Trainers Network Mtg, 4.3.2020

Part 1: The theory of Praxis

6:30- 6:32 – Introduce facilitators & skillshare

6:32-6:35 – What is Praxis?

We could discuss the definition all night as it has many interesting histories, instead we will use a working definition and use our time together:

Praxis is the process by which a theory, lesson, or skill is enacted, practiced, embodied, or realised. “Praxis” may also refer to the act of engaging, applying, exercising, realizing, or practicing ideas.

6:35-6:38 – Logistics

    • Assign a timekeeper — someone who can keep us tight with report backs if needed.
    • Assign a welcomer — someone to welcome late arrivers and get them up to speed

6:38-6:43 – Outline goals and agenda


By the end of the workshop, participants will

* Know basic definition of praxis

* Have praxis tools and strategies to draw on

* Have increased awareness about realistic expectations for application & importance of        prioritization in theory/idea implementation

* Have a work plan for applying / implementing participant-chosen aspect of past skillshare to participant work 

* Start the discussion on how to teach the praxis tools in participant work



What is praxis?

Identifying Praxis Tools

  • Individual worksheet

pair share + post its

  • Group work

Report backs

Applying What We Learned

Individual worksheets

Group share and support




6:43- 6:55 – Self reflection

See word document: Initial Reflections

Instruction given: Think about a time when you learned something and were able to apply it. Organize your thoughts as clearly as possible, no need for an essay where bullet points will do, you can skip questions that do not apply.

6:55-7:00 – Dyad breakout 

Instruction given — Partner with someone you do not know to discuss handout. Put any resonating tools/strategies for Praxis on post it. Go around the room and put the post it on the flip chart sheet that applies (categories are: Creating Time, Prioritization, Accountability, Action Plan, Scheduling & Calendar, Handouts/Worksheets, Miscellaneous)

7:00-7:15 – Collective Wisdom

Instruction given: Get into a group based on which category you would like to discuss more, answer these questions within your group & write some key thoughts down on the flip chart

(categories are: Creating Time, Prioritization, Accountability, Action Plan, Scheduling & Calendar, Handouts/Worksheets, Miscellaneous)

Questions for break out groups:

Sticky Notes
  • Why is this an important step in application/implementation?
  • What are some tools & tips about using this step?
  • What are some obstacles to this step?
  • What are some ways to overcome obstacles?

Effective Handouts, tips, and tools

Sticky Notes
    • Handouts that are the tools themselves
    • Handout describes in step by step detail a tool we tried in a workshop
    • Handout packed with information, specifically designed for our group and conditions
    • Handout of steps to mapping out the flow of things
    • 20 page work book to practice
    • handouts that are easy to refer back to and give to other people. Easy to apply them to other topics.
    • Use of Hummel figurines

*Force reflection in the moment

    • offer notes
    • different learning styles
    • good reference for new learnings

*worksheets- doing some of the application prep in the moment.

*More Learning post training/More resources that are graphically nice to look at

    • design for audience as best as possible
    • provide electronic copies/use during training

*Lots of prep time

    • difficult to know audience/anticipate needs/not too many/make sure they’re relevant

*Report things/evals and needs assessments

    • feedback
    • more lead time to prep, sharing resources

Action Plan, tips and tools

Sticky Notes
    • Time to reflect and make action plan within workshop
    • Escalation Plan/ Time Table of future actions
    • Tools to break complete tasks into steps
    • Discussion and examples in workshop of how to breakdown

*Action plan is implementation

*Explicitly listing tools you’ve learned

*Use visuals to create timelines


    • lack of accountability
    • Feeling overwhelmed with all the new info

*Overcoming obstacles

    • buddy system
    • in depth handouts

Scheduling and Calendar, tips and tools

Sticky Notes
    • Twenty minutes in workshop to calendar application steps
    • Students followed up with their organizations staff
    • A workbook with a calendar in the book

Prioritization, Tips and tools


    1. goals as individually
    2. sequence
    3. to-do lists


    1. Initial goal setting
    2. Openness
    3. Flexibility 

MISC. Tools and Tips

Sticky Notes
    • self-selecting participants=motivated to learn
    • synthesizing individual ideas and connecting to different root problems
    • political analysis integral to practice
    • activity had a visual metaphor that participants could interact with
    • teaching skill to friends
    • We’d do the exercise, debrief it, then later identity it as a tool and try it out


    • Practice/application needs to be holistic/integrated into real issues/experiences
    • Be creative (different learning styles, etc)
    • A lot of learning is indirect.

