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Founder of Psychomotor Practice
Aucouturier (PPA®)

Bernard Aucouturier (1934 Tours France) is the founder of the "Pratique psychomotrice educative preventive et d’aide thérapeutique".
He was professor and director of the Centre for Specialized Physical Education in Tours, France. He is the founder of the European Association of Schools of Psychomotor Practice. For his thesis he received the award from the Belgian Ministry of Youth and Sports. 

He soon became interested in the analysis of movement and psychomotricity. Psychomotricity is based on the interrelationship between motor functions and the psychic life (mind) of the individual. The body is considered as the anchor of sensorimotor, emotional, cognitive and social experiences. He began reading the works of the likes of Freud, Winnicott Piaget, Klein, Vygotsky, Erikson, Bowlby and Rogers along with some of the great pedagogues such as
Montessori, Freinet and Decroly.

Aucouturier went to work as a physical education teacher in Lyons but this profession did not hold much interest for him. He then started working
with a team in Tours that re-educated deaf children. Aucouturier then decided to work with children who had learning or physical disabilities. He
worked and did his research for 35 years in Tours, where he created the psychomotor practice from the observation of the children he worked with. 
His research was and still is ongoing. He collaborated on an interdisciplinary basis with psychologists, neuropsychiatrists and psychoanalysts who
brought their particular views to his research.

Aucouturier then moved to Tours, where Jean Le Bouch and Pierre Vayer had just started to develop the first theories and the concept of psychomotricity. They were heavily influenced by the theories of Jean Piaget and Henry Wallen (both developmental psychologists) who underlined the important role of movement, action and “tonic dialogue” in the acquisition of all developmental stages, emotional and cognitive abilities. They were also influenced by the theories of D H Winnicott who stressed the importance of the environment (“the holding environment”) and by De Ajuriaguerra.

Aucouturier’s training and programme is called the PPA® (Psychomotor Practice Aucouturier). This programme allows the child to work towards their own emotional well being by developing a positive self image and by building their self confidence. It is aimed at inspiring and encouraging creativity which is crucial at the present moment. It gives them tools to cope with frustration and enables them to communicate, to grow and hone their social skills, and to be happy within in their own body In this day and age where it is imperative to be able to communicate and emotional intelligence is a highly valued skill to have, Psychomotor is able to provide the chance for children to develop that.

Historical Milestones of Psychomotor Education in South Africa

MICHELE KOCHELEFF and ROSSELLA MEUSEL started informative talks about the Programme in 1997 at the local schools in Pietermaritzburg,
South Africa. 

They also approached the Department of Education of KwaZulu Natal in 1998 In the same year Ridge Junior Primary School implemented the
course in the Pre-primary section, with the help of the Psychomotor Education Institute Later Ferncliffe Montessori opened the doors followed by other
local schools.
In 1999 the first training course for teachers, based on 12 modules over a period of a year, started in South Africa, and Durban and
Pietermaritzburg schools have been involved. 

Two more training courses followed in 2001 and 2004 teachers thereafter introduced the programme successfully in their schools.
In 2002 Michele and Rossella setup the PESSA (Psychomotor Education Society of South Africa). In 2004 an upgraded course was introduced
for Supervisors.

In June 2005 a trust was formed under the number IT 1087 2005 /PMB.

In 2008 the Psychomotor Education Program was trademarked under the registration number 2004 07408.

In 2009 PEISA  trained  Psychomotor educators in Dalton Bridge Area.  This was sponsored by the Dalton Education Trust.  

In 2011, people  in charge of eleven crèches were trained in the Umvoti area (Greytown). This project was sponsored by Worldvision.

In February 2012,Peisa became affiliated to the Internationale Aucouturier School (EIA Ecole Internationale Aucouturier).

