Index: Mission For whom we work Needs History Activities
„Belvárosi Tanoda” Foundation (BTF) was created in 1990 for support, education and care of disadvantaged, endangered youth, dropped out from regular system of education and care. It considers as its main professional task the personality-centred care and teaching – we call it supportive-pedagogy – of 16-25 years old lost young people who dropped out of secondary schools in order to reach their final exams. (The name Tanoda comes from the old Hungarian word for school.)
The Foundation deals with personality development, education, reintegration of youth who are lonely, confused, who are drifting towards self-destructing behavior, and who are about to be lost by life.
BTF is such a complex programme and place that can be visited without any concretely formulated aims in the hope of personal support and development, looking for community life. We strive to realize a kind of re-socialization process, a system of effects affecting the person from all sides. We don’t focus methods, but through the deep relation with the person we are to realize such effects that mirror and offer new, positive patterns of behaviour.
We do not want to change the youth, but rather show a different, new path; with the decision to take that route solely in their own hands.
For whom we work
The main idea of “Belvárosi Tanoda” Foundation is to implement an educational method as a supportive youth institution where education, support and aid are in union. Several young people have been dropped out of the educational system in Hungary. These youngsters have more disorders than an average adolescent, which are manifested in many kinds of life problems: problematic family background, drug and alcohol abuse, juvenile delinquency, mental and personality disorder, learning problems and so on. Among other things they cannot endure their school. Usually they are expelled from their schools because their teachers cannot tolerate their special problems, their unusual personality and their individual demands in teaching/learning and supporting as well. In the traditional schools the most important criteria is the achievement and not the individual! The more sensitive young people cannot exist in this unfeeling atmosphere. They cannot meet the impersonal requirements and cannot accept the intolerant attitude. So they generally drop out of school. This event itself can start a deviant career.
At the same time, our conversations with these deviant youngsters persuaded us of their real knowledge and desire to learn and we thought they could learn, recover and develop in an accepting, tolerant and supportive atmosphere.
The other problem we had felt was the too specialised supportive institute system. This means that each institute is interested in that problem in which it specialises in and not the individual (for example the drug, the unsociable behaviour, the social-, the mental- or the learning problems and so on.).
We believe that the way to treat deviant teenagers is to accept and develop the whole personality at the same time and the same place. It would be an effective supportive system, and this was the basic intention of the “Tanoda-method”. (See also: The supportive pedagogy)
These experiences and ideas were the basis for the establishment of Belvárosi Tanoda Secondary School, which started to operate after one year of preparation work in 1990. This preparation work consisted of different activities. There was a search for a young people program, a staff building program, and a school organisation program.
We began to operate a club for young people who dropped out of school in order to think and form the life of the Tanoda together. We met them twice a week and talked about the school which would be suitable for them and for us as well and we always learned something.
At the same time the staff was organised. The most important considerations were: the helpers’ personality, attitude to marginal people, interest in helping others, capacity of team work, and the appropriate kind of qualification. So-called helper-teachers are working here undertake the role of the facilitator and their help extends to every aspect of students life.
Thus the goals of the Tanoda-method were formed by a collective point of view, based on the opinion and demands of the participants of the club and the staff.
The end of the eighties was the first time for the official possibility to establish foundation schools in Hungary. So we chose this form to gain professional autonomy. Tanoda is an independent, free of charge secondary school.
Our Foundation, in all its activities, creates a type of resocialization process in which we try and create a sytem of influence that has an overall effect on the person. We do not apply a certain methodology, rather, using the meaningful relationship established between each other we try to have those influences which show and reflect a more positive behavior. As the deviant lifestyle is a personal choice, its abandonment should be made the same way. Only this way can the care and the helping work succeed. Therefore, the helping is a creation of such an atmosphere that provides a safe environment and a firm base for a person’s growth.
