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Malcho Malchev

Malcho Malchev

M.Malchev, Professor, Dr.Habil. Lecturer in Theory and Methods of Physical Education and Sport at St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Turnovo and Konstantin Preslavski University of Shumen.

D.Tsonkova, Associate Professor, PhD, Lecturer in Theory and Methods of Physical Education and Sport at the Education Faculty of St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Turnovo

Integrative Approach in TEACHING PANEURHYTHMY

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Integrative Approach in Teaching Paneurhythmy Integrative Approach in Teaching Paneurhythmy

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Malcho Malchev, Dimitrinka Tsonkova, Lyudmil Petrov


Using the term "Paneurhythmy" until 1989 and much later was shrouded in mystery and there was a strange understanding that it was about something out order and too far-fetched from our philosophic understanding of modern life. In this line of thinking, without studying the comprehensive reasons for these unclear notions, we have to admit that the basic one of those was strongly protected by the heavy ideological curtain of the communist doctrine. That is why we allowed ourselves to start our paper with Petar Danov's words: "...this is the Great Oecumenical Harmony of movement...".

Today, in conditions of spiritual pluralism and democratic development of our educational system, objectively and duly Paneurhythmy is understood and accepted as a System of harmonious development of man and society. With the active assistance of NSA "Vasil Levsky" as early as in 2001, on 10 October, in the big hall of the Russian cultural-and-information center, the "Paneurhythmy" Association held the First scientific conference on Paneurhythmy. Later an Institute for studying and applying Paneurhythmy was established and a couple of scientific events were held in which there participated a number of prominent Bulgarian scholars. Using "... both the primary sources for its establishment and development and its links and relations with a number of specific sciences...", they gradually shaped the methodology of Paneurhythmy, its subject matter and what needs to be studied [4]. In this period of almost 10 years, based on the systematic-and-structural approach and the system-and-functional analysis, we can accept that Paneurhythmy is a system combining movement, music, poetical text and it is performed in a group in nature. Exactly the same, expressed through the conceptual tool of the Theory of physical training means that Paneurhythmy is a system of specific content, means, methods and forms for comprehensive impact on man. What is more - there are serious attempts for introducing Paneurhythmy in the sphere of physical training in school, there are ideas for structuring the nuclei of the teaching content and so on. All this provoked our interest and we set up the following particular objective.

Our objective isto explain the essence of the integrative approach and its application in teaching Paneurhythmy.


It is known that as early as the beginning of XXI C integration processes have been strongly revealed in science, production and the various spheres of social practice.In the field of education the idea of the integrative approach is rather old. For the first time it was suggested by J, Komensky in his treatise "Great didactics". Many prominent pedagogues supported it: John Locke, Johann Pestalozzi, A. Disterweg, K. Ushanski and others [1, 2, 6]. The idea was developed by a number of modern scholars round the world who point out the types of integrative education and prove its advantages.

Integrative education is based on the following scientific principles:

  • Unity and entirety of the world expressed in mutual links, determination and reason in the processes and phenomena in material and spiritual aspect.
  • Everything that is mutually connected has to be taught and studied in this relation.

The basic advantagesof the integrative approach are:

  • It does not pinpoint the trainees' attention on a particular field of a certain subject matter
  • It does not restrict their sensory horizon.
  • It offers a global view on things and phenomena.
  • There are conditions created for selecting facts out of a broad variety of information.

From the point of view of this understanding the unique thought of Petar Danov reveals the significance of Paneurhythmy for the general education theory: “Paneurhythmy is a science that regulates the physical, spiritual and mental functions of a person. It is a method of the sensible creatures for self-schooling” [3, 6].

Paneurhythmy is considered to be a spiritual practice that has a favorable influence on the physical and spiritual health of a person through making a comprehensive relation between the powers of the Spirit, the soul and the body. In practicing Paneurhythmy one nourishes on the living energies of Nature and comes into synchrony with the natural rhythm.

Paneurhythmy exercises are in harmony with the creative cosmic rhythm which builds and organizes all Nature that is why they have a mighty expressive and multi-functional impact:

  1. They are accumulators through which one connects himself with the creative and life-giving powers of Nature, he accepts these and they help his all-round development.
  2. The exercises activate all sleeping powers in the human soul, wake them up for life and creative activity.
  3. Paneurhythmic exercises are of such characteristic that through them a man sends strengths, thoughts and ideas to the world and all these continue functioning recreating there.
  4. They stimulate building up healthy habits , aspiration for self-perfection and acquiring virtues.

After all through the philosophy, the tools and methods of Paneurhythmy a Human achieves harmony with himself, with the outer world and his sense of well being increases.

