session 1

 introductions 

The introductory session is an important one. Participants come with their own Contexts and understanding(s) of what the words ‘Experiential’, ‘Education’ and ‘Learning’ mean. There is curiosity, anxiety, apprehension and excitement in the air. Its Thick! It can be felt!

Through an introductory process, the group discovers some things about one another, their histories and aspirations through story-telling. Building an acceptance of the group they are going to be with for the next 9 months is an important part of group process. Participants are invited to articulate their expectations from the course, and define roles for themselves and the Facilitator.

Some of the models that give grounding to the field of experiential education are discussed. A partial list includes:

  • Colin Beard’s 6 dimensions

  • 3 C’s in the context of being an Educator (equals being Facilitator, Teacher, Trainer, Parent, anybody influencing another).

  • What lies between Education & Adventure?

  • Activity vs Experience

  • Different Learning styles - a perspective

  • Models of Learning theories in the EE (Experiential Education Context)

  • Activities to illustrate the connection between behaviour and learning.

  • Relationship between Intention/Purpose, Attachment and Outcome.

The participants are made part of a Learning Management System:

  • Which allows me to share Content, to keep a dialogue open for the months to come,

  • For you to journal at the end of every session,

  • For you to make smaller discussion groups for projects and

  • For the planning of the final Outdoor session run by YOU!

 session 2 

 principles & perspectives 

This module is intended to offer the group a perspective about where this methodology comes from. A discussion about what enabled each of us to learn when we are children, and how that has affected and informs our current opinion about education. Most educators Teach the way they were Taught, not how they Learned.

We visit Kurt Hahn’s world ( looked up to as the father of experiential education), and how the principles he practiced in his schools affected a whole generation of Experiential, Outdoor and Adventure educators.

John Dewey’s work is familiar to many in theory; but what does it look like in practice? 

Aspects introduced in this module begin to look at how the inner world of the Educator affects her classroom.

  • The struggle with Facilitation

  • Challenge by Choice

  • Invitational Education

  • Experience and Adventure

  • Facilitative & Conceptual approaches to Processing

  • Flow theory

Activities set up by the Facilitator are processed by the participants. The intention is to get a sense about how many different ways anything could be made meaningful for our audiences.

 session 3 

 outdoor 1 

This is the first outdoor session of 2 that we conduct. This one is run by me. I set up the activities, and run the reviews for reflection. The intent is for the group to get a sense of how activities are used to create experiences. An activity by itself intentionally does nothing. The reflection is what helps give meaning to it - not one meaning to all, but each one finds a relevance in their own lives.

Any activity we do has a place in a sequence. When run well, the activities help groups move from anxiety and apprehension to understanding, camaraderie and bonding. Any activity affects the Head, Heart and the Hand. These 2 days help us understand how we can tweak activities to affect as much of the participant as possible.

Knowing your activities, and having a wide range to choose from plays a huge part in how an learning experience is received. They have a big role to play in the creation of Safe Learning Environments.

You will be introduced to:

  • PIES in the context of Safe environments

  • The Body-Brain Connection

  • Using SEL principles to process

  • The Adventure wave with demonstrated activities.

  • Group development theory - Drexler & Sibbet

 session 4 

 group development 

The practice of Experiential methodology is rooted in Group Development, although ways are being explored to apply the methods in Coaching, Counseling and 1-on1’s.

Here we look at changing work culture over the last century, and how our understanding of group development has moved. To work effectively with groups, an understanding of how groups and individuals within groups learn is absolutely necessary.

  • What motivates people? Groups?

  • What has the brain got to do with Learning?

  • Social - Emotional Learning. How can we apply it?

  • Ways of optimising experiences for learners.

  • The importance of Facilitation in Learning. 

  • The struggle with Facilitating well.

Participants are invited and encouraged to practice facilitating the group through activities. It can be intimidating or exciting, but it certainly offers each one of us a mirror view of our own styles and ability.

 session 5 

 conflict 

“Consciously we teach what we know.

