Team Ignite- High performance Team building

Four Zest PEL (Power related Learning) Disciplines of Change

Business Science

Organisations connect people. How we connect to optimise a product or service demands deep understanding of how organisational structure and process impact learning, change and sustainability. Zests method is founded on management sciences of our time.

Philosophy

“I think therefore I am” Descartes (1596 - 1650). Thinking brings about understanding. How do we change our thinking that will result in different understanding and ultimately change behaviour? The method applied at Zest has deep philosophical roots.

Psychology

How are people motivated? How will my emotional safety be guaranteed? Will my individuality be respected and understood? Will I be in control? The method applied at Zest has is based on sound Psychological principles.

Human Movement Sciences

Will this programme accommodate my unique physical abilities? The method applied at Zest includes multiple senses and focus on whole body experience. Warm­up preparation precedes physical activity to prevent possible injury.

PEL (Power related Learning)  Methodology

We design learning environments and instruction so that students will be able to use what they learn in appropriate new contexts—that is, to enable the transfer of learning. Students need not only to remember what they learn, to develop and retain a “broad knowledge of the wider world (e.g., science, culture, and society) as well as in-depth study in specific area of interest,” but also to have “a sense of social responsibility, as well as strong and transferable intellectual and practical skills such as communication, analytical, and problem-solving skills” (AAC&U). Effective citizenship requires students to be knowledgeable, to be able to use what they know, to have the capacity for critical analysis, and to be equipped for lifelong learning; personal, social and intellectual goals are intertwined.

Experiential education helps students both to bridge study and life in the world and to transform inert knowledge into knowledge-in-use. It rests on theories of experiential learning, a process whereby the learner interacts with the world and integrates new learning into old constructs.

Research brought us a methodology that guarantees fun learning and change in the way participants, feel, think and behave. The Zest methodology is a collection of learning experiences. Learning and change is created by expert facilitation. This methodology is known as PEL (Power-related Experiential Learning).

 

Selecting the appropriate level of change and programme is critical; this determines relevance, purpose, content and facilitation techniques. All the programmes are presented on a ‘challenge-by-choice’ basis and our facilitators are trained to ensure physical, emotional and social safety of participants. Experiences can be facilitated indoors and outdoors.

 

How we do it

  • Problem Solving
  • Thinking Styles
  • Games, Ice breakers, Socializers & Energizers
  • High & Low Ropes Courses
  • Adventure activities: Hiking Kayaking, Rock climbing, Archery and Abseiling
  • Drumming, Physical workout activities
  • Industrial theatre X Factor, Fashion Fiasco, Themed evenings

PEL Team Ignite Program Description

This programme assists teams to gain new insight into new ways to deal with familiar workplace problems. By including a thinking style assessment, the participant’s self-understanding and -awareness is enhanced.

This important aspect addresses behavioural change by understanding how our thinking preference impacts relationships.

Content

Activities are selected to enhance relevance and that the lessons learnt will be applied (transferred) in practice.

Activities include:

  • Ice breakers & socialisers
  • Thinking Styles Assessment (MBTI)
  • Problem solving
  • Trust activities
  • Team and Individual challenges
  • Team de stress and interactive leisure activities

Outcome

Understanding the dynamic demands of effectively contributing to a team:

  • Effective communication
  • Conflict resolution
  • Diversity
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Trust
  • Integrity
  • Problem solving
  • Support
  • Teamwork

 

All outcomes are reflection and team observation based with the circle closed.


About Zest Power Related Experiential Learning

We design learning environments and instruction so that students will be able to use what they learn in appropriate new contexts—that is, to enable the transfer of learning. Students need not only to remember what they learn, to develop and retain a “broad knowledge of the wider world (e.g., science, culture, and society) as well as in-depth study in specific area of interest,” but also to have “a sense of social responsibility, as well as strong and transferable intellectual and practical skills such as communication, analytical, and problem-solving skills” (AAC&U). Effective citizenship requires students to be knowledgeable, to be able to use what they know, to have the capacity for critical analysis, and to be equipped for lifelong learning; personal, social and intellectual goals are intertwined.

Experiential education helps students both to bridge study and life in the world and to transform inert knowledge into knowledge-in-use. It rests on theories of experiential learning, a process whereby the learner interacts with the world and integrates new learning into old constructs.

Experiential learning

Experiential learning has been a commonplace in vocationally or professionally oriented programs for many years. As advances in cognitive science have begun to blur the line between academic and practical learning, awareness of the relevance of experiential education to achieving goals of the liberal arts has increased. And a similar awareness has also increased among employers who are increasingly less concerned about particular vocational skills and who are demanding the same skills, abilities, and habits of mind long valued by the liberal arts (Business-Higher Education Forum 2003; Peter D. Hart Research Associates 2006).

Experiential learning has value far beyond building the kind of social skills, work ethic, and practical expertise that are important in professionally oriented programs. In fact, experiential education can also lead to more powerful academic learning and help students achieve intellectual goals commonly associated with liberal education, including

  • a deeper understanding of subject matter than is possible through classroom study alone;
  • the capacity for critical thinking and application of knowledge in complex or ambiguous situations;
  • the ability to engage in lifelong learning, including learning in the workplace.

Experiential learning also identifies the practices necessary for achieving these outcomes, particularly the use of structured reflection to help students link experience with theory and, thereby, deepen their understanding and ability to use what they know.

