Feldenkrais literature. The descriptions in the profile are set around the level of a practitioner who has been practicing around 5 years since graduating from their basic training in the Feldenkrais Method.

Participation

In order to carry out such research, and fulfill the strong direction that this should be a participatory process (as expressed by the IFF Board and Assemblies), over 190 practitioners have been involved in the project. Over 60 in the early exploratory workshops at IFF Assemblies; 45 wrote stories for the ‘critical incident’ process, 51 participated in the three main research workshops (and one small pilot workshop); 16 participated in the feedback and validation workshop; 15 provided written feedback on an earlier draft; 6 have been involved in the Competency Team and in drafting work. The writing of the stories and the research workshops involved practitioners primarily from Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the USA. For the other activities practitioners from all around the world were involved.

Advice and Oversight

Since 2004 there has been an Advisory Committee for the project composed of: Christina Erni-Tank (Switzerland), Richard Frye (USA), Carl Ginsburg (Germany) (until April 2006), Luz Stanton (Australia), Andrea Wiener (FGNA). The project also reports to the IFF Academy Committee and the IFF Board. The IFF Assembly voted in 1999 to start, and in 2003 and 2006 to continue, with this project.

Dynamic Model

After much research, considering a number of different research methods (e.g. DACUM – ‘develop a curriculum’, observation by experts, etc.), and with the input from our consultant (Dr Walter Goetze of Zurich, Switzerland), we chose the competency-resources (Co-Re) model for our research and the presentation of the Profile.

Bringing forth in action

We think that the Co-Re model is a dynamic one that emphasizes how a practitioner actively brings forth their knowledge, skills and attitudes/values into action in the practice situation. Presenting and reading the Profile as a matrix (that is, considering the parts of the Profile in the context of a greater whole) allow us to take into account and present:

  • the main tasks of the practitioner and practice situation in which they occur

  • the main actions or activities of the practitioner

  • the values and ethics important in our work

  • the complex situations we deal with

  • the intentions of the client/student and the practitioner, and how this relates to possible overall intentions or anticipated outcomes of our work

  • the conceptual knowledge, skills and abilities and accumulated experience we draw on.

 

This approach helps with the difficulty of getting descriptions of all these elements into single sentence or paragraph descriptions. As in ATM and FI, actions are often broken down into elements and then re-integrated as a whole – in our case they are broken down and related in the descriptions in the Profile and are integrated in and by our action in practice.

The breadth of our work as practitioners

In addition, this Working Draft Profile has the virtue of describing the breadth of the job of the Practitioner, including not just ATM and FI practice, but also using the Method in other contexts than private practice and with other professions. It includes use of the Method in a variety of contexts, including working with your Feldenkrais association/guild, continuing education, research and more. Some aspects of the Profile describe activities that most practitioners share; others are activities that only some practitioners engage in.

Because it is a dynamic model, it allows for the fact that practitioners do and will combine these elements in very different and unique ways in their professional use of the Feldenkrais Method.

Working Draft status of this document

The Profile at this point in time, is a Working Draft document, meaning that during the next year it will be re-written incorporating feedback from the feedback loops and brought to completion. It is sufficient to put out to the Feldenkrais community to work with and gather feedback for the processes of improving the Draft, and for education, understanding and acceptance in the community.

Continuous improvement

This Working Draft of the Profile is already enormously different from the previous drafts. We expect the final draft to also be very different. There will be many opportunities for community reflection and participation in the next steps of developing Profile. The Profile will be refined and improved, especially in the language of the Competencies, Action/Communication steps and the Resources. The latter are still somewhat in the language from the research workshops. The language can be brought even closer to Feldenkrais parlance, and can made more clear and elegant.

Language and translation

This Working Draft suffers from the fact that it has been translated and re-translated many times from German to English and back. Currently, the Working Draft has been translated into the seven other languages spoken in IFF member organizations. Later the final version will be created in English and again will need to be brought into the other languages. Until you can read the Profile in your language and its cultural appropriateness checked it will not be truly completed.

Possible uses

We see that, after dialogue and debate in the community, and when completed, the Profile could initially be used for self and peer reflection and assessment processes by practitioners. For these uses additional tools – documents that attach to the Profile – will be developed in the next phase of the project. In addition, the Profile may be suitable as a source document for guilds/associations to be used in relations with the public or governments, in regulatory matters, etc. National associations/guilds may need to produce tools and adaptations to the Profile documents for these kinds of uses. Those involved in providing basic and continuing education in the Feldenkrais Method may choose to use the Profile as a reference. The Profile also has the potential to provide a basis for competency-based certification. Competency-based certification of Feldenkrais practitioners would also require additional work on the Profile and additional supporting documents, such as guidelines and ethical codes. The project team has received feedback from the FGNA and the Australian Guild that we explore ways of collaborating with the TAB’s to develop a profile tool that can be used for certification.

 

 

Creating a Competency Profile Suitable for Certification

The Competency Profile in its current state reflects the knowledge and abilities of a practitioner with 3-5 years of experience. During the Competency workshops, practitioners are taught processes for self -assessment and peer -assessment. These processes involve self- reflection, writing about experiences, and measuring experience/expertise on a numeric scale. These processes also involve discussion of one’s self -assessment, telling stories about one’s experiences, and receiving/giving feedback based on those stories. Practitioners use the Competency Profile to identify the knowledge and abilities that they used in each situation, as well as to identify knowledge and abilities that could have improved the experience or outcomes had those resources been accessible and/or within their repertoire. With this information, practitioners create a learning plan for themselves.

