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Experiential Education and Its Role on the Farm Chris Henwood Costa.

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Presentation on theme: "Experiential Education and Its Role on the Farm Chris Henwood Costa."— Presentation transcript:

1 Experiential Education and Its Role on the Farm Chris Henwood Costa

2 What I hope to cover… Experiential Education Cycle Comfort Zones and The Learning Zone Role and Impact of Facilitator Concepts of Framing, Debriefing and Progression Power of Modeling HOW THIS RELATES TO THE FARM –Programs Focused on Diversity, Character Building, Cooperation…

3 “Quality experiential learning is much more than simply doing.” - Mary Henton

4 Experiential Education Cycle DO REFLECT APPLY

5 Another Look at the EE Cycle:

6 Tone Set and Safety

7 The Learning Zone a state of “adaptive dissonance”

8 What is Facilitation? Derived from French word, “facile” meaning “easy”. To facilitate, then, is literally to make something easier. Through facilitation, the instructor provides subtle “boosts” to help participants through a series of experiences

9 Role of the Facilitator Facilitate does not mean solving a problem or doing it for someone, simply supporting the process. Leverage Points: get in and then get out of the way Providing Perspective and Offering Tools Space for Mistakes “Holding The Container”

10 Facilitator as LEARNER: –be willing to be surprised and taught; –be willing to be wrong Transfer of Responsibility: –creating situations where the group can take care of themselves—take OWNERSHIP of the situation and task.

11 The Power of Modeling “We Teach Who We Are.” - Parker Palmer

12 Four Quadrants of Facilitation: Intentional Overt Unintentional Covert

13 Intentional—Overt These are things that an instructor does intentionally and they are noticed by the students. Examples: - Framing an activity: “This is an important task on the farm” - An instructor gives feedback to a student - Let’s stand in a circle to make a plan

14 Intentional—Covert These are things that an instructor does intentionally but they are not noticed by the students. Examples: - Sitting down to have a discussion, the facilitator places themselves next to a quieter student who they want to begin the discussion. The instructor then casually indicates to go around the circle in that direction, starting with that student. - “Each person has only 3 instructor questions for the day, use them wisely.” To shift the dynamic and help one student to be more self-reliant. - Instructor stands facing the sun so that participants don’t have to.

15 Unintentional Overt These are things that an instructor does without intending and they are noticed by the group. Examples: - when introducing a farm project, “this is probably going to be really boring” - a naturally warm hearted instructor makes students feel excited about and accepted in the program

16 Unintentional—Covert These are things that an instructor does without intending and they go unnoticed by the students. But it does affect individuals’ experience. Examples: - The use of gendered language, “I need a strong guy to help me over here.” - Physical presence: In sitting down for a group discussion the instructor sits too far away from the group, or too close in the circle, giving some students their back. - Wearing sunglasses instead of looking students in the eye

17 Meeting Goals through Intentional Programming Framing Debriefing/Reflecting /Processing Power of Progression

18 The Power of Progression Welcome and Tone Set Establishing Norms Activity Choice and Flow Transfer of Responsibility (looks different for each group) Jo Ha Kyu—Beginning, Middle and End

19 Framing Lens Through Which Participants View the Experience Tied Closely to Goals and Values of the Program Presenting Clear Expectations Guidance for Roles

20 Framing a particular activity: Example of harvesting lettuce - Meaningful work, Attention to Detail, Craftsmanship: valuable crop at market, therefore careful selection and handling of lettuce is necessary; developing skill; very directed activity at first; participants responsible for something valuable on the farm. - Service: donation of harvest to community food pantry; students are given more ownership of project; instructors intentionally ask them—as they harvest—to reflect on things they are grateful for in their life.

21 Framing Some Possible Themes: - Service Learning - Value of Diversity: on the farm and in our communities - Connection to Nature - Sustainable Agriculture: how it sustains us - All About Connection - The Farm as a Mirror to Self - Sense of Place - Teaching Peace, Leadership, Patience, etc.

22 Teaching Peace through Gardening ©

23 Processing the Experience: Debriefing WHAT? SO WHAT? NOW WHAT?

24 What? Direct Experience: What differences did you observe in the stages of the plants’ growth? What are some of the challenges the plants face during different stages of their lives? How do we help the plants to overcome these challenges? So what? Personal Connection: What are some of the challenges you are dealing with right now? How are they different from what you have experienced in the past? How have you learned to handle these challenges? Now What? Apply it to your life: How can the way we tend to the plants be useful to you? What can you do to better help yourself and others through life’s challenges?

25 Processing the Experience: Debriefing Ask Meaningful, Relevant Questions Be Specific and Use Your Observations Be an Active Listener Be Comfortable with Silence (model this) Be Flexible Capture the Magic

26 Take Away Points… The FULL cycle— beyond simply doing Learning Zone BE INTENTIONAL Space for Debrief/ Reflection/Integration Our Impact on the Group JO HA KYU; Beginning, Middle and End—Flow of the program.

27 This Process is an ART and takes a lifetime to master. Be Patient with yourself and your participants. And keep taking risks to make your programming better.

28 contact info: Chris Henwood Costa


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