Reflection brings learning to life. It is the essential ingredient in education, training, therapy, and team-building, that promotes growth and change in learners. It is the catalyst for creating meaningful and lasting lessons from experiences. A quote often attributed to John Dewey—and a summary of his philosophy—states, “We do...

This group questionnaire has multiple purposes: rapport building, reflection, data gathering, brainstorming, context setting, and academic or training content review/assessment. The playful, informal, small-group sharing and friendly competition engage and motivate participants to join in. Because it is so participant- directed it is ideal...

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 greet you...

This time of year as I work with school programs to wrap up the year and facilitate final faculty professional development days, the idea of celebrating success and honoring the contributions of others seems especially important. Below is an excerpt from Tips & Tools for...

Upcycling is also known as creative reuse. With upcycling, an item that is no longer being used for its intended purpose but is repurposed— given a new purpose—and given added value. In my previous post, I mentioned improvisational facilitating. Don’t be afraid to repeat, re-use,...

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 when a musician departs from...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...