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Facilitator's Guide

Page history last edited by Stephanie Knox 9 years, 11 months ago

Facilitator’s Guide

This guide is intended for facilitators who are going to be using this guide to train a group of teachers.

 

This course serves as a guide for your peace education training. You can go through the course in its entirety in the order in which we have presented it. However, peace education, by nature, is highly contextual, and we highly recommend that you adapt the curriculum to serve your participants’ needs.

 

As the facilitator, first you will need to familiarize yourself with the curriculum. Remember, how you teach is just as important as what you teach, and as this is one of the key principles of peace education, it is very important for you, as the facilitator, to embody this principle. Standing up in front of the group and lecturing about peace education is not peace education. Thus, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with the content, and also to truly internalize the key principles of peace education and integrate them into your facilitation style. Peace education is a constant, life-long learning process, and you will learn a lot as you facilitate.

 

The key principles include:

  • ·         Equal (horizontal) teacher-learner relationship, in which everyone teaches and learns simultaneously from one another. This includes valuing the knowledge and experience that all participants bring to the learning environment, and allowing all participants the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience. This also means remaining open to learning from others, and to remain flexible to new ideas.
  • ·         Dialogue, which means that conversation is encouraged throughout the program. This is in contrast to lecture, which is a common form of teaching. In peace education, we try to minimize lecture time, and encourage dialogue, in which all participants are engaged. A good facilitator steers the dialogue by posing meaningful questions, and by ensuring that all participants have the opportunity to speak. (See more below under General Considerations).
  • ·         Self-reflection, which means being introspective and curious about one’s own nature, includes noticing one’s own reactions, actions, and consequences of one’s actions. Self-reflection should be encouraged both on the part of the facilitator and the part of the participants. For example, if you are having a conversation about discrimination, participants can reflect on questions such as, “Have I ever been discriminated against? Have I ever discriminated against someone else?” You could spend some time discussing this, or giving participants time to compose journal entries about the questions. Time for contemplation is important. Self-reflection should be an overall theme of this program, and the Guiding Questions and Reflective Questions in each section serve to guide this process.
  • ·         Promoting inclusivity, diversity, and equality in the classroom. These principles can manifest themselves in a variety of ways, and should always be considered by the facilitator. Inclusivity means promoting equal involvement of everyone regardless of age, sex, gender, ethnicity, etc. Very simply, it means to not leave anyone out. An example of inclusivity is treating men and women (or boys and girls) equally in the classroom. These principles are the foundation of peace education, and it is important that peace educators consider them at all times.

Standards for Teacher Trainers in Peace Education

The following list of peace education standards for teacher educators can help guide you in designing your training (Carter, 2006):

 

  1. Include peace education standards in course syllabi and content to clarify

instructional goals.

  1. Provide opportunities for pre-service teachers to identify, then examine, their awareness, views and biases.
  2. Legitimize diverse viewpoints and enable students to express their own to develop their civil courage and public voices.
  3. Build teachers-in-training’s self-respect along with positive regard for diverse others as they develop their peace-building knowledge, skills and dispositions.
  4. Study, model and teach alternative positions before taking a stance on an issue.
  5. Facilitate and use lateral, creative and critical thinking processes.
  6. Teach how to obtain information about, and then analyze, power relations that are evident in local to global interactions, including analysis of international relations as outcomes of economic systems and political domination, such as capitalism and imperialism.
  7. Teach about how social structures and institutions that perpetuate systemic violence and societal conflicts such as poverty, racism, sexism and homophobia.
  8. Make oppression evident to students, and denounce it.
  9. Teach about multiple aspects of democratic citizenship including social, environmental, economic and political responsibilities for participation in a democracy.
  10. Make clear the distinction between democracy and capitalism.
  11. Illustrate how consumption practices and international policies affect human relations and the environment.
  12. Develop the capacity to learn about and facilitate pro-active responses to conflicts, including contentious issues.
  13. Develop tolerance for uncertainty with open processes, thereby allowing students to explore multiple ways of approaching tasks, including conflict resolution.
  14. Encourage students to create social and environmental action projects in response to community, national and global conflicts.
  15. Provide examples of and model proactive responses to conflict (e.g. be able to

understand/legitimate other points of view with which you don’t agree; decallage, uncertainty.)

