Here is a resource for educators, youth workers, mental health professionals, social workers, juvenile justice counsellors and anyone involved with young people. Reflexions is a set of cards that use contemporary street and techno style photo collage and graphics to deepen conversations on the issues that concern young people.
A single word accompanied by graphics guide participants to identify and name reactions to their circumstances. Especially important for boys struggling to express their emotions. Published by Innovative Resources 2001, Booklet author: Russell Deal, Designer & photographer: Tim Lane, 32 laminated, full-colour cards, 210 x 148mm, polypropylene box, 24-page booklet. For further information, card examples and articles on this resource please click the more info arrow below
Reflecting with Reflexions
I work as a student teacher in ‘special needs’ for four hours a week at a private catholic college in South Australia. Since the start of this year I have worked with a Year 8 boy who has trouble understanding ‘social norms’. For example when a child brushed past him in class one day he felt attacked so reacted by punching him back. Most of my work with him takes place in the classroom but once a week we go to a LAP room.
One particular day, the student was very upset about me helping him. He was displaying anger, frustration, confusion and I wasn’t sure if this was because of me or if other stuff was going on. We made our way to the room, and I said we need to talk about this. He said he didn’t want to, that he was just ‘not happy’. On our way through, I found the packet of Reflexions cards that had been recently purchased by the school’s LAP coordinator. I brought these out onto the balcony and sitting together I opened them up and asked him to go through the cards and pick out all of the ones that represented how he was feeling. I was thinking, Gosh, he’s going to have so many that he picks. I’m sure he’ll pick angry, frustrated, disappointed, confused, sad, lonely, etc. To my surprise, he picked out only one card. It read ‘Different’.
For 30 minutes we talked about the crux of his feelings. He hated feeling different to everyone else. I was both touched and amazed at how these simple cards had allowed this young man to convey his deepest feelings. It also opened up for us a space in which we could tackle some of the issues surrounding ‘difference’. I would never have suggested that he would be feeling that way, but on reflection it makes perfect sense. This also seems like an opportunity we may not have had otherwise
Damien Vahlis, Secondary teacher
Working with school leavers
The Gold Coast Youth Commitment is a network of agencies committed to finding ways to support young people complete twelve years of education, or its vocational equivalent. We have found St Luke’s Innovative Resources’ materials to be fantastic in working with young people who may be considering leaving school early.
In September last year we received funding from the Department of Family and Community Services to facilitate four trials under the Innovative and Collaborative Youth Servicing Pilots. These include a free 1800 information and referral number for young people living in the Gold Coast area, a resource pool, a mentoring program and a career development program.
An important aspect of the trials was the facilitation of young people’s participation. The stickers published by St Luke’s Innovative Resources were used to assist communication and to open up dialogue. Team members also used the resources in a training program aimed at assisting at-risk young people to learn about tenancy issues, rights and responsibilities. The Reflexions cards really helped a group of homeless young people open up and express their feelings about their current situation and the challenges that they were experiencing.
Overall, the St Luke’s cards and stickers have enabled us to deliver our programs to young people in a respectful, non-intrusive and fun way and to facilitate rapport and relationship-building between members of the groups and with the workers. The card packs and stickers are great resources which are only limited by our own imagination!
Chris Collins, Project Officer, Gold Coast Youth Commitment
Reflexions in the Kimberley
I am a teacher at Yiyili Aboriginal Community School located in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, and have found Reflexions cards very useful for working with the young people in my secondary school class.
Thinking abstractly about feelings is a difficult step for indigenous students to take and these cards provide them with the means to access more complex moral ground rather than dichotomic (good/bad) type thinking.
We use them in a wide variety of ways:
• In story and script writing activities to help define our character’s personalities and strengths.
• To provide vocabulary to discuss thoughts and feelings in narratives we study in English.
• To think about qualities we have that could help in making career choices.
• To consider consequences of actions and ways to support friends involved in risk-taking behaviours in drug education classes.
• To support word recognition for beginning readers.
My thanks to Innovative Resources for these great tools for working with young Aboriginal people.
Mer info på: http://innovativeresources.org/resources/card-sets/reflexions/