Seattle Advanced Youth Engagement Workshop

Responding to demand from around Washington and across the United States, Service Learning Seattle, CommonAction Consulting, SOAR, and IDEA are partnering to bring an advanced youth engagement workshop to Seattle this month. And its open to the public! Are you a long-time youth worker, teacher, or adult ally who has used youth engagement to change your community? Join Adam Fletcher for aContinue reading “Seattle Advanced Youth Engagement Workshop”

I Love Teaching!

I love teaching! Me facilitating a session on student voice at the National  School Boards Association annual conference. Let me clarify that I am not talking about classroom teaching or the type of “sit-n-git” training that so many people are used to. Instead, I am talking about sharing my finally honed facilitation skills with learnersContinue reading “I Love Teaching!”

Excellent Facilitation: Embrace Challenges

Since excellent facilitation is a process, it is important to understand that there will be difficult times ahead. One of the keys to excellent facilitation is knowing that criticism will come – and that can be good. We cannot grow without criticism. In a society where criticism is often a one way street, we mustContinue reading “Excellent Facilitation: Embrace Challenges”

Excellent Facilitation: Embrace the Journey

Learning is a process, not an outcome. Encourage participants to view the group process as a journey that has no particular destination. However, even experience cannot teach us what we do not seek to learn.  John Dewey once wrote that we should seek, “Not perfection as a final goal, but the ever-enduring process of perfecting, maturing,Continue reading “Excellent Facilitation: Embrace the Journey”

Excellent Facilitation: Seek Consensus

Whenever a group is discussing a possible solution or coming to a decision on any matter, consensus is a tool excellent facilitators turn to. Following is a consensus-building technique I wrote up originally in 2001.  Fist-To-Five Decision-Making Start by restating a decision the group may make and ask everyone to show their level of support.Continue reading “Excellent Facilitation: Seek Consensus”

Excellent Facilitation: Create Safe Space

It is vital to create, foster, and support safe spaces where participants can learn together. In a society that is openly hostile towards critical perspectives, participants in any activity need support when they make their voices heard. Establishing a safe space is powerful, positive, and hopeful, and hope is a requirement for excellent facilitation.  SevenContinue reading “Excellent Facilitation: Create Safe Space”

Excellent Facilitation: Make Meaning With Participants

At their best, group events can serve as bridges between participants and promote learning through community building. They can reinforce the need for communication, co-learning, and collective action.  At their worst, group events can actually be tools of oppression and alienation and serve to support vertical practices that isolate people from each other everyday. As PauloContinue reading “Excellent Facilitation: Make Meaning With Participants”

Excellent Facilitation: Reflect, Reflect, Reflect

One way make group events matter is to reflect before, during, and after the reflection. You can see reflection as a circle: You start with an explanation what you are going to learn and frame its purpose and goals to the group. As the activity progresses, the facilitator taking a more hands-on or less guidingContinue reading “Excellent Facilitation: Reflect, Reflect, Reflect”

Excellent Facilitation: Framing and Sequencing

Framing. Facilitators introduce the purpose, or frame, the group they’re leading. Framing happens when a facilitator sets a simple prompt that lets participants know there is a purpose to the group.  Sequencing. An important consideration is the order in which you present groups, or sequencing. If a group has never learned together, it might be important toContinue reading “Excellent Facilitation: Framing and Sequencing”

Excellent Facilitation: Create Guidelines and Goals.

Many well-meaning facilitators come from cynical perspectives that disallow us from acknowledging the norms that make successful groups work. We can overcome this by having participants create ground rules or guidelines before you begin. Brainstorm potential rules and write them down – but avoid too many rules. There are three essential guidelines: Stay on task. EveryContinue reading “Excellent Facilitation: Create Guidelines and Goals.”