Unconsciously we teach who we are"

One of the most exciting sessions for me, and possibly the most eye-opening one for the group. Traditionally, education has been a transfer of knowledge (Content). The assumption is that if you do well in exams, you are intelligent; and all schooling systems are geared to that ONE end!

Brain-Body research suggests that emotions are the gateway to Learning. How I FEEL about something has the ability to affect how I learn. Here we try to understand the nature of conflict within, and outside us, and how it affects our Facilitation style.

  • Dealing with conflict - in the group / within oneself.

  • Conflict inventory.

  • Principles of Conflict - deteriorating relationships, Solutions and approaches.

  • Dealing with Conflict in Groups & role-plays.

  • The Play of Power in Facilitation.

 session 6 

 processing 

Helping participants find meaning in what they experience, and find better solutions and understanding is the heart of what we do. We do it by 'Processing the Experience’.

Learning how to listen and respond so that people talk is an art first, and skill after; The Facilitator must WANT to before they can Facilitate. Dialogue is an art. Here we explore ways to ask questions so people feel safe to talk.

What do I want to know? What shall I ask? When shall I ask? How shall I frame my questions?How can I make the experience Contextual to the participant’s life? These are the questions we want answers to. Some of what we cover includes:

  • Asking questions

  • Levels of a Debrief

  • Sequencing questions

  • Facilitation styles - Schools of thought.

  • Why Facilitation is difficult

  • The role of Judgement in listening & Talking

  • Transferring learning from Here to There

 session 7 

 designing experiences 

Design is often understood as being the schedule, sequence, chronological order for doing things. Although important, these are actually only a part of it.

“Design is an emotional process”. It takes into consideration the personas of the Facilitator, Participants, Clients, Environments, Intentions, and the Here and Now.

Inspirations to great design could come from anywhere! Having considered so far the importance of the Facilitator educating oneself first - Content, Concept and Context, we begin to look at ways of Diagnosing, Framing, Sequencing, Delivering, Transferring, Closing and above all staying flexible with it all!

We will always get it better, but it may never be Right! We intend to get to the Art of Designing experiences tangentially. Considerations will include:

  • Guiding models to Design

  • Borrowing from literature, Stories, Movies

  • Participant guided design & delivery

  • Designing with specific outcomes in mind

 session 8 

 handover outdoor 2 

By now we have been through a considerable amount of Content and Concept. We have discussed personal experiences in Practice that you have had over 8 months. You have reflected on your experiences and Journaled. Hopefully you are feeling safe enough with your group to take some risks. And of course you have a lot of un-answered questions!

The second Outdoor session is an opportunity for me to handover the responsibility of applying as much as you have learned in Practice. The group manages itself, playing out leadership and follower-ship roles to put together experiences for the group, by the group. 

YOU Design, Frame, Deliver and bring Closure to this long journey.

 

I Watch, Listen, Support, Critique, or Stay silent, depending on what you individually want me to do. The entire responsibility of planning and running the 2 days is yours! Its my opportunity to Learn from you!

 session 9 

 closure 

Hopefully you have taken notes, read the articles put up in the files section of the Learning Management System that we will use, and Practiced, Practiced, Practiced!

Now its back to the classroom to share your perspective - which is probably the most important piece in YOUR practice. You will be given the questions a week in advance. On this day, you will put pen to paper, and write your heart out! The rules of the game are simple:

  • Write YOUR answer.

  • You can refer to your notes, gather a group to discuss, any time you want - in the ‘chat’ space created in the room.

  • Take a break whenever you want.

  • Write in any position that you find comfortable!

  • BUT when you put Pen to Paper, all you write from is your Head!

  • You also have the freedom NOT to write. And I WILL ask you why you make that choice!

It has been quite a lot of fun for many who have been through the experience! I hope you enjoy it too!

The 2nd day is a day for

  • Dressing up and Getting your certificates! You can invite a family member or friend if you wish.

  • I will finally give you answers to any question you may ask!

  • Closure Reflective Circle

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©2017 Experiential Leadership Institute

Pune, India
Phone +91 9096000121