December 08, 2016

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The First Five Minutes: Create a Hook to Engage

Excerpt from Tips & Tools for the Art of Experiential Group Facilitation Think back to your most memorable learning experiences— the courses, team-building programs, or classes you enjoyed and the facilitators or educators you found most impactful. How did they start their classes or workshop sessions? How did they begin the program? How did they […]

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November 21, 2016

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Tips & Tools for the Art of Experiential Group Facilitation

Almost ten years ago, out of the desire to share my passion for experiential education and the art and science of group facilitation, I completed the first edition of Tips & Tools for the Art of Experiential Group Facilitation. Now, a decade later, I’m offering a new edition which includes updated connections to research on […]

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October 25, 2016

The Value of Reflection

Guiding Your Group: A Participant Centered Approach to Facilitation and Teaching

Excerpt from the new edition of Tips & Tools for the Art of Experiential Group Facilitation The basic tenet of experiential education is the idea of facilitators (e.g., teachers, leaders) approaching their work as guides in the process of discovery, rather than as all-knowing centers of knowledge and direction. When working with educators and group […]

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October 06, 2016

Inspired Educator Blog

Beware of the Icebreaker

Excerpt from Tips & Tools for the Art of Experiential Group Facilitation Second Edition   In chapter one, I emphasized how important it is to carefully assess your group, and be aware of putting individuals in the spotlight too early in the group process. Putting learners on the spot before they have developed trust and […]

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September 19, 2016

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Setting the Tone: Creating a Positive Environment for Learning

This is an updated version of a previous post entitled “Optimal Ingredients for Effective Group Facilitation” rewritten for the new edition of Tips & Tools for the Art of Experiential Group Facilitation to be released in October. A fundamental aspect of effective group programming is taking the time to help participants create a positive, supportive […]

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April 13, 2016

Experiential Education Workshop Nashville

Guiding Your Group: A Participant-Centered Approach to Group Facilitation and Teaching

Excerpt from the Inspired Educator, Inspired Learner The basic tenet of experiential education is the idea of facilitators (e.g., teachers, leaders) approaching their work as guides in the process of discovery, rather than as all-knowing teachers and centers of knowledge and direction. When I work with educators and group leaders, I often find myself encouraging […]

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January 16, 2016

Inspired Educator Blog

Attitude is Everything

Excerpt from the Inspired Educator, Inspired Learner by Jen Stanchfield. Learners respond—even subconsciously—to a facilitator’s attitudes, demeanor, and expectations. We often communicate more than we realize with our body language and tone. A positive attitude is contagious. If you truly believe in the methods and activities you are using, participants will most likely buy in […]

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January 05, 2016

Reflection

The Reflective Educator/Facilitator Part Two: Meaningful Self-Reflection and Record-Keeping to Improve Your Practice

My most recent post from the Inspired Educator Blog Archives “Embracing the Quiet and Taking Time to Reflect” focused on the importance of prioritizing time for self-reflection to improve your work as a teacher, trainer, counselor or group facilitator. Taking the time to reflect on our professional practice helps us find meaning and develop insight […]

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January 04, 2016

December Morning

Embracing the Quiet and Taking Time to Reflect

In honor of the start of the new year I am re-posting this series of articles from the Inspired Educator Blog Archives on the importance of practitioner reflection. From the Archives, The Reflective Practitioner Part One, December 30th, 2011: Here in Vermont December is the darkest and quietest time of the year. The days are […]

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October 13, 2015

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Key Ingredients for Optimal Group Building Experiences

In past articles, I have compared group facilitation to cooking. As in cooking, group facilitation allows for a great deal of room for adaptation, experimentation and adjustment of ingredients to fit different groups and different learning situations. Though there is opportunity for creativity and innovation, it is important to remember that there are key ingredients […]

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October 01, 2015

Advisory Activities

Full Plate Time Management Activity

With the start of fall I find that both the professionals and students I work with are often learning to manage a new routine and new responsibilities which makes it the perfect time to reflect on time management, responsibility and goal setting, and self-care. This is a great activity to jumpstart conversation around coping skills […]

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August 25, 2015

Experiential Education

Best Of Back-to-School and Fall Program Kick-Off Activities and Strategies

It’s that time of year again. The school year is just beginning as is the start of fall programming for educational agencies and training organizations. Here is a collection of twelve posts from the archives of The Inspired Educator Blog that offer strategies and activities to help you start your school year or fall program off […]

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August 21, 2015

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Designing and Re-Imagining the Classroom Space

Excerpt from the Inspired Educator, Inspired Learner book:   I spend a lot of time moving chairs, and it is worth it! The classroom or group room space has a significant impact on how learners feel, interact and learn. In previous posts, I have explored how emotional connection to material, movement, novelty, choice and social […]

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June 15, 2015

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Celebrations, Appreciating Others, and Positive Group Norms Activities

During this time of year, I find myself facilitating many staff team-building retreats for community organizations. In my work with schools, the focus is on celebrating the end of the year and goal setting for the next. For other programs, the goal is to develop the team or staff for upcoming summer programs. It is […]

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March 03, 2015

Experiential Learning and Reflection

Create Multiple Pathways to Learning

The more senses that are used to learn and practice information, the more neural networks are activated and the more ways the brain is able to store and retrieve information. Multiple strategies for learning and practicing information such as moving and talking, active reflection, art, and writing not only increase learners’ interest and attention but also create multiple pathways to learning.

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February 18, 2015

Differentiated Instruction Jennifer Stanchfield

Differentiated Instruction: Don’t Dismiss It!

Wood N Barnes Publishing Co. is continuing to share excerpts from my new book: Inspired Educator, Inspired Learner: Experiential, Brain-Based Activities and Strategies to Engage, Motivate, Build Community, and Create Lasting Lessons. This week’s article on differentiated instruction combines discussion of a pedagogical concept with an activity to illustrate application to teaching or training. Differentiated […]

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January 22, 2015

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What is Brain-Based Learning? Excerpt from Inspired Educator, Inspired Learner

Over the next month Wood N Barnes Publishing Company is offering a series of excerpts from my new book that combine research and educational theory with practical strategies to increase engagement. The first lays a foundation for upcoming articles and activities by exploring What is Brain-Based Learning? Jennifer Stanchfield’s new book Inspired Educator, Inspired Learner […]

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December 04, 2014

Experiential, Brain-Based Approaches to Teaching

The Language We Use in Facilitation and Teaching: Reflection and Reflective Practice

There’s all the difference in the world between having something to say, and having to say something. —John Dewey   My March of 2013 blog post “The Language We Use in Facilitation: Reflection Vs. Debriefing” explored the importance of the language we use in facilitation. At the time I had been facilitating some workshops for […]

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