The Art of Facilitation I

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The Art of Facilitation I: Forming Learning Groups

Dates: Saturdays, October 5, 2019 – December 7, 2019
Time: 10:00 – 1:00pm
New Visions’ Fee: $100.00*
Related Materials: Syllabus

This course introduces “forming,” the first step of group facilitation. Participants will explore best practices in group formation from both practical and theoretical perspectives. Participants will participate in group formation protocols and will themselves facilitate a group using protocols rehearsed in class.

The traditional, hierarchical pyramid-shaped organizational chart has begun to include more egalitarian, collaborative, and shared models of leadership. New models of leadership, teaching, and learning require a new set of perspectives, attitudes, and skills that enable people to engage in dialogue, to work collaboratively, and to reflect together to assess and plan for new projects. These relationships call upon us to “live into” a high degree of social emotional competence: speaking and listening to one another in ways that require deep trust and the avoidance of blame and fault-finding. These changing relational expectations have informed the direction of the Common Core State Standards. This course draws particular attention to the CC Listening and Speaking Standards, which emphasize the importance of collaborative discussions among diverse partners. In learning communities, leadership is less about “directing” and more about “facilitating” and leveraging the collective expertise of group members. This course, a series of learning experiences in the art of facilitation, is designed to support teachers, teacher-leaders, and school leaders as they reshape their roles in their organizations and their relationships with colleagues and with students. Like a studio art class, this class pays particular attention to the art of facilitation through the use of critique.

Participants who successfully complete this course will demonstrate the ability to facilitate a protocol session and work effectively with the social and emotional dynamics present in the learning environment.

This class will be taught by

Russell West Jr

Russell West Jr. joined New Visions in 2011. He directs the Astor Center for Public School Libraries and the MicroCert professional development program for teachers, leaders and school-based staff; Russell also provides legal counsel to the management team. He came to New Visions after serving as director of Humanities College Preparatory, a small learning community at Hillcrest High School in Queens. His training in adult learning focuses on professional development workshops for secondary teachers and includes facilitation workshops lead by Joe McDonald, author of The Power of Protocols. As a teacher, administrator, and adult learning facilitator, Russell has formed and facilitated hundreds of groups of adult and adolescent learners.


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Course Location

New Visions for Public Schools
205 E. 42nd Street, 4th FL
New York, NY 10017

Course Fees and Registration

*New Visions is covering the course fees for educators who work in a New Visions school (charter or district). If you do not have the registration code, please email microcert@newvisions.org. See our terms & conditions page for further information regarding registering with the DOE for P-credit and other details such as our refund policy.