Mastery and use of subject matter

A fundamental goal of liberal learning is mastery of both broad and specialized bodies of knowledge. The inability to call on this knowledge base is what Alfred North Whitehead (1929) described nearly a century ago as the problem of “inert knowledge.” Often, students cannot apply even recently learned information to new situations. Modern cognitive scientists ascribe this inability to apply what is learned to a failure to conditionalize knowledge; the learners don’t see the relevance and cannot access what they know when confronted with an opportunity for transfer (Bransford, Brown, and Cocking 2000). Life is not organized by chapter, with tests to signal what information to apply. Unless students learn explicitly to recognize when their knowledge might be useful, can recall that knowledge, and know how to apply it, they will fail to transfer what they know; their understanding is incomplete.

Transfer of knowledge requires deep understanding. Recall and reproduction of material taught in the classroom do not constitute under­standing. For knowledge to be usable, it has to be acquired in a situation. Otherwise, it is segregated from experience and unlikely to be remembered or transferred to new experiences. Well-understood material can be retrieved from memory and used in new situations because it is linked with multiple experiences and examples and not isolated from other experience and knowledge.

A small study comparing student learning in classes on legislative politics with student learning in internships at a state legislature found that both groups did equally well on a traditional test of facts (Eyler and Halteman 1981). But when challenged to develop a strategy for enacting policy, the interns incorporated the need to engage powerful and well-placed legislators and to organize support, while the classroom-based students drew on the formal steps about how a bill becomes a law. Experiential education, as this and similar studies have shown, leads to deeper, more nuanced understanding of subject matter.
Organizing student learning in ways that give students agency is also associated with deeper understanding. Communities of learning that encourage cooperation and reciprocity among students improve learning and are particularly well suited to field-based projects.

The capacity to deal with complex new situations

To achieve such liberal learning goals as effective citizenship and engagement in lifelong learning, students need the capacity to perceive and address ill-structured problems, tolerate ambiguity, make warranted judgments, and act while continuously seeking and refining further information. Neither tolerance for ambiguity nor critical thinking is simply a function of information, skill, and social ability or even of repeated practice, but rather both require intellectual capabilities that are not now generally attained before college graduation.

The process by which students develop the capacity to use advanced formal reasoning processes involves confronting dissonant information and making sense of it. It requires students to monitor their own understanding and to recognize and grapple with alternative perspectives. This process of intellectual growth can be promoted through experiential education, which fully engages students and commits them to resolving the challenges they address. Service learning is particularly appropriate, since it commonly focuses on issues that give rise to ill-structured problems or what Schön termed the “swampy lowlands” where problems are “messy and confusing and incapable of technical solution” (1995, 28).

Developing skills for lifelong learning

Classic transfer of learning stresses the match between the learning context and the situation in which learning is applied.

Continuous learning frames the role of experiential learning in transfer. What Schwartz, Bransford, and Sears (2005) call “transferring out”—that is, the direct transfer of new learning to a situation—is often limited by the lack of well-developed expertise of novice learners. They note that particular forms of instruction prepare learners to “transfer in,” to use previous learning to interpret the situation and develop a strategy for future learning. If students are engaged in problem solving before being presented with new information, rather than simply learning information through reading and lecture, they are more likely to be able to solve a novel problem. This distinction has importance for how liberal learning built around authentic workplace or community challenges might enhance the capacity for further learning in that subject area. Integrating problem- or project-based challenges into the study deepens understanding of concepts and theories and also prepares students to meet new challenges.

Students who repeatedly engage in structured reflection during field experience are more likely to bring a strategic learning orientation to new challenges (Eyler 1993; Eyler and Giles 1999). Experiential education blurs the line between theory and practice; theory lacks meaning outside of practice. In order to develop strong skills for continuous learning, students need opportunities to practice those skills in environments consistent with lifelong use and as they acquire disciplinary mastery.

Students in experiential education learn with a need to know in order to get a job done, not just as students who need to take a test. Students even in problem-based classroom instruction frame their learning in terms of grades and pleasing the professor, while those same students talk about respect, achievement, and the quality of their contribution in an internship placement (Eyler 1993).

Reflection and feedback

The most critical factor for achieving powerful learning outcomes from experiential-learning programs is the inclusion of opportunities for feedback and reflection. Challenging, continuous, context-appropriate reflection turns work experience into learning experience. It is easy to underestimate how intensive reflection must be in order for it to have an impact; it is not unusual to find faculty members who believe their program provides adequate reflection even though the effects on students fall short.

The cycle moves from experience to reflection and then back to experience. Students are encouraged to connect the concrete and the abstract and to connect reflection with action, and they are pushed to make sense of their experience in terms of what they are learning in the classroom as well as to draw implications for further application or study.

If experiential education is to be reflective throughout then care must be given to planning, and this process should be embedded in the experience from start to finish. One tool for organizing the reflection process is the reflection map (Eyler 2002). Like the Kolb model, the reflection map is a simple and intuitive tool that helps the instructor accomplish several goals. It focuses on reflection alone—in class and in the field—before, during, and after the field experience.

 

References

Kolb, D. 1984. Experiential learning. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Moore, D. T. 1981. Discovering the pedagogy of experience. Harvard Educational Review 51 (2): 286–300.

National Association of Colleges and Employers. 2008. Experiential education survey. Bethlehem, PA: National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Parilla, P. F., and G. W. Hesser. 1998. Internships and the sociological perspective: Applying principles of experiential learning. Teaching Sociology 26 (4): 310–29.

Peter D. Hart Research Associates. 2006. How should colleges prepare students to succeed in today’s global economy? Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Resnick, L. 1987. The 1987 presidential address: Learning in school and out. Educational Researcher 16 (9): 13–20.

Schön, D. 1983.The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Schwartz, D., J. Bransford, and D. Sears. 2005. Efficiency and innovation in transfer. In Transfer of learning from a modern multidisciplinary perspective, ed. J. Mestre, 1–51. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Steinke, P., and S. Buresh. 2002. Cognitive outcomes of service-learning: Reviewing the past and glimpsing the future. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning 8: 5–14.

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