Safer social space principles on HILMA online courses

HILMA online courses are defined as safer social spaces for learning.

We follow the principles that were created together with the students of the Feminist Pedagogy course (2017-2018). We follow these principles in both web conversations and possible face-to-face meetings. You may discuss the principles in the group and mould them to serve your needs.

  1. We are all different and unique. We all come from different backgrounds, and have different preferences, life situations, interests and personalities. We are committed to respecting each other’s differences and right to self-definition.
  2. That’s why we avoid making assumptions about each other. We do not presume. We can’t know what other people have experienced, their thoughts, life situations or self-defined identity. We try to recognise and be aware of our own assumptions; we listen, are open and give everyone the space they need to process things.
  3. We are polite and thoughtful when commenting on other people’s points of view. We focus on listening and do not get personal. Any criticism must always be justifiable and not personally directed.
  4. We get to know the other members of our group and form an understanding of the group’s mutual aims. We are sensitive about differences between participants and actively deconstruct social hierarchies.
  5. When discussing and sharing thoughts and experiences, we respect each other’s privacy. Discussions are confidential.
  6. We take into account different kinds and styles of participation. We encourage participation but also allow space to stay in the background. When another person is talking, we concentrate on listening.
  7. We create a positive and encouraging atmosphere. We orientate ourselves towards others with good will and let everyone participate from where they are at. We are on the course to learn together. It is worth remembering that we all come from different educational backgrounds and discussions. The starting level must not be too high.
  8. We are allowed to ask stupid questions and make mistakes, but can always trust that we will receive constructive feedback, learn and move on. Let’s give each other room to make mistakes and strive to be compassionate towards ourselves and others.
  9. Discriminatory or oppressive language is not allowed. We take responsibility for difficult situations together.

(Approved at the HILMA board meeting on 15 March 2019)