Reciprocal Maieutic Approach

The Reciprocal Maieutic Approach (RMA) is a dialectic method of inquiry and “popular self-analysis” for empowerment of communities and individuals that was put into practice by Dolci from the 50s onwards, and in now the field of the Centro per lo Sviluppo Creativo. It can be defined as a “process of collective exploration that takes, as a departure point, the experience and the intuition of individuals” (Dolci, 1996). The RMA was developed by Danilo Dolci from the Socratic concept of Maieutic. It derives from the ancient Greek “μαιευτικός”, pertaining to midwifery: every act of educating is like giving birth to the full potential of the learner who wants to learn, as a mother wants her child to emerge from her. Socratic maieutic compares the philosopher to a “midwife of knowledge” that does not fill the mind of the student with information but helps him to reach the light, by using dialogue as a dialectic instrument to reach out the truth. What differentiates both concepts is the fact that Socrates’ Maieutic was unidirectional, while for Danilo Dolci the concept of knowledge comes from experience and a reciprocal relationship is necessary.

RMA as practised by Danilo Dolci is therefore based on asking, exploring, and shared creativity. As the name says, RMA is a “reciprocal” process between at least two persons and it is normally done inside a group, with one person that asking questions and others giving answers. In an intense dialogue that incarnates a new way of educating based on valorisation of individual and group creativity, the maieutic process focalises on the ability of individuals to discover their vital interests and freely express thoughts based on personal experience and discovery. The maieutic workshop requires individuals to question themselves, to reveal themselves to others, and to undertake a journey of joint discovery, analysis, experimentation, and collective creative education.

In BOEMI, the RMA will be put in practice through music: music and instruments will take the place of the “words”, in order to build an intercultural dialogue based on harmonies and musical creativity, empowering participants practicing it.