Accountability/Follow Up

Sticky Notes

    • A lot of learning happens by observation- how can we be more intentional with that
    • Break time and other ways to get to know people (leads to informal follow-up)
    • Arrange for coaching session after workshop with a mention
    • Was told that just going to a training doesn’t make you a master

Arrange for a buddy system and buddy check-ins during workshop (for 2-3 day workshop)

    • Personal engagement and position

1. Actions/accountability speaks louder than words/training

    • need for concrete forms of practice
    • being an effective trainer involved the training being used effective

2.  Sharing contact info

    • social structures (buddy system, formal groups, follow up)

3.  Time

4.  Facilitators stake/long term engagement.

Creating Time Tips and Tools

Sticky Notes

    • Hours of practice time within training
    • Time made to plan, try out and debrief tool within training
    • Small group practice to do skill
    • Lots of time to reflect on how to implement in my own work. Quick reflection, wrote it down, got feedback.
    • Well-designed role play
    • Role play forces people to practice
    • Role playing builds confidence, creates sense of possibility, learn by doing
    • Used experiential cycle, experience reflection, generalization, application
    • Time for sharing experiences of putting skills into practice
    • Moderator noted our schedule timeline of topics to discuss




Plan Agenda well

Running out of time


 Get feedback on Agenda and Time

 Not well planned facilitation

Moderator to guide process and keeping time and focus

Building trust, community, active participation, confident and flexible facilitator

Spending too much time on 1 part

Role Play/Trying things out


Fear of interrupting process

Time to plan and reflect before trying


Hard to keep focused



Not set up well



Lack of trust




7:15-7:35 – Report back from groups

Instruction given: please share at least one key thought on each question, but keep report back succinct. Timekeeper, please keep us to it by letting us know if our groups go over 3 minutes.

PART 2: The practice of praxis!

7:40-8:05 – Creating a flexible action plan

Handout: Prioritizing Praxis & squares, construction paper, tape

Instruction given: For this section we will actually map out a theory or idea that you want to implement in your work. We will hand out two things, first, a worksheet on prioritization. For folks who have competing ideas/theories they want to apply, you can use this worksheet to prioritize. Try to use it as a secondary resource rather than mapping out everything that comes to your head, as we want everyone to leave here with an action plan.

Next the action plan: we are handing out cut up squares, use them to write out the steps you will take, the people you will have to consult, anything you have to account for in your implementation. We want to use squares because it encourages folks to think about implementation in a non-linear way, and gives you some flexibility to change the trajectory of an action plan if it isn’t working (just re-order the squares!). We will also have construction paper so after you’ve played around with the ordering of your plan, you can paste it to the paper and draw arrows between steps as needed. Or you could lay them out and take a photo with your phone. If you’re doing this at home you could cut up white board magnets & stick them to your fridge, or tack paper to a cork board, glue to a chalk board, etc. Get creative!

Prompt questions:

  • What is the idea/theory I want to apply?
  • Who do I have to consult?
  • What is my goal? When is my deadline?
  • What are my steps?
  • Who am I accountable to? How can I build in accountability?

After reading questions from flip chart sheet, Zahara models her action plan.

8:05- 8:25 – Teaching the Praxis tools/strategies  

Handout: Teaching the tool worksheet

Instruction given: break out into like groups (teachers, organizers, etc). This is a good time to revisit the answers on the first handout, what made a theory or idea resonate with you, what made you able to put it into practice, how do you create like conditions for others?

8:05- 8:30 Calendaring & Report-back

Instruction given: Now whip out your calendar, computer, or phone & schedule your next two steps.

Close: Go around the room and ask for each participant to briefly say either something new they learned that resonated or something they liked and are excited to walk away with.

Hand out evaluation forms.