Michele Kocheleff
Co director and trustee

Belgian, born in Republique Democratique du Congo, she completed her matric in Brussels, Belgium and graduated in
Physiotherapy in 1959.Her qualifications include a Psychomotor Education Course. She specialized in ante and post natal education. 
In 1975 she moved to Burundi where she worked as a Psychomotor and Physical Educator in the Belgian and French
Schools in Bujumbura for 20 years. During this time she also ran a private Physiotherapy practice.
In 1990 she started working in the SOS Children Village, where she trained teachers in Psychomotor Education. She successfully
initiated a psychomotor workshop for toddlers and parents. In 1996 she came to South Africa where she has co initiated the
Psychomotor Education Programme in various schools as well as Teacher Training and has established Toddler Workshops, in
the Pietermaritzburg and Durban area.

Since 1975 Michele has had updates with psychomotor seminars in Belgium, France and Italy.

In 2011 sponsored by World Vision, and with the help of her colleague Mary Lou Kemp, she has introduced the psychomotor program in the creches and pre-primary schools of the Umvoti area.

In 2013 she has been accredited as trainer in PPA Psychomota Practice Aucouturier by the "Internationale Aucouturier School" (E.I.A).

Rosella Meusel
Co director and trustee

In 1992 she obtained a doctoral degree in Educational Psychology in Italy. Since then Rossella has been working in
schools in Italy and was a delegate of non government organizations, when she moved to South Africa, in the section for
health and education improvement. Her strong interest in children and in community work saw her engaging in various
communities, working towards the prevention of possible difficulties in situations of adversity. She later obtained a Master’s
Degree in Educational Psychology in South Africa and specialized in Developmental Psychology.

She has been a part time lecturer in the UKZN School of Psychology and organized workshops on various topics for the Child and Family Centre.

She is currently working for PEISA to train teachers and at the University of KwaZulu-Natal as a Psychologist. She also co operates with an Associate Psychologists Practice in Pietermaritzburg as a Child Psychologist. Her areas of expertise are working with children, play therapy, working with families, psycho education for parents, assessments and childhood developmental difficulties.
In 2013 she has been accredited as trainer in PPA Psychomotor Practice Aucouturier by the "Internationale Aucouturier School "(E.I.A).

Lynn Freestone
Trustee of PEISA

Born in Zimbabwe, where she received her formal education. After leaving Townsend High School she trained as a Foundation Phase Teacher at the Teachers College in Bulawayo.
In 1978 she went on to obtain a BED Degree from the University of Zimbabwe, majoring in Special Education. 
Later, after moving to South Africa, with her husband, in 1996 she obtained a Diploma in Educational Guidance from the Rand Afrikaans
University in Gauteng.

She has worked in a variety of Government and Private Pre primaries, Junior Primary and Senior Primary schools in Pietermaritzburg for over thirty years. 

She has also been a full time lecturer for two years at Varsity College, heading up the Unisa BEd Programme.
It was during this time she obtained her HBEd majoring in Inclusive Education.
From 2010 2020 she has been the Principal of Sunnylea Pre primary School.

In 2011 Sunnylea became the Psychomotor Centre and base for the Psychomotor Institute. All the teachers at Sunnylea have been trained in the Level 2 Psychomotor Education and the Non Violent Communication. Non Directive Method of instruction has been incorporated into the school Curriculum Teacher training, observation workshops, meetings and the library are all housed at Sunnylea. 

Should anyone wishing to find out more about the Centre, please contact Penny the school secretary on 033 345 4731.
In 2013 she has been accredited as trainer in PPA (Psychomotor Practice Aucouturier by the "Internationale Aucouturier School" (E.I.A).

Karmen Thumbadoo
Trustee of PEISA

She served her articles at Ditz Incorporated from 1987 where she continued to practise as an attorney until 1991, later, qualified as a
conveyancer and in 1992 she moved to Pietermaritzburg where she practised as a conveyancer. During this time she also qualified and
practised as notary public with the firm Lynn and Berrange until 1995 when she ceased practice, on the birth of her first child.

She remained home, as a full time mother during which time each of her children was privileged to be a part of the Psychomotor Education Programme, and the youngest child is still enthusiastically a part of the said programme. She resumed practice in the year 2004 specialising in conveyancing and notarial practice.