European Heart Project
When one or more of our basic needs are not met or are threatened, we react with discomfort. This discomfort manifests itself in unpleasant feelings. Unpleasant feelings move us to action to restore emotional balance. In the course of our lives, we develop behaviours and strategies with which we react to unpleasant situations. But these strategies are not always appropriate, i.e. suitable to fulfil our threatened basic need.
Many misunderstandings, problems and conflicts arise because people use inappropriate behaviours or strategies to get their unpleasant feelings back under control. In order to learn in time to establish adequate behaviours and strategies, it is important to start as early as possible to perceive one’s own basic needs and to recognise when they are unfulfilled or threatened.
People can understand and support each other much better at the level of needs than at the level of strategies.
Based on these considerations, we have developed innovative competence-oriented materials for democracy education for use in schools (secondary level 1 and 2) in the European Heart project.
The products are suitable to bridge the cultural, religious and political diversity of the pupils, to reduce the propensity for violence in the classroom and thus to make class management much easier. Existing conflicts can be addressed and viewed on a completely new level and no longer have to be “swept under the carpet”, as the method has a de-escalating and unifying effect.
The European Heart materials can be used not only in the classroom, but also within the teachers’ college and as an instrument of quality assurance within the framework of school development.
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