  1. Emphasize responsibility for peacebuilding and nonviolence in all settings by

proactively addressing intrapersonal, interpersonal and systemic problems.

  1. Persistently address the unresolved learning issues of teacher candidates, including use of positive conflict-management skills.
  2. Recognize and affirm the use of peacebuilding and peacemaking strategies in the classes, field experiences and internships of a teacher-training program.
  3. Extend support for teacher development, within and beyond initial credential training through individual as well as group reflection and research.
  4. Document, evaluate and professionally share the successes and challenges of peace-focused teacher education.
  5. Revise teacher-training approaches in response to examination of their outcomes

General Considerations

Set-up

The setting of peace education is important to consider. As a facilitator you might not have much control or choice about where the training is taking place. However, there are details that you can control that can promote a more equitable classroom setting. For example, if you are in a traditional classroom with a blackboard and rows of desks facing forward, consider making a circle with the desks, so that you are part of the circle rather than standing alone at the front. A small gesture like this can do a lot to promote dialogue and more equitable relationships in the classroom.

Dialogue, Reflection, and Participation

Each activity and section should allow ample time for participants to engage in dialogue and reflection. Be sure that as you plan your time, you include time for discussion.  One of your key tasks as the facilitator is to ensure that all participants have equal opportunity to participate. This does not necessarily mean that everyone will talk exactly the same amount – some people are more talkative, and some people participate more as listeners. However, it is your job to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate. This may mean politely cutting off someone who is occupying a lot of “air space.” If you have to do this, make sure you do it gently and without embarrassing the participant. For example, if someone is going off-topic, you can gently interrupt them and say, “Thank you for sharing, but I’m just going to steer us back on topic so that we can be sure to cover everything in our schedule. Perhaps we can talk more about this at the break or after class.” It also means providing the space for those who haven’t participated. You may take a moment and ask, “Is there anyone who hasn’t spoken yet who would like to say something?”

 

An important aspect for both dialogue and reflection is creating a safe learning environment. This means a place where participants feel physically and emotionally safe to share their experiences and thoughts. You, as a facilitator, have an important role to play in creating this environment. Icebreakers and warm-up activities, discussed below, can play an important role in building group trust and comfort. Setting group guidelines, also discussed below, helps to meet the needs of the participants by addressing what they need in order to feel comfortable and safe.

Break time

Breaks can be important learning opportunities for participants. While sometimes seen as a “waste of time” when time and resources are limited, breaks provide informal opportunities for participants to talk about the program. We encourage you to provide ample breaks for your participants and encourage sharing drinks or meals as the situation permits.

Start of the course

As you open the course, here are some suggestions for ways you can start:

 

Icebreaker/Getting to know you game

It is important for the participants to feel comfortable and to build a learning community. You may be facilitating a group that already knows each other well, or you may be facilitating a group of strangers. Either way, provide the opportunity for participants to get to know each other and energize the group. Here are a few examples of icebreakers you could use (Verdiani, 2005):

 

1. Start with your name and then ask the name of the person to your left. That person then says his/her name and asks the name of the next person and so on around the circle. Each person says their own name and then the name of the person next to them.

 

2. This activity is similar to the first, but ask the participants to think of an adjective that starts with the same letter as their name. They then introduce themselves by their name and their adjective (e.g. Sensible Sarah). Then continue as above.

 

3. The participants stand in a circle. The first person throws a ball (or other small object) to a person, saying their own name, and then giving the name of the person to whom they have thrown the ball. This continues, not around the circle but across the circle in any order. Nobody should be introduced more than once (i.e. they should not have the ball thrown to them more than once). Continue until every person has been introduced.

 

4. Give each participant a blank card and say “Write your name, school and your hobby on the card”. Put all the cards in a box and mix them up. Ask the participants to select a card and find the person who wrote it, introduce themselves, and find out more about the person whose card they have. Ask participants to introduce the person whose card they have to the rest of the group.

