The Three Variants

The three variants

How has the present variant of Suggestopaedia evolved?

The first variant of Suggestopedia (before 1970) is referred to as the clinical variant of Suggestopedia because its emphasis lay heavily on the optimum use of suggestion for the memorisation of a vast amount of words in a foreign language within the framework of scientific research conducted at the Institute of Suggestology. It was virtually a breakthrough in the application of suggestion to learning away from the common practice of clinical suggestion in psychotherapy which combined suggestion with hypnosis.

The second variant (throughout the 1970s and the 1980s) was characterised as global/artistic approach´ because of the introduction of artistic means into the suggestive/desuggestive communicative process which, at the same time, brought about a shift of emphasis from mere memorisation of vocabulary to global language learning and holistic learning of all subjects. This development is owed to Dr. Evelina Gateva, who joined Dr Lozanov in a series of experiments at schools in Bulgaria and Austria to assess the learning outcomes under the influence of art in general and classical art in particular.

As Dr. Gateva put it: “the suggestive power of the arts globally influences, liberates and stimulates the personality” with incredibly high learning outcomes not only in language learning but also in cross-curriculum school education.

It was this variant that earned Suggestopaedia its global reputation as one of the most effective humanistic education methodologies and the recommendation by the UNESCO committee (1978) to be applied worldwide in order to combat illiteracy. (see subpage "the UNESCO Report")

The third variant (1990s till today) is the current variant of Suggestopedia in which most LITTA members were trained. It is known as “Suggestive/Desuggestive Pedagogy” and “Reservopedia”: the pedagogy of the hidden reserves of mind.  While still relying on the art as “the greatest form of suggestion” and observing the principles and means of Suggestopedia, this new development is marked by its emphasis on de-suggesting the personality from the social suggestive norm that “our mental abilities are considerably limited” and liberating it from other possible pathological suggestions. This freeing of the personality is now being pursued not only by artistic means but also with the liberating power of “humanistic love” that is naturally and genuinely suggested by the teacher’s attitude.  As a consequence the role of the teacher changes from a more distant, outstanding, somewhat authoritative person to a friendly facilitator of a student-centered process.