Learning opportunities for young people can be found in a variety of settings such as afterschool clubs, camps, recreation centers, youth serving organizations, and faith communities. Often these setting have volunteers or new youth workers leading the educational experience. For good program quality it is helpful to trained leaders on creating a successful learning experience. The Facilitator’s Guide to Extraordinary Learning Opportunities is a curriculum designed to give youth, volunteers or anyone with limited facilitating or teaching experience basic skills needed to help young people learn and explore in informal educational settings.
The goal of the curriculum is to equip youth workers to be effective facilitators and leaders. The curriculum provides approximately ten to twelve hours of instruction. It is designed to be taught by youth workers facilitating the teaching experience. The curriculum can be taught in an entire day, split into two or more days, or divided into weekly or monthly training sessions. Facilitating the curriculum in a retreat type setting can promote a sense of belonging and bonding with participants. If not all the material is taught in a retreat setting, the additional material can be taught in follow up sessions. Participants will practice the experiential learning model, how to create safe learning environments, how to build appropriate relationships, gain knowledge about the stages of youth development, and learn about basic educational principals that create successful learning environments and provide extraordinary learning opportunities. After completing the curriculum participants will be able to facilitate and lead children, their peers or adults in extraordinary learning opportunities.
Curriculum topics include:
- Building healthy and appropriate relationships
- Ages and stages of youth development
- Preparing and planning for unexpected situations
- Experiential learning model
- Lesson planning
- Celebrating participant’s accomplishments