I believe that finding ways to make hope visible and accessible in learning settings enhance both learning and wellness.
Over the last 20 years, I’ve had the good fortune to work with individuals who have helped me to create resources like the Nurturing Hopeful Souls resource in 2008. Since that time, other hope-focused practices, strategies and activities have surfaced.
One of these activities is determining what a hopeful learning space feels, looks and sounds like.
There are many ways to do this.
This past May/June, we created a Wiki page in an online class. This allowed learners to post their needs anonymously. Learners posted their needs. We returned to the Wiki page several times throughout the course to discuss how our learning needs were evolving. We also discussed how we might best revise another person’s needs without imposing our experiences.
Other times, I’ve brainstormed needs verbally with the group. This works best in a f2f learning environment with learners who’ve established trust with each other. A teacher and I did this with grade nine students who had been together as a group for the best part of their schooling. At the beginning of each class, we reviewed and revised our hope circle agreements.
Y charts are another great way of creating awareness of how we contribute to or reduce hopeful learning environments. Since experiencing the hope circle agreements, I’ve chosen to start with a Y chart to break the ice and then move to the hope circle agreement. The next time I facilitate an online course, I will ask learners to create their own Y chart before moving to the Wiki.
In the meantime, I am looking forward to hearing about your experiences of creating and/or participating in hopeful learning environments!