Thursday, April 2, 2015

Make them M-O-O-O-V-E

"Can you move a bit",..... "a little bit".  
With much reluctance and irritation did I move. All of 7 or 8 years, travelling in a BEST Bus in Mumbai, half-ticket (half price), I was mad that some Uncle or Aunt would move me so that they could park themselves along with their kid (3 in a 2-seats). And how I hated this m-o-o-o-v-e!

Surprising, my methodology, of training & facilitation, since the time I started 21 years back,  is all about movement ... and one of the often repeated instructions that I give is "Let's m-o-o-o-v-e". Ha! Ha!

So what makes me ask learners to move?

It's all about energy. Sitting for long periods of time which usually happens in ILD (Instructional Led Delivery) also known a Classroom Training can be very taxing. Especially when it comes to Adults... they just can't sit and listen for a long period of time. So what should an Engaging Facilitator / Trainer / Lecturer do? 

Make the class m-o-o-o-v-e. Easier said than done!

Most learning environments i.e. design of a classroom doesn't allow movement. Really? Maybe we need to be a bit more innovative here. Even in fixed seating classrooms there can be lots of planned movement... only if you "Think" of it.

I was reading a few session synopsis from the Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy 2011 and was 'hit' by a particular session description by Beverly Evans, Health, Human Performance and Recreation, Southern Missouri State University. She interestingly mentions "Attaching treadmills to desks in college classrooms as suggested by Brain Rules (2008) by author John Medina being impractical for most". However she speaks of the link between physical activity and cognitive functioning and refers to 2 instructors who researched using movement in 3 different classes with a goal of enhancing the student learning experience. She also refers to Spark: The revolutionary new science of exercise and the brain by Ratey J. & Hagerman. E (2008) as a case in point. 

I was not present for the Conference so I cannot give more insights into her paper.However, it validates my personal view that movement enhances learning.

In the world of facilitation, I clearly hear Rhonda Tranks mention about the power of movement in facilitation in her session at the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) Asia Conference 2011 in Bangalore, and m-o-o-o-v-e did we, all because of her. 

As a delegate, it enhanced my understanding of the process and allowed me to build my content to the discussion that was taking place. I loved the Rating Scale Method wherein all of us individually rated on certain statements and then she put the scale on the floor and asked us to take our position.... and then we had an enriching debate on our positions... later after much churning we were asked to think whether we had now changed our position or was it the same. Wow! It made me look at my opinion, debate on it, hear others with different perspectives and then I could change my opinion or let it remain... all about me and my choice! Reflective!

For me, m-o-o-o-v-e is the lifeline in all my programs: it builds energy, improves concentration, makes the learner agile, open to collaborate, connect and explore many viewpoints. I integrate Drama, Applied Improv and many other Facilitation processes that has movement at the center of the processes.

I am careful about not over-doing movement as at times people do need to rest their bodies, therefore it is important to plan and execute. It's part of the design. I have stopped doing ad-hoc energizers (for movement), rather I design the movement as part of the process. I am mindful when I am dealing with elderly audience as they at times resist movement just because their bodies don't support.

So friends, what's stopping you... Make them M-O-O-O-V-E

Quotation of the Day