These three tools, self -assessment, peer- assessment, and the creation of a learning plan function seamlessly with the form and content of the current profile. This profile can be adapted for certification purposes if the Feldenkrais community agrees that self assessment, peer assessment, and the creation of a learning plan can be integrated into the culture of training programs, and can become a method for certifying new practitioners. In our community, this model of assessment is already embedded in the process of applying to be assistant trainer, trainer candidate, and then trainer. A different sort of evaluation procedure for new practitioners, for instance a written examination, would necessitate a different style of Competency Profile.

Modifying the current profile into a form suitable for certifying new practitioners will require both adding detail and removing some sections. For instance, basic Functional Integration skills must be identified, described and added to Competency 1.1 : Applications with Individuals. On the other hand, entirely removing Competency 5.3: Training Tasks, may be appropriate. The first phase of modification will be best served by mining the Standards of Practice, the Phase II report, and information on PRISMA for details and descriptions of essential Feldenkrais knowledge and abilities which are not described in the current profile. These can be used to create a working draft of a Certification Competency Profile. After a sensible working draft has been crafted, the new document may be presented to the training community for comment, additions and deletions. Input from the training community will be essential to fill out and clean up the working draft. As the new profile develops and nears completion, it is recommended that new practitioners have an opportunity to use it and provide feedback. The Certification Profile, like the current profile can be experienced, evaluated and improved through a series of Competency workshops for new graduates.


Practical Intention

 

 

We believe that the Feldenkrais Method has a great potential to offer to humankind. We should never let this out of our thinking. At the same time the professional work of the practitioner is a practical matter carried out in a range of real-world situations. This point can be elucidated with a quotation from Moshe Feldenkrais. In The Potent Self the last paragraph of the chapter entitled ‘The Aim of Readjustment’ where he is discussing competence. It reads:

"To be of any practical use, the mode of doing must not be ideal but expedient – one that can be normally used in our present-day society. It is useless to aspire to an idea of being better than everybody else. The main object is to form an attitude and a new set of responses that permit an even and poised application of oneself to the business of living and not to create new terrain for conflict. Moreover, the new mode of action must before be adjusted to the present environment – even through everybody agrees that our social structure and our education need radical improvement if they are to become suitable for a society of creative, evolving, mature adults."

 

Participants for the Facilitators Workshop Competency Profile Draft in January 2007 at The KDK, Soesteburg, Netherlands Jan. 2007

Germany: Dirk Steinkamp

 

Norway: Kristin Ruder

Anne-Grete Hoper

 

Israel: Anat Aviv – Yeffet

Lior Pessach

 

Italy: Patrizia Leonet

Sonia Amicucci

 

Holland: Marlies Hanebrink

Kitty Oonk

France: Annette Orphal Xavier Laniné

Austria: Claudia Mader

Switzerland: Konrad Wiesendanger

Nadine Yasikoff

Sweden Inger Gunnarson

Lena Gunnarson

 

United States: Keith Johnson

Candace Conino

 

Participants from the Competency Team:

Rineke Brinkhof

Dwight Pargee

Markus Riesen

Cliff Smyth

Wolfgang Säeckl

 

Transition

The transition from the old to the new team took place over the whole workshop. Dwight Pargee and Wolfgang Saeckl took over parts of the workshop, role-played in front of the group, and introduced the feedback-template. This way they introduced themselves to the group.

Monday, 22.01.2007 an intense, one-day-long meeting of the old and the two new project-team-members took place. Documents changed hands. The old team feels, that it is a healthy step to bring in a fresh perspective for the final phase of the project. Dwight and Wolfgang are grateful what a marvellous job the old team did, and Rineke, Markus and Cliff thanked them for taking over the job. Both old and new project team recommend that the advisory committee becomes the hub between the project-team, the IFF-Board, and the IFF-academy. Rineke, Markus and Cliff will be available as consultants –for the project-team as well as for the facilitators. Soon after the meeting, Candace Conino and Anat Aviv-Yeffet were asked to join the competency project team.

 

 

Action Plan / Plan to go forward

  • Facilitator Workshops (Feb. – Aug. 2007), throughout Europe and North America and also at the FGNA Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon USA (workshop facilitators from Argentina, Mexico, Quebec will be invited to attend). The AFG Inc has decided to focus efforts and resources on establishing FPTPs as nationally accredited training programs that will lead to a qualification providing government recognition of the practice of the Feldenkrais Method as a profession in its own right. They will use the Draft Profile as well as the facilitation workshop documents to support this endeavor.

  • Support for Facililtators

 

We will using the IFF-Website for a document archive as well as forum for communication and problem solving for facilitators

  • Gathering the Feedback by 01-Sep-2007

 

Feedback data on the content of the draft will be gathered and analyzed by using a survey monkey (surveymonkey.com)

Additonal Feedback Loop will be participants of developmental workshops (Stuttgart I + II, Hamburg, San Francisco) and an expert pool from the Feldenkrais Community

  • The project team will have an initial meeting with the TAB’s before the IFF Assembly

  • Project Team Meeting Late Fall 2007

Plan integration of feedback

Preparation final draft

 

  • Meeting before 2008 Assembly (Jan/Feb 08)

Finalize draft and presentation

  • Final Draft sent to IFF-members/guilds

  • Presentation at 2008 Assembly

 

 

 

Thank you,

 

IFF ACADEMY COMPETENCY PROJECT TEAM

 

Dwight Pargee

Candace Conino

Wolgand Saeckl

Anat Aviv-Yeffet