Tips & Tools for the Art of Experiential Group Facilitation, Second Edition

ISBN: 978-1-939019-19-6
SIZE: 6 x 9
PAGE COUNT: 224
PRICE $29.95

“Facilitation is both an art and science. By its very nature, it is an experiential practice… it takes practice balanced with reflection and more practice… it is an ever dynamic process of give and take, learning and development.”

The first edition of Tips & Tools, published almost a decade ago, was embraced enthusiastically by seasoned experiential educators and training professionals seeking inspiration, new perspectives, and an insightful overview of experiential learning. We have received a great deal of positive feedback from readers who have made this book their go-to resource, sharing Tips & Tools with students, clients, and colleagues to enhance the art of group facilitation and teaching.
The second edition of Tips & Tools eclipses the first with insights gained from another decade of experience in group facilitation and new information coming from the field of educational neuroscience. As a result, the ideas and methods focused on active engagement, ownership in learning, and facilitating meaningful reflection have been greatly expanded. The layout of information is more effective—experiential theory and perspectives, hands-on activities, and teachable moments flow from one chapter to the next—making this edition an essential resource for practicing and teaching the art of experiential group facilitation.

 

Reviews

“I first recognized Jen Stanchfield’s genius as a facilitator many years ago when she and I co-facilitated a group at Minnesota State University. As I watched her work I was astounded at how effective and competent she was. I just got out of her way and learned from her. That is the key to this second edition: It is an opportunity for anyone who reads the book to learn from a genuine, world-class, master facilitator. I endorse it with great enthusiasm and excitement.”
—Jasper S. Hunt, PhD, Professor of Experiential Education and Leadership Studies, Minnesota State University, Mankato

“For the first time in almost 30 years of practice as an experiential facilitator, I have found a text that I can wholeheartedly give to my students to read and learn about experiential facilitation. Throughout the book, I felt like I was reading my ideas in someone else’s language! The flow is great! I really appreciated how this edition is sequenced. I love the field notes and their placement. They offer quick examples of the concepts described right then and there! Still and all, the best book out there for students to learn about the how-to’s and why-we-do’s of experiential facilitation. Well done!”
—Tony Alvarez, LMSW, University of Michigan School of Social Work, UNH SSW Adjunct Faculty, Alvarez Consulting LLC

“Tips & Tools is chock-full of great ideas for facilitating truly meaningful group programs. Jen pays great attention to details, making every activity more impactful, and her suggestions are easy to adapt to a wide range of participants types. My staff uses this book as a resource for program planning on a regular basis.”
—Suzanne Coffman, Med, Manager of the Kohler Experiential Learning Center

“As a practitioner, educator and administrator, this second edition of Tips & Tools has applications for the many hats I wear. It serves as a resource for my own professional development as well as a text for course instruction. The content and writing style are accessible for beginning facilitators and relevant for those who are already well steeped in the practice.”
—Nathan Harlan MA, Director, Adventure WV, West Virginia University

“Tips & Tools is the ideal book for teaching a practical approach to the art of facilitation. Experiential theory and perspectives, hands-on activities, and teachable moments flow from one chapter to the next. You will want to highlight, dog-ear, and keep this resource close at hand.”
—Brenda Reed, MS, Director of Training, Rope Works Inc., Lecturer, Consultant for Engine 2 Immersions

Excerpt from the Book

Introduction to the Second Edition
It’s been almost a decade since we first published Tips & Tools for the Art of Experiential Group Facilitation. The book has been enthusiastically received by seasoned experiential educators and training professionals. Those seeking inspiration, new perspectives, and an insightful overview of experiential learning have made this book their go-to resource. We have received a great deal of positive and constructive feedback from readers who have been using and sharing Tips & Tools with students, clients, and colleagues to enhance the art of group facilitation and teaching.
The second edition of Tips & Tools is enhanced by the insights gained from this feedback, another decade of experience in group facilitation, and new information coming from the emerging field of educational neuroscience. This information validates the tenets of experiential group work and offers us ideas for improving our practice and increasing positive learning outcomes with our groups. The methods focused on active engagement, ownership in learning, and facilitating meaningful reflection have been expanded.
After reviewing the second edition of Tip & Tools, Rachel Murray of Loyola University Chicago shared: “This book is truly a resource and inspiration for facilitators of all levels and experience. Our program requires Tips & Tools as reading for our Outdoor Leadership Workshop. I’ve found this book sets a foundation for these students by including simple but incredibly important concepts like the value of a circle or continually allowing for participant choice and control. It is also a valuable resource for the experienced practitioner. Every time I read the text (after facilitating for more than a decade), something new pops out at me. I ask facilitators to re-read the text after they have been facilitating for a couple of years to see what new things they can learn through the lens of a more experienced facilitator.
“I’m grateful to see Jen’s continuing growth through her writing of this second edition of Tips & Tools. She recognizes there is always room for improvement as a professional, challenging us to try new things, to stay up-to-date with research and theories, and to learn from other facilitators. She challenges me to make sure I’m keeping my trainings and facilitations dynamic.”

Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction to Second Edition
Introduction
Chapter 1: Laying the Foundation
The Experiential Approach
Brain-Based Learning
Principles of Experiential Education✽
Guiding Your Group
Practices of a Participant-Centered Facilitator✽
The Power of Play
Chapter 2: Setting the Tone: A Positive Environment for Learning
Recipe for Building a Positive Group Environment
Key Ingredients for Creating Positive Learning Environments✽
The Physical Environment
Starting With Style
Benefits of Using Objects/Images as Starter/Transitional Activities✽
Beware the Icebreaker
The Next Step: Building Rapport
Importance of Names
Chapter 3: Designing the Experience: Sequencing Group Activities
Sequencing Suggestions✽
Emotional Safety
Knowing Your Group
Chapter 4: Creating Ownership and Facilitating Involvement
Control and Responsibility
Challenge and Choice
What Builds Trust?
Authentic Trust Building✽
Involving Reluctant Group Members✽
Showing Appreciation and Celebrating Success
Establishing or Formalizing Group Norms
Chapter 5: Aspects of Effective Facilitation: Cultivating Style
Attitude is Everything
Know the Why Behind What You Do
Creativity
Connecting Creativity and Facilitation✽
Welcome the Unexpected/Trust Group Process
Be Culturally Sensitive
Adapt to Varying Needs and Abilities
Co-Facilitation
Allow for Labor in Learning
What Is Success?
The Language We Use: Reflection Versus Debriefing
The Improvisational Facilitator
Chapter 6: Facilitation Tricks and Tips
Engaging Ways to Manage the Group
Healthy Competition
Using Group Consensus Activities
Take Advantage of Transitions
Something In Your Back Pocket
The Creative Use of Props
Integrating Popular Culture
Re-Use, Repurpose, Upcycle
Chapter 7: Meaningful Reflection Brings Learning to Life
The Brain, Learning, and Reflection
Facilitating Reflection
Sequencing Reflection
Processing in the Middle of an Experience
The Art of Facilitating Reflection✽
Twists on the Traditional Sharing Circle
Creating Meaning With Metaphor
Using Pictures/Objects in Reflection✽
Ideas for Using Art in Reflection✽
Self-Reflection and Journaling
The Icing on the Cake/Strong Endings
Benefits of Reflective Practice
Chapter 8: Tying It All Together
Record Keeping
Did It Work? Outcomes-Based Evaluation
Action Research
Tips for Facilitator Reflection/Information Gathering✽
Closing Thoughts
Acknowledgements
Appendix A: Team Tally
Activity List
References
Resources
Index
About the Author
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