Description

The kaleidoscope of experience is a reflexive game promoting self-knowledge. It is in the form of a double-disk in invercote satin paper, the size of a CD. Through this dynamic aspect, it stimulates your reflection on your own experience, and allows you to see life from different angles.

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Easy to handle and funny, the kaleidoscope of experience multiplies the points of view to illuminate personal experience. It calls for focusing attention on the links between the dimensions of your own experience, and thus helps you sometimes see unsuspected things. It enlightens and stimulates different ways of seeing.

The kaleidoscope of experience stems from a theoretical model (the "actor's system") developed by Daniel Stoecklin, Professor of sociology (www.unige.org/cide), as part of his research with children in difficult situations. He develops the model to promote scientific knowledge and processes of personal and social development.

His theory of the "actor's system" was materialized as a practical tool : the kaleidoscope of experience. The relevance of the theoretical model and practical tool is demonstrated : the first interviews conducted privately and exploratory talks in the context of a university research (2009) confirmed their relevance and usefulness to reflect the lived reality. The tool has also proved useful for the consultation (focus groups) of children and youth in Finland, Moldova and Slovakia, as part of the project " Building a Europe for and with children", conducted by the Council of Europe (see under publications). It was used in an exploratory research on children's recreation in Western Switzerland (2012), and is currently deployed in a subsequent research supported by the National Fund for Scientific Research in Switzerland (2015-2016).

The kaleidoscope of experience is equally suitable for a personal analysis as for use as part of a project involving various actors who can reflect on their experiences through this reading grid. The generality of the concepts and techniques of this tool makes it relevant for a wide variety of applications.

The name « Kaleidoscope of experience » was chosen because this disk stimulates reflections and refractions of one’s own aspects of experience. By putting the disc in different positions it raises new images, refracting and bringing out different and renewed meanings about the lived experience. This kaleidoscope of a new kind therefore entails (re)considering mental "images" about your experience.

The five dimensions of the kaleidoscope of experience (and hence the "actor 's system") are fundamental dimensions of human experience : activities, relationships, values​​, images of self, motivations. One cannot act if any of these dimensions would be lacking.

They are all related to each other interdependently. The dimensions of experience are part of a whole, they do not exist in isolation from each other. It is therefore not possible to reduce the human experience to the preponderance of one of these dimensions without considering the role and importance of the others. Each dimension of experience and influenced by others and influences them in turn, in direct and indirect ways. The links between aspects of our experience are « systemic » : each change affects all and leads to a rebalancing process. So we can say that the only stable thing in our life is change ! ...

The kaleidoscope of experience provides a convenient medium for reflection by facilitating concentration on the dimensions of experience, taken three to three, thanks to the primary colors (red, yellow and blue). You can reflect on an experience, a life situation, an event, a desire in "entering" into one dimension and then see many things that are connected together. This expands the sight and allows to come out from an interpretation of reality that is sometimes too narrow or focused on aspects that hide other things.

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But that's not all! As a removable disk, the kaleidoscope of experience is a tool that allows a dynamic reflection. By turning colors, one can make triangulations that illuminate the experience from different angles. Then one sees that the same event can be understood in a much more nuanced way and that there is no simple determinism or causality: each aspect of  experience is both cause and consequence of other dimensions.

This is a support for reflection : it gives no answer, it only raises questions, ideas, astonishments. The ability to reflect on oneself is a potential that each human receives at birth and which is just waiting to be cultivated and developed. This tool is there for your own thinking. You can use it, then leave it, rest a while and recommence at your will to pursue your interpretations, thoughts, assumptions, impressions and tentative answers.

The kaleidoscope of experience is very convenient for you to analyze your own personal situation. The distinctive advantage of this tool is that it allows to perfectly preserve personal privacy, protected from outside observation or third party intervention. Meanwhile, you may also want to share thinking about yourself or others with a trusted person (accompanied use).

The kaleidoscope of experience is a multiplier of thoughts and thus it opens spaces of freedom. What makes us free is not in the external environment. Freedom is the freedom of thought. A person is not free because there would be no obstacles to his or her wishes, but goes towards freedom when exerting his/her most valuable asset : the ability to think.

Through the diversification of angles, the kaleidoscope of experience helps « read » the past and glimpses of new directions for the future. You will certainly learn new things about yourself and you may therefore develop your own ability to actively steer your life.

The dimensions of experience :

Activities

Activities are what we do in practice : working, playing sports, visiting an exhibition, traveling, listening to music, watching movies, cleaning, filing, sorting, storing, resting, producing, selling, buying, giving, receiving, reading, writing, sending a postcard, eating, sleeping, dreaming, making love, celebrating, watching, assisting, preparing, driving a car, fliping through a magazine , walking, ...

Relations

The relations encompass the links you have with others : family, friends, animals, teachers, co-workers, members of an association, visitors, correspondents, administrations, authorities, public, …

Values

The values ​​are principles or moral standards referred to by an individual or a particular group of people at a given time :  affection, assistance, friendship, love, authenticity, kindness, bravery, capital, fame, competition, courage, resourcefulness, law, the ecology, efficiency, effort, fertility, fidelity, faith, strength, generosity, heroism, hierarchy, honesty, youth, justice, loyalty, struggle, luxury, merit, peace, sharing, power, obedience, opulence, helpfulness, respect, recognition, science, solidarity, self-control, transparency, usefulness, old age, …

Images of self

Self-images are representations that the individual has of himself according to the gaze of others. They reflect socially attributed and claimed personal qualities : friendly, authentic, beautiful, silly, good, calm, famous, competent, courageous, funny, effective, energetic, aesthetic, weak, loyal, strong, generous, graceful, tall, fat, clever, heroic, stupid, impatient, impetuous, unfair, intellectual, smart, young, happy, just, honest, awkward, manual, thin, ugly, negative, nervous, obsessive, peaceful, small, shy, positive, respectful, funny, sentimental, supportive, sporty, silly, talented, fearful, sad, helpful, old, violent, vulnerable, ...

Motivations

The motivations are reasons to do or not do something. Individuals act simultaneously "because of ..." and " in order to ...". They are (re)thinking to past events and project into the future, and thus they develop "grounds" from which they direct their activities.