Creative Facilitation is what I do. I deliver learning using creative mediums -music, visual art, drama, creative writing, movement. Whatever the topic, learning can be delivered using creative tools.
People talk about creativity a lot these days. Some express that they are not creative because they don’t sing or dance but creative thinking is a skill which can be taught. However its a highly undervalued skill which is often overlooked.
What is creativity and why is it important?
Creativity is defined as using the imagination to create something. This may sound simple enough but these days with the influence of mass media, many young people no longer engage the imagination (creating images in ones mind) because they receive stimulus from watching images on screen. Thus the ability to see things that don’t already exist has been stunted. I am a creative person because as a youth I read a lot, listened to a variety of music and danced. I also spent many hours in the garden with my mum as she planted food and herbs. I believe this gave me an appreciation of processes which is also essential component of creativity.
The components I include in my facilitation are Emotion (energy in motion), Word Sound (the ears are more sensitive than the eyes, can’t be closed and respond to positivity), Movement because the body also has intelligence and Sankofa (reflection).
Repetition is the mother of skill so the more we are creative the easier it will become.
Facilitation is not about spoon feeding students with answers and getting them to memorise. Its about encouraging them to discover the answers for themselves. Sometimes they get it wrong but in facilitation that is a part of the process of learning. Its Ok to try and fail, then fail to try. People need to feel secure in order to take risks, thus with creative facilitation we create ‘safe space’. Laughter, play and group sharing are key to the process of learning.
Whenever I train people I speak of developing the ‘toolkit’ these are the games, exercises and challenges that we acquire over time which assist us in reaching the desired outcomes of a workshop or training session. This also encourages us as facilitators to be engaged in ‘lifelong learning’ because there is always something new to learn and apply to ones practice.
When I attended the Eco Villages Course at the Findhorn Foundation (Scotland) one of the statements that stayed with me was “if its not fun its not sustainable”. One of the challenges I set for myself as a facilitator is to see how enjoyable I can make a session no matter what the subject matter. This opens my mind to the infinite possibilities of delivering learning.
I question, so my mind can go on a journey of discovery. This develops the elasticity of my brain and expands my thinking. It enables me to think ‘outside of the box’ but also to appreciate what is ‘inside the box’ in order to use my unique talents and abilities to achieve the goal. This is the process I employ within my workshops and this is what I define as Creative Facilitation.
The challenges of our time are unlike any other time in history. This means we have to try new things and have the courage to boldly go where no one has gone before and in order to do that we have to be creative. The current system of education has to be reconfigured in order to give future generations the ability to not just survive, but live well in a rapidly changing global environment.