 

Expectations 

In the first session, it is important to allow participants to voice their expectations of the course. You could do this as participants enroll, as part of the registration process. You could do this through brainstorming or discussion at the beginning of the first session. If you do not have time, you could have participants write their expectations on a piece of paper and collect them. Then, alter the course as needed based on the expectations and goals of the participants. You should also summarize the contributions and share them at the beginning of the next class.

Charter/Code of Conduct/Group Guidelines

While you will be most likely giving this course to a group of adult education professionals, different people might have different expectations of how the group behaves and interacts. This is particularly relevant in regards to communication styles, as people coming from different backgrounds and cultures might have different expectations about what is appropriate and what learning looks like. We highly recommend that you take a few minutes during the first session to brainstorm as a group about a “Group Charter.” It is helpful to think of it as a charter, rather than “rules” that are to be abided by or broken. Once a charter is in place, the individual members will self-monitor, and remind each other if they are not following the guidelines. Allow the guidelines to come from the members rather than imposing them upon them. If the group is having trouble thinking of guidelines, you can make a suggestion (for example, “Only one person speaks at a time” or “no cell phones during class”), but try to allow the bulk of the guidelines to come from within the group.  As discussed above, creating a charter like this is an important step in creating a safe learning environment. This is not only useful for this workshop, but will also be a useful exercise for educators to take to their classrooms and communities.

Group management

Group management is only putting into practice the characteristics of an effective facilitator. The following principles come from the INEE Peace Education Facilitator’s Guide (Verdiani, 2005):

  • ·        
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Practice teaching

One of the benefits of learning as a group is that you have the opportunity to practice what you are learning. We strongly encourage you to have participants take turns teaching a lesson to the other group members. It might help to break the monotony of learning theory if each day or perhaps twice a day, you could have participants practice teaching. This will also help participants gain a better understanding of peace education in action, which is a key goal of the course.

Action

As one of the key principles of peace education is turning reflection into action, you may wish to make a plan with your participants to take action in the community to implement a peace education project. This should be context-specific, and the idea should come from within the group of participants or local community. For example, you could hold a peace education event at a local public space following the training. This would be a great opportunity to take peace education beyond your school walls and into the wider world!

Feedback

In order to help TWB continue to improve the course and tailor it to our participants’ needs, we ask that you collect feedback from the participants (feedback forms will be provided by TWB, but are not included in this manual). Depending on the length of the course, you may wish to conduct your own feedback session mid-way and give the participants an opportunity to provide feedback as to how the course is going. For example, you could ask participants to write (anonymously) three things they really like about the course, and three things they would like to change or don’t like. Another option would be to give the participants some time alone (for example, 15 minutes) to brainstorm about the “pluses and minuses” of the course so far. This would give you the opportunity as a facilitator to gauge where your participants are, and, if required, to alter and adapt things according to the needs of your participants. Remember, a key quality for a facilitator or trainer is to not take things personally!

Support

It is very important to us that facilitators and trainers have all the support they need to use this course. We encourage you to provide us with your feedback.

 

If you have Internet capabilities, we also encourage you to look at the following resources produced by the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies:

 

http://ineesite.org/uploads/documents/store/subdoc_1_676_Manual_for_Training_of_Facilitators_-_1.pdf

 

http://ineesite.org/uploads/documents/store/subdoc_1_676_Manual_for_Training_of_Facilitators_-_2.pdf

 

http://ineesite.org/uploads/documents/store/subdoc_1_676_Manual_for_Training_of_Facilitators_-_3.pdf

 

These manuals can provide additional support to facilitators in preparing for the course.

 

Thank you for your participation in the Dr. Joseph Hungwa Memorial Peace Education Program, and for helping us to bring Peace Education to a new audience!

References

Libresco, A. S., & Balantic, J. (Eds.). (2006). Peace Lessons From Around the World. New York: Hague

Appeal for Peace.

 

Verdiani, A. (Ed.). (2005). Inter-Agency Peace Education Programme: Skills for Constructive Living.

Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE).  Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from

http://www.ineesite.org/index.php/post/peace_education_programme

 

 

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