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Bitesize: How to Define your Personal Facilitator Style

BITESIZE: HOW TO DEFINE YOUR PERSONAL FACILITATOR STYLE I’ve recently taught a course in my membership programme about developing your personal facilitation style. We’ve had 4 classes over the last 4 months and we’ve covered a range of subjects in our time together. In the very first classes we explored what our personal facilitation style is and how we might define it. BUT, before I share the exercise with you, let's look at what a personal facilitation style is and why it's important.  WHAT IS A PERSONAL FACILITATION

From Good to Great: Personal Growth & Development for Museum Educators

FROM GOOD TO GREAT: PERSONAL GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT FOR MUSEUM EDUCATORS A willingness to continue growing and developing is at the heart of our practice as museum educators, teachers and guides. We are never ‘done’ with learning. There is always a strong desire to keep honing our craft. Personal development keeps us motivated and pushes us out of our comfort zone. It helps us to keep innovating, experimenting and being creative. But, what are the best ways that we can grow and develop personally? Today I'm sharing 8 different ways museum educators

Pictures of Practice with Gabrielle Grime

PICTURES OF PRACTICE WITH GABRIELLE GRIME INTRODUCTION  Today on our 50th episode, I'm launching a new series of episodes all about 'pictures of practice'. I'm really interested is in finding out how other museum educators around the world engage their audiences with art and objects. What are some of the practices that are really important to them? How might they use thinking routines, or slow looking, questioning or facilitation? For our very first Pictures of Practice, I'm talking today to Gabrielle Grime is a Heritage Education Officer at Wanneroo Regional Museum in Australia. Gabrielle read about the

Inspiring Creative Writing through Art with Mary Hall Surface

INSPIRING CREATIVE WRITING THROUGH ART WITH MARY HALL SURFACE INTRODUCTION  Today I’m delighted to be talking to playwright, theatre director, teaching artist and museum educator Mary Hall Surface about her work. We’re talking all things creative and reflective writing through art. As a museum educator, Mary Hall uses both theatre and creative writing to expand perspective, uncover complexity and deepen understanding. She is the founding instructor of National Gallery of Art’s Writing Salon in Washington DC, and a six-summer faculty member of Harvard’s Project Zero Classroom.  Her plays have been produced at major professional theatres, museums, and

What we can learn from improv with Samantha Boffin

WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM IMPROV WITH SAMANTHA BOFFIN INTRODUCTION  You may remember Samantha Boffin as she was my first guest on the show (Episode 21) and now she is the first guest to come back for a second episode. Besides being a voiceover artist, Sam is also an actor.  Sam also does an improv class every week and believes that we are all expert improvisers - we just don’t realise we are. In this episode, Sam is sharing what improv is and how it can help us as educators in our own practice and when we’re with

The 4 elements of a great introduction

THE 4 ELEMENTS OF A GREAT INTRODUCTION A good introduction is essential to foster a great group dynamic. An introduction is crucial on any type of programme - whether you’re leading a guided tour, an educational programme, a 15 minute in-gallery conversation or an online session. At this stage, group participants are learning what to do, how the tour or programme is going to operate, what is expected and what is acceptable. It’s your role to give them the orientation they need. And more than that, a good introduction is about about placing connection before content -

Tips for facilitating meaningful discussions around sensitive subjects

TIPS FOR FACILITATING MEANINGFUL DISCUSSIONS AROUND SENSITIVE SUBJECTS In the light of recent world events and the troubled times we live in, in today’s episode I’m going to share some thoughts about facilitating discussions with artworks and objects around sensitive subjects in difficult times. Some programmes, tours or sessions specifically involve sharing difficult narratives and directly addressing challenging subjects. Other types of programmes might touch on subjects that can be contentious and/or sensitive. Or you may visit artworks or objects that can surface and bring up emotions, feelings and more. Particularly now with the devastation occurring in

5 New Thinking Routines to Try in 2022

5 NEW THINKING ROUTINES TO TRY IN 2022 Have you been using the same thinking routines for a while now? Maybe you’ve got a few core routines that you’re comfortable with and now you’re looking for some new routines to add to your repertoire? Sometimes it can be reassuring to stick to the same methods and techniques that you’ve always used. At other times, I feel it’s good to do a little bit of experimentation - this helps me to stay curious and to be always looking for new ways to work with the same artworks and

How to stay curious in your practice

HOW TO STAY CURIOUS IN YOUR PRACTICE As we get older, we ask fewer questions. We wonder less. We are less curious.  We don’t lose the ability to be curious, we just don’t use or ‘exercise’ it as much. Further on in life people tend to expect answers rather than questions. Staying curious and wondering keeps your mind active and strong, makes you more receptive to new ideas, opens up new worlds and possibilities and brings excitement into your life. Likewise in our work as educators, guides, teachers and creatives, we need to keep curious ourselves in

3 Key Ways to Foster Curiosity in your Programmes

3 KEY WAYS TO FOSTER CURIOSITY IN YOUR PROGRAMMES So in today’s episode is the first of 2 episodes devoted to a subject close to my heart: curiosity. This week I'll be exploring what curiosity is and sharing 3 key ways you can provoke curiosity and wonder with your audiences on your tours and programmes. Next week, I'll be discussing how we can stay curious ourselves as educators, guides and teachers. Curiosity is notoriously difficult to define and it’s even harder to work out how to harness and foster it. It could be defined as an eagerness to

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