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Facilitator Guide (STC)

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Facilitator Guide (STC)

Post  Warloque on Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:00 pm

Facilitation
To facilitate, is to help something (usually a process) move along. The word derives from "facile" which is French for "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 which combine to create a desired effect.

Facilitate does not mean "solving a problem" or "doing it for someone". It means doing something that makes a process run a little better. When a situation is too difficult, a facilitator is there to help. When a student or a group is having desirable experiences, the facilitator can be less obtrusive. In general, the goals of facilitation often include participants analyzing and better understanding their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

More on Facilitation
Facilitation is everything that an instructor does, thus it includes intentional, unintentional, subtle and obvious behaviors. Four types of facilitative behaviors can be identified, as follows:

1. Intentional – Overt
These are things an instructor does intentionally and these are noticed by students.
Examples
1. A facilitator shows students how to make a fire.
2. A facilitator uses Socratic questioning, such as when asking a question of a group during a debrief.
3. An instructor counsels or gives verbal feedback to a participant.

2. Intentional – Covert
These are things an instructor does intentionally but they are not noticed by students.
Example
1. As a group is sitting down to have a discussion, the facilitator intentionally places him her self next to a student who he/she wants to begin the discussion. The instructor then casually indicates to go around in the direction of the person next to whom he/she has sat.

3. Unintentional – Overt
These are things an instructor does without intending and they are noticed by the students
Examples
1. An instructor is naturally warm-hearted (without realizing) and this quickly makes students feel accepted and excited about the program.
2. An instructor unintentionally uses gendered language which upsets several participants.

4. Intentional – Covert
These are things an instructor does without intending and they go unnoticed by the students. But it does affect individual's experiences and has subtle socio-psychological impacts.
Examples
1. As a group are sitting down to have a discussion, the facilitator unintentionally sits either too far apart from the group (e.g., is ego-centric) or unintentionally too far into the group circle (e.g., is anxious, shy). The group don't consciously notice but it effects the way participants respond to the instructor.
2. An instructor uses gendered language and this goes unnoticed by the group but it contributes to underlying gender issues and tensions within a group.

Understanding STC concept
Before you learn about your role, you have to understand the concept of this STC. It is based on the concept of experiential learning. Experience refers to the nature of the events someone or something has undergone. Experience is what is happening to us all the time – as we long we exist. Experiential learning has 2 type; i.e. Experiential learning by yourself – which is learning that comes about through reflections on everyday experiences while the other type is Experiential education – learning through programs and activities structured by others.

In a nutshell, STC aims to provide experiences for the Sixers-to-be to undergo. This STC provides opportunity for both types of experiential learning. Through daily debrief & keeping of personal camp journal. Also through the program and activities during the camp. We bring the Cubs out of their Comfort Zone to maximize experiences gained.

Your role as Facilitator
• Research on your subject and run thru your tasks mentally. Most of your ‘subjects’ will be the Cubs themselves.
• Be their Best friend. Join them on their level, but be firm when needed.
• Establish a method of conducting. <setting your expectation><facilitation method><goal at the end of the camp>
• Build up the Sixer's dynamics
• Facilitation
• Ensure safety and well being of your Cubs
• Be observant to spot Cubs behaviours, words & reaction for debrief

Stages of Group Development & Leadership Style
Understand when people come together for the 1st time, how do they feel and how you should facilitate at each of the different stages as the new group of cubs are being developed.

1. Forming
In the Forming stage, personal relations are characterized by dependence. Group members rely on safe, patterned behavior and look to the group leader for guidance and direction. Group members have a desire for acceptance by the group and a need to be known that the group is safe. They set about gathering impressions and data about the similarities and differences among them and forming preferences for future sub grouping. Rules of behavior seem to be to keep things simple and to avoid controversy. Serious topics and feelings are avoided.

The major task functions also concern orientation. Members attempt to become oriented to the tasks as well as to one another. Discussion centers around defining the scope of the task, how to approach it, and similar concerns. To grow from this stage to the next, each member must relinquish the comfort of non-threatening topics and risk the possibility of conflict.

2. Storming
The next stage, Storming, is characterized by competition and conflict in the personal-relations dimension an organization in the task-functions dimension. As the group members attempt to organize for the task, conflict inevitably results in their personal relations. Individuals have to bend and mold their feelings, ideas, attitudes, and beliefs to suit the group organization. Because of "fear of exposure" or "fear of failure," there will be an increased desire for structural clarification and commitment. Although conflicts may or may not surface as group issues, they do exist. Questions will arise about who is going to be responsible for what, what the rules are, what the reward system is, and what criteria for evaluation are. These reflect conflicts over leadership, structure, power, and authority. There may be wide swings in members’ behavior based on emerging issues of competition and hostilities. Because of the discomfort generated during this stage, some members may remain completely silent while others attempt to dominate.

In order to progress to the next stage, group members must move from a "testing and proving" mentality to a problem-solving mentality. The most important trait in helping groups to move on to the next stage seems to be the ability to listen.