The fields of our professional activity:
“Belvárosi Tanoda” Secondary School Website of school
“Belvárosi Tanoda” running by the Foundation is a second chance school, where education is free of charge. Study time may last from 1 to 3 years depending on the students’ individual mental state and learning capacity. We have 150 students every year but about 2-300 teenagers come to the Tanoda a year. There is a personal interview with each applicant to decide how we will deal with their problems from now on.
Our main principle is that it is not the student intending to learn who should fit in the school, but it is us who try to fit the institutional framework to his or her needs. The most important elements of our supportive pedagogy method:
Adress: 1056 Budapest, Irányi u.19-23.
Phone: (+36 1) 266 3378
We are the member of Europien Second Chance Schools Assosiation http://www.e2c-europe.org/
From student interviews
“… it’s not sure, that you know, what you want and who you are, when you are 20 years old”
“I don’t want to be told who I must be, but I want my way to be accepted”
“I don’t want to be told, where to go”
“We got help to enhance our self confidence, knowledge, moral. I think the trust was the most important. We felt they trusted us, and we had been eager to be trusted.”
“I got loads of help! I discovered how to live as a whole human being. I found healthy people, well, more-or-less healthy at least, and it was really grateful.”
Supportive pedagogy is such a pedagogical approach and practice which main focus is to understand and accept personality of students and present them with the possibility of changing and development. In this way of thinking the learning-teaching process is also the part of the helping work as an element of the interpersonal relationships among students and teachers. Helping means to create such an atmosphere where students have the possibilty to unfold their personality, skills and genius. In this pedagogical practice teachers are primely facilitators. Their main task is to motivate students, provide them personalized tasks and methods according to their individual needs.
We are convinced that supporting and developing disadvantaged young people should realize in a way of changing and sharing experiences, presenting alternatives, lookig for new ways, co-counselling and not an obligate method or approach.
This belief was motivated us to create and manage the Youth Network and Co-counselling System
„Paradise of (wind)fallen pears” – Complex Youth Helping Model
We published a methodological study in 2008 about the ways of supporting disadvantaged young people in schools. You can read the summary of this book here: Complex Youth Helping Method summary
The description of Complex Model of Youth Care synthetizing similar methodological elements provides a very practical help for experts wishing to apply similar programmes or to develop their own methods. It’s possible to apply only certain elements of the model – as the human resources of the intitutions dealing with the target group allow it.
The model describes how can we treat successfully and effectively the young people hanging about or dropping out, what kinds of methods and activities can be applied, what kinds experts can do that – aiming to support finding their place in the labour market and to help their social re-integration. The model can be applied by intitutions dealing with education end/or employment issues, wishing to improve the situation of young people with fewer opportunities. The basic condition of model’s succes is creation of proper professional-methodological background and personal-material environment.
The key point of the care described in the model, that the education/training is tailored to the personal needs and supported by mentalhygienic, psycho-social treatment, social support, training for labour market, continous after-care and follow up. All these activities must be applied together in a coordinated way, answering above all to the personel needs.
Our trainigs for teachers
Difficult to treat students
Students who are always absent, but it is not better when they are present because they are bored, chatting, packing at , tarring, sleeping…..It is impossible to treat them! Help! What can I do? You may feel familiar with this situations. It would be good to have a receipt what to do. But there is not!
The training provides approaches, ways how we become able to understand, support and motivate students with behavioural and learning problems.
Student-teacher helping relationship
How should I help and talk with my students that they find themselves their own way. What does a helping relationship and discussion mean? We provide a learning by doing course since the method in helping work is YOU.
We look for aswers how a case discussion can be effective and enjoable based on cases bringing by participants.
Burn out and regeneration
Fatigue, apathy, disappointment. What has happened? How we can conjure the enjoyment of our daily work? Is this condition fateful? However what is this? Can we do anything in order to go again enthusiastically to our workplace waiting excitedly the meeting with our collagues? It depends on us or the environment? Discover the changing, the reseources of energy and joy of work with us.