This unique educational approach of Girl Guiding combines the use of different educational tools in order to achieve the educational aim of Girl Guiding: to contribute to the development of the full potential and a harmonised personal identity of each individual. The main tool is Girl Guiding Method.
The Educational Programme of AUG was completle reviewed in 2007.
Girl Guide Method used in the Programme:
1 Commitment through the Promise and the Law
Just like every Girl Guide in the world has a Promise and a Law, Ukrainian Girl Guides have their own Promise and Law, which in principle is the same but formulated according to the culture and interpretation of the Ukrainian National Association. The Promise and Law describe the fundamental principles of Girl Guiding regardless of differences in religion, culture and society of the members of the AUG. The original wording of the Promise and the Law were updated, but the fundamental principles they express remain the same. This was made to fit in with modern language usage. Sometimes it is found the wording difficult to understand for girls and therefore not recognized the commitment they are making and consequently not taken it seriously.
The AUG has the only wording of the Promise and the Law for all age sections, but the Programme is worked out in such a way that with increased maturity of the girls the significance and understanding of the values given in the Promise and the Law become deeper.
The Ukrainian Girl Guides Promise
On my honour I promise that I will do my best
To do my duty to my country, Ukraine, and aspire to the highest spiritual ideals
To help other people at all times
To obey the Guide Law.
The Ukrainian Girl Guides Law
A Guide's honour is to be trusted.
A Guide is loyal.
A Guide's duty is to be useful and to help other people.
A Guide is a friend to all, and a sister to every other Guide.
A Guide is courteous.
A Guide is a friend to animals and protects nature.
A Guide is conscientious.
A Guide smiles under all difficulties.
A Guide is thrifty.
A Guide is pure in her thought, word and deed.
2 The Patrol System
The Patrol System implies working in the small group - or patrol - under the leadership of one of their own peers. The average composition of a patrol is 6–10 members of the same age. Each patrol has a Patrol Leader (PL) for the older sections, who is often, but not always, the oldest or most experienced patrol member, whose role is to take on the co-ordination of the work and to train the younger members of the patrol. The PL should be either elected or selected by the other members of the patrol, as a part of basic training in democracy. The PL is not the only member of the patrol who should take responsibility for the patrol. From an early point in their membership, all members should take responsibility for a small aspect of the patrol activities at first, working gradually to the position of a patrol leader. The main characteristics of the patrol system are that it encourages people to learn from others, to help them learn to lead others, and provides an environment where everybody plays a role and has responsibilities.
The educational opportunities stemming from this are numerous, including (in no particular order):
• Involvement – active learning by doing
• Learning with and from others of the same age in a comfortable and familiar environment, promoting team spirit and co-operation
• Development of giving, taking and sharing of responsibilities.
• Acquiring leadership skills.
• Practising democratic skills, including methods of decision-making and implementation.
The training of the PL is the responsibility of the adult leaders of the unit. Some units run special courses or sessions for new PLs held by the Programme and Training Committees of the National Association. Another useful form of training is the continuing discussion of educational programmes, activities, problems and planning of the unit programme in a Patrol Leaders’ Council which is a regular meeting of all the PLs in the unit.
3 Learning by doing
One of the educational tools of Girl Guiding that often distinguishes the Movement as a non-formal educational one is ‘learning by doing’. This means that the individual does things for and by herself, and does not only listen to or observe passively how to do something. Doing something personally means learning faster and better, as the experience is personal and not second-hand. It means making one’s own mistakes and learning from them. This does not mean that a leader should not supervise or show how something is done, but that the Girl Guide should then also try doing herself. The leader is in the role of a supervisor or advisor, not in the role of a ‘superior’ participant. When the tool of ‘learning by doing is in place, the Girl Guide participates, and has a decision-making role to play, in the activities that she undertakes. This can mean having a say in choosing the activities, planning them and carrying them out, depending on her age. Learning by doing encourages better and quicker learning, self-initiative and creativity as it enables the Girl Guide to try something different and to experiment with new ways of doing things.
