Students in Action: Building Empowering Learning Communities
Meet the trainers
Janja Rebolj, BSc in History and Sociology, has more than 25 years of experience in a wide variety of fields. This includes: pedagogical training, teaching in secondary schools, curator in the museum, PR and Marketing Manager, Trainer and Coach for SDI. Janja enjoys all her learning work, from development of students to professionals and leaders but her main focus is on helping people at all levels to develop more effective and productive relations that increase their personal effectiveness and enable their organisations to achieve better results. Facilitation and hosting entered in her life in 2009 and since then she passionately learns about them and use them both in museum world and business. Janja’s style is highly interactive sharing her own experiences and encouraging others to do the same. She structures high quality learning experiences and yet is also highly flexible in ensuring individual needs are met and each participant gains exactly what they need at this moment to help them take the next step.
Marjeta Novak, MSc Communications, enjoys hosting spaces where people of diverse backgrounds engage in real dialogue, building on their personal as well as group strengths in order to co-create solutions that are sustainable and life-serving. She is a Certified Professional Facilitator; CNVC-certified trainer in nonviolent communication; and the national steward of the Art of Hosting Conversations That Matter network, which was birthed in her native Slovenia in early 2000's. She has applied Art of Hosting practices to a variety of contexts – from education (quality assessment within the University of Ljubljana; global education conferences), government (citizen engagement for the vision of Slovenia 2050), municipalities and communities (Youth for Green Ljubljana; Pro Action Cafes; grassroots local development initiatives), as well as business organisations (enlivening a number of their events and congresses).
Petra Založnik, BSc in Teacher Education and Sociology of Culture, is educator, evaluator and designer of innovative approaches to learning and teaching in the field of education. She has been working with teachers and schools in the fields of foreign language teaching and learning, intercultural competences, team teaching, integrative curriculum, peer learning, etc. Lately she has been focusing on opening the space for Art of Hosting practices in the educational system – she has been promoting methodologies that enable us to develop collaboration skills and create an atmosphere and structure in which we learn both about a topic of interest as well as life itself. She believes in natural learning, the harmony of chaos and order, meaningful conversations and trusts that in real collaboration and partnership we can design powerful stories that lead us to an empowering present and even more nourishing future.
Natalija Vrhunc, MSc in Environmental Sciences and Policy, is a group process facilitator/host and an environmental management specialist. Her facilitation orientation lately has been in dialogue and circle, as platforms for participatory leadership, deep connection and meaningful conversations in groups. Facilitation and hosting offer her life learning opportunities to learn and work on how to enable people to co-create and live in joyful learning together, feeling free in their expression and safe in all kinds of diversities, to listen to and respect each other. She believes that every human being has a potential for creative connection with others in purpose for better being of everybody and everything.
She has applied Art of Hosting practices to a variety of contexts – government (events with high diversity of stakeholders, as preparation of national strategies, operational programmes, citizen engagement for the vision of Slovenia 2050), municipalities (working lately on integration of marginalized groups), communities (Youth for Green Ljubljana; Pro Action Cafes; grassroots local development initiatives) and education (University of Ljubljana).
Useful information about Students in Action course
Which competencies will you acquire in the “Students in Action: Building Empowering Learning Communities" course?
Students in Action course will equip you with the knowledge of how to build inspiring learning communities in our fast-changing world in which technology prevails authentic human contact. By the end of the course you will be able to:
- Understand principles of active and engaging learning
- Use main participatory learning methods
- Build social capital skills that increase social and emotional learning
- Create new ideas for enriching your pedagogical methods
- Boost sense of initiative and active citizenship among your students and/or local community
- Hold space in which students co-create the learning process
- Lead meaningful conversations and deep listening that will help you to explore how can we co-create the learning environment we dream of
- Encourage your students in innovative way to speak in front of the group, seek positive, taking turns, holding judgements, offering support to peers, and take the responsibility
- Motivate your students for active engagement in collective learning
In what ways can you integrate competencies into work?
Participatory learning recognizes that students need to be active learners and encourages teachers to host the learning, rather than being solely responsible for content. The result is a field of learning where everyone is engaged. The newly gained knowledge can be easily transferable to your work environment by:
- Fostering information sharing, relationship building, deep reflection, skill building, project planning, move a group that is stuck in “what is” toward “what could be”
- Using circle to help students prepare for day’s lesson
- Organizing World Café as a way for groups to share what they already know and identify what they need to study
- Introducing Open Space as a way to share knowledge and inquire into topics together
- Applying Appreciative Inquiry as a way of gathering different perspectives in project work