‘Blog’ Archive

Creating Ownership and Facilitating Involvement in Learning and Group Experiences

Excerpt from Tips & Tools for the Art of Experiential Group Facilitation   Control and Responsibility In past posts we’ve established that when people feel like they own their learning experience and have a sense of control and ownership from the start, buy-in, and participation increases. Simple but intentional actions on the part of the […]

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school climate

Showing Appreciation and Celebrating Success

This time of year as I work with many school year programs that are wrapping up and I facilitate end of the year faculty team-building days, the idea of celebrating success and honoring the contributions of others seems especially important. Below is an excerpt from Tips & Tools for the Art of Experiential Group Facilitation […]

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Re-Use, Repurpose, Upcycle

Excerpt from Tips & Tools for the Art of Experiential Group Facilitation, Second Edition by Jen Stanchfield repurpose 1. To reuse for a different purpose, on a long-term basis, without alteration. 2. To alter to make more suited for a different purpose. – MacMillan Dictionary Upcycling is also known as creative reuse. With upcycling, an […]

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The Improvisational Facilitator

Excerpt from Tips & Tools for the Art of Experiential Group Facilitation, Second Edition One of the aspects of facilitation I most appreciate is the ongoing creative energy and adaptation that it both requires and inspires. I enjoy experiencing live music, of all genres, for the same reasons. Musical improvisation fascinates and inspires me—that moment […]

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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