4 Progressive self-development
While being an educational movement, Girl Guiding does not work in the same way as the formal educational system. One of the most important differences is the fact that Girl Guiding works through a system of progressive self-development for each individual. This means that while a youth programme may be developed and activities suggested by the National Association, District or other body within the Association, the decision and implementation of what to do and how is taken by the individual member. It is left to the Girl Guide to decide in which way she wants to learn and develop, and at what pace. The tool of progressive self-development improves the skills of overall development in 5 inter-related areas:
Intellectual - This aspect of the individual is linked to the process of learning, understanding and representing knowledge, or the ability to understand or deal with ideas and information. This includes developing the abilities for attention, memory, and categorisation of information, often tied in with language development and expressed through vocabulary and comprehension.
Spiritual - This is the aspect related to the deepest thoughts and beliefs the individual holds. It is the belief that a higher force than the physical and natural ones exist. This aspect is closely linked to the values an individual holds and provides guidance for everyday living.
Physical - This is the aspect focusing on the material body, whether qualities, actions or things. This includes health and development through nutrition, hygiene and exercise, but also motor skills and perceptual capacities.
Emotional - These are the aspects of the individual related to her feelings. They can be emotional states such as happiness, anger or fear as a response to an external stimulus, or self-conscious emotions such as shame, pride or guilt caused by a feeling of damage to or encouragement to the sense of self. Emotional development encompasses understanding and responding to the emotions of others, the expression and exchange of emotion, and emotional self-regulation by controlling or managing emotional experiences.
Social - This aspect concentrates on how the individual relates to society and how it is organised, and to the way that various groups within society depend on each other. This includes understanding social rules of behaviour, interacting with other people, and controlling stimulus and reactions of behaviour. It also relates to the principles and values that a person or a society believe to be right, proper or acceptable ways of behaving. These are the values and goals that guide a person through her life.
Symbolism is all the things that unite a group, creating a feeling of belonging and group cohesion. The main symbols within the Girl Guide Movement are the uniform, the Promise and the Law, the Trefoil, and the ‘Be Prepared’ motto. There are also some special symbols in AUG. They are National Emblem, anthem, tie. In AUG it is also foreseen that smaller groups within the Movement can have their symbols such as a Promise ceremony, a patrol song or flag, and a closing ceremony at a camp-fire etc. This method makes the girls feel special, and that she belongs to an identifiable group with its own rules. The Educational Programme includes information about the meaning and history of the symbols. It is very important task for leaders to explain transmit this knowledge so the girls can feel comfortable to wear something symbolic in public or to use symbols, and do not feel to be perceived badly by other people. All the activities are called up to help the girls to love the symbols which represent Girl Guiding.
6 Active co-operation between youth and adults
Unlike the traditional education where the adults play the central part in Girl Guiding Movement their role should not be at the centre, but at the edge. Their role can be different depending on the age of the members that they work with. The younger age section, for example, would need supervision, while the older sections need an occasional advisor. The role of the adult leader changes as the girl gets older from a role of confidante and ‘idol’ as seen by the younger girl, to a role which the older adolescent may perceive as interfering and negative. Leaders must therefore be careful to ensure that the younger girls have a variety of ‘good’ influences in their lives, and later on must not react to adolescent ‘rebellion’ by becoming more authoritarian or indifferent, but instead by giving the girls and young women an opportunity to discuss set values and rules. At this stage if there are valid reasons for accepting different values or rules, the adult should be willing to accept changes.
7 Outdoor activities
The other distinguishing feature of Girl Guiding Movement is the wide use of the outdoors. When the Guide Movement started, the use of the outdoors was almost revolutionary. Today outdoor activities play essential role in society, and its value has not diminished, but even has increased. The Programme includes the variety of outdoor activities that are invaluable in building not only a healthy and active body, but also self-confidence, self-awareness and character because every outdoor activity in our Programme has an educational aim. Basic Girl Guiding activities are camping, survival skills and cooking, exploring, mountain walking, cycling. There are also some special activities which require technically trained leaders, either within the association, or at activity centres or provided by other specialized associations, e.g.; sailing, canoeing, caving, sub aqua, mountain climbing, etc. The other very important outdoor activities the Programme includes are ecological projects.
8 Service in the community
The other very important means of education in Girl Guides Programme is the community service. This kind of activity encourages a sense of responsibility for the world that the Girl Guide lives in, provides her with an opportunity to understand and respect different cultures and ways of living, and emphasises the influence that she as an individual can have on her surroundings. Among the most widespread work is in a neighbourhood, a school, a hospital, with socially or financially deprived groups, the ill, the elderly, the illiterate, etc.