The SPDN at West Kent College on 06/07 April, 2017
For its 15th event, the SPDN gathered at West Kent College in Tonbridge. We were excited to welcome many new participants, whose enthusiasm and energy made this yet another memorable event. Over the 24 hours we explored a social pedagogical perspective on nurturing well-being with a diverse programme aimed to draw on participants’ expertise.
Claire’s story about social pedagogy and what it has meant to her kicked off an interactive round of story circles, in which participants were invited to share and reflect upon what meaning social pedagogy has had in their own professional and personal lives. These engaging conversations were captured, with people pinning their notes onto 2 large boards on stage (see photos here).
The final highlight concluding the evening seminar was a round of one of our most favourite large group energizing activities called ‘Schnick-Schnack-Schnuck’, which we even played in Scottish Parliament a few years back! But that’s a story for another day.
The day seminar focussed in particular on exploring a social pedagogical perspective on well-being. Following a warm, humorous and insightful welcome from West Kent College’s deputy CEO, Mark Lumsdon-Taylor, it was over to Gabriel Eichsteller and Pat Petrie for a sound massage and their presentation. They outlined why social pedagogical practice must focus on well-being and happiness, what a social pedagogical perspective on well-being has to offer and how practitioners can nurture relationships that enhance well-being. They suggested five dimensions of well-being where we can make a positive difference in educational and care practice:
Following on from the presentation, participants explored these 5 dimensions in open space conversations to generate ideas on how we can nurture well-being in these particular areas. These conversations were absolutely fascinating and picked up again later in the day.
As usual, SPDN members offered an exciting variety of workshops related to the event theme, which took place before and after a delicious lunch in the sunny college courtyard. Below is an overview with further details about each workshop. Presentations from the workshops are available to SPDN members only, so please send us an email if you’d like to receive them.
To conclude the afternoon following the workshops participants gathered again in the plenary for a PechaKucha style summary of the key messages from the morning’s conversations facilitated by Sylvia Holthoff, Andy Carter, Robyn Kemp, Nicola Boyce and Manuel Kaska. A short practical mindfulness activity introduced by Charlotte Firing provided further food for thought and thus led neatly into participants’ reflecting in pairs on what they had taken away from the event with regards to how they can nurture their own and other people’s well-being. The animated reflections between participants brought the event to a buzzing close. The feedback from people was amazing, and we all thoroughly enjoyed the event, the many stimulating conversations and the enthusiastic hospitality of our hosts. A big thank you to everyone at West Kent College!