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Episode 108

April 14, 2021

108: From frustrated leader to impactful facilitator with Bjarne Holmes

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    What can educators and facilitators learn from each other to benefit their practice? And where do the two crossover?

    These are wide-ranging questions and the kind that open up rabbit holes of complexity… but this is exactly why I wanted to explore them with Bjarne Holmes.

    Bjarne is a Professor of Psychology at Champlain College, a relationships expert, and a researcher for the remote video conferencing tool InSpace. His experience of both facilitation and education, with the added factor of developing a remote learning tool, made him the perfect person to explore this topic.

    Find out about

    • Identifying the microcultures of each individual workshop and lesson
    • The perils of overpreparing and how to balance our need for safety with the group’s need for self-determination
    • The power in peer learning and handing participants and learners the reins
    • Why experiential education should be our priority and why the lecture format is the fastest way to lose a room
    • Exploring collective consciousness and group intelligence
    • The merits of online, asynchronous learning (and its drawbacks)

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    Questions and Answers

    01:13When did you start calling yourself a facilitator – do you at all? 03:48Do you find yourself applying the same skills in teaching as you did in mountaineering? 06:53When participants are key to the success of a workshop, does that remove the concept of a ‘leader’?09:45How did you get rid of your ego?10:49How do you create learning experiences for your students? 13:03Why do people overprepare? 18:25How can educators challenge the default status of being on a pedestal and breaking the concept of ‘the person teaching and the people learning’? 24:06Is it the educator or the student’s responsibility if a student zones out? 29:45You mentioned that your classes take breaks every 20 minutes? 30:51Does the fact we talk about collaboration, rather than lecturing, show that our education system has developed recently? 38:26 What have you learned from your research into relationships that helped you become a better educator and facilitator? 42:13What makes a workshop fail? 43:06 Is it easier to facilitate experiential learning in an online environment? 56:58Do you think teachers are hesitant to adopt new tools because they don’t want to risk ‘not knowing’? 01:02:41Can we create digital tools that enhance learning experiences, rather than just replicate them? 01:07:55What is the one thing you would like listeners to take away from this episode?

    Connect to Bjarne