The integrative approach in teaching Paneurhythmy is based on the clearly expressed integrative principles of Paneurhythmy itself (fig. 1).

Figure 1 Integrative Functions of Paneurhythmy

Integrative Functions of Paneurhythmy

- Educational
- Upbringing
- Communicative
- Aesthetic
- Biological and Physical
- Health and Prophylactic
- Correction and Recreational
- Entertaining and Refreshing
More specifically one can view them like this:
  • The educational functions of Paneurhythmy are aimed at gathering and enlarging knowledge, skills and attitude to:
  • building up a visual notion of man’s movements;?
  • enlarging knowledge in natural science and anatomy;
  • observing and regulating perceptions based from making exercises;
  • being aware and forming readiness for communication with nature and ecological behavior aimed at preserving it.
  • The upbringing functions are based on the fact that the intellectual and motor activity of people practising Paneurhythmy guarantees forming universal values and social-and -moral development:
  • love, freedom, experience, timing, following the methods of nature;
  • very emotional, rich and humanitarian spirituality;
  • moral notions, skills and feelings that turn into beliefs and conscious norms of behaviour;
  • realising national identity and ethnic tolerance;
  • forming skills for teamwork.
  • The communicative functions are most explicitly revealed in performing the Paneurhythmic exercises. The efficiency and the directions of realisation of the communicative functions show postive results like:
  • enlarging the diagnostics of non-verbal signals;
  • development of interpersonal relations and affirming a model of communication;
  • responsibility to the act of communication;
  • forming skills for teamwork.
  • The Aesthetic functions
  • Nature in all its aspects can be a favorite plot in people’s pictures; on the pictures people depict what has impressed and excited them and in practicing Paneurhythmy there many moments like this;
  • the aesthetic sense in a man is stimulated in a natural way that makes his spiritual world more harmonious in the process of seeking and experiencing beauty in nature.
  • Biological-and-physical functions:
  • the biological-and-physical functions are directly linked with the general health and functional condition of people who practice Paneurhythmy regularly.
  • this activity exerts favorable influence for the development of motor qualities and physical aptitude.
  • Paneurhythmy influences favorably neuro-psychic reactions.
  • Health-and-prophylactic functions. Paneurhythmy helps health training of people in the following aspects:
  • for gathering health knowledge;
  • for studying the character and dimension of positive physical stress as well as skills for regulating it;
  • for the need of systematic and consistent approach of impact;
  • singleness of impact;
  • creating and keeping up hygienic habits [8, 9].
  • Entertaining and refreshing functions
  • practicing Paneurhythmy has a favorable impact on one’s self-confidence, liveliness and mood;
  • the positive changes in these psychic characteristics are due to the exercises and songs in Paneurhythmy.

The proved positive effect of the practice is an argument to carry out purposeful training in Panuerhythmy for people of all ages. In school age it can be done in various forms of training with integrative character (fig. 2). Irrespective of their specifics the activities in this training are interdependent and aimed at achieving a concise effect on the physical, intellectual and spiritual development of adolescents. Particularly suitable is to combine training in Paneurhythmy with tourist and sport activities outdoors, as well as with educational activities in conditions different from the ones in the traditional school atmosphere. All this enriches and enlarges the opportunities of integrative training as a modern tendency in the field of education.

(Fig 2) Forms of training in Paneurhythmy of integrative character in combination with other activities:

  • tourism
  • green school
  • ski vacation
  • excursion
  • sport and entertainment holidays
  • outdoors educational activities

In lieu of conclusion

Irrespective of the limited size of the material presented, the authors think that they have revealed to a sufficient degree the essence of the integrative aopproach and its application in teaching Paneurhythmy. This approach enables one to break didactic patterns with more resolution and learn modern models for interaction with adoelscents, to interact with nature and increase their motor activity. In awe of the ideas and wisdom of the Teacher, we allow ourselves to quote his revelation: «This who likes to exercise his thoughts, to become a strong man of thinking, who wants to become strong in spirit, who wants to have a healthy body, by all means has to practice. One's health depends on bright thoughts, warm feelings and right deeds.»

Literature used

1., . . ., 1987.2., . . . ., , 1996.3., . . ., 1993.4., ., . , . . // “ ”. ., 2001.5., ., . , . . // “ ”.

6., . . . ., , 1957.7., ., . , . . // “ ” – . ., 2003.8., . . . ., 1999.9., . // . , 2001., 1, . 14. 

Published in: 

Introducing Paneurhythmy: Fit, Creative and Social with the Bulgarian System for Recreation.  Ed. Petrov, L.,  VelikoTarnovo, St. Cyril and St.Methodius University Press: 2010