3. Norming
In Norming stage, interpersonal relations are characterized by cohesion. Group members are engaged in active acknowledgment of all members’ contributions, community building and maintenance, and solving of group issues. Members are willing to change their preconceived ideas or opinions on the basis of facts presented by other members, and they actively ask questions of one another. Leadership is shared, and cliques dissolve. When members begin to know-and identify with-one another, the level of trust in their personal relations contributes to the development of group cohesion. It is during this stage of development (assuming the group gets this far) that people begin to experience a sense of group belonging and a feeling of relief as a result of resolving interpersonal conflicts.

The major task function of stage three is the data flow between group members: They share feelings and ideas, solicit and give feedback to one another, and explore actions related to the task. Creativity is high. If this stage of data flow and cohesion is attained by the group members, their interactions are characterized by openness and sharing of information on both a personal and task level. They feel good about being part of an effective group.

The major drawback of the norming stage is that members may begin to fear the inevitable future breakup of the group; they may resist change of any sort.

4. Performing
The Performing stage is not reached by all groups. If group members are able to evolve to stage four, their capacity, range, and depth of personal relations expand to true interdependence. In this stage, people can work independently, in subgroups, or as a total unit with equal facility. Their roles and authorities dynamically adjust to the changing needs of the group and individuals. Stage four is marked by interdependence in personal relations and problem solving in the realm of task functions. By now, the group should be most productive. Individual members have become self-assuring, and the need for group approval is past. Members are both highly task oriented and highly people oriented. There is unity: group identity is complete, group morale is high, and group loyalty is intense. The task function becomes genuine problem solving, leading toward optimal solutions and optimum group development. There is support for experimentation in solving problems and an emphasis on achievement. The overall goal is productivity through problem solving and work.

5. Adjourning
Final stage, Adjourning, involves the termination of task behaviors and disengagement from relationships. A planned conclusion usually includes recognition for participation and achievement and an opportunity for members to say personal goodbyes. Concluding a group can create some apprehension - in effect, a minor crisis. The termination of the group is a regressive movement from giving up control to giving up inclusion in the group. The most effective interventions in this stage are those that facilitate task termination and the disengagement process.


Forming -> Storming -> Norming -> Performing -> Adjourning


How to Facilitate?
After hearing this word so many times, how do we exactly go about facilitating?
• Serve the need of the Six in decision making. DO NOT LEAD. E.g. Six cheer, campfire items, problem solving etc. Prompt them to think, differently. Encourage Sixer to engage participation from ‘loners’.
• Goal setting & Challenge by Choice. Set goals for things you do so that there will be a purpose for doing it. Challenge by Choice allows the Cubs to set their own GOALS in term of what they want to achieve during the activity, in a non competitive and caring environment. The rock climbing session is a good example, when a Cub is afraid of height and refuse to climb. Allow him to set his own target to where he wants to climb. Learning point for this is that THE ATTEMPT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN PERFORMANCE RESULTS & LEARNING TO RESPECT OTHER PEOPLE’S IDEAS AND CHOICES.
• Debriefing. It involves actively guiding Cubs thru the process of reflecting and reviewing an experience. It is usually done in the form of an open discussion session. It is best done immediately after completing an activity where memories and feelings from the experience are still fresh. But it will be rush and often not enough. Daily debrief done at the end of the day would be more relaxing as the Cubs have their supper and be able to think of the experiences in more detail.

Debriefing
This is an important part of the STC to be done by the facilitators. Without proper debrief, the Cubs will not be able to reach the maximum learning. So what is a proper debrief?
• Session provides order and meaning to the Cubs' experiences as individuals. When they share their thoughts on wide variety of topics concerning the Six, they will slowly realize that they are not alone in their fears and aspirations.
• It is important as Cubs learn from reflecting on their experiences; good or bad, they evaluate those experiences and analyze the failures and successes etc. Good debrief helps in aiding reflection process.
• Set the trend for sharing. Facilitator should start 1st. Talk about something personal about themselves, before asking participant to follow the precedent.
• Facilitators should not start topics which they are not ‘qualified’ or uncomfortable to discuss. This may lead to the wrong learning point or awkward situation.
• Conduct debrief in a conducive environment. Facilitator should set the mood.
• Go ‘Round’. Facilitator-led discussion. <open/close ended qst><Probing qst> <Elaboration qst><Leading qst><Ask the right person>
• Writing of camp journal.
• Review, recall & remember. <do u remember an example of excellent/poor xxx><can u recall a particular time when xxx was good/bad><will u review a memory of when xxx worked/didn’t work>
• Affect / Effect. <How did the occurrence make u feel?><did it affect the Six?>
• Summary <can u summarize what you have learnt from our discussion?>
• Application. <do u see a link between this learning & ur role as a Sixer back in your school?><how will you apply this when you are the Sixer>
• Commitment. <What will you do differently next time?>

Prepared by Calliope
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Warloque
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