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A plan for a thinking-through-making workshop taking place at a health conference focussing on school education.

This is a plan for a thinking-through-making workshop proposed to NIHR (National Institute for Health Research) for a forthcoming conference called Innovation in Education. The aim of the conference is to look for ways in which professionals from health and education can work together better to help schools produce the favourable conditions in which preventative mental health behaviours are more likely.

27 Oct 2016. An Early Lab workshop activity plan with aims and objectives.

The event

Following an invitation from Dr Emma Howarth, Senior Research Associate at NIHR, Early Lab will run a workshop at a school education conference in Cambridge on 23 November 2016. The event is organised by the East of England branch of CLAHRC (Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care). It will bring together professionals from the East of England region working in the sectors of education and health sharing an interest in the wellbeing of children and young people in schools.

Workshop purpose

This is about the magic of making. How when thoughts and feelings are made physical, externalised as vibrant objects, they can be more easily shared, discussed and managed. Participants will work together to make things that will express specific emotional states. This social act of making is a form of play that will spark lots of dialogic exchanges celebrating difference and embracing variations in interpretation.

Workshop objectives

The activity focuses on the quality of relationships between young people and experts (be they teachers, clinicians, researchers, parents, carers, social workers, youth justice officers). Its an exercise in dialogic cooperation, enacted through the making of empathy tools, that are attentive to difference: differences amongst young people and also differences amongst service sector models (that health and education professionals are only too aware of).

Workshop aims

To introduce participants to a co-creation model based on visual communication that is less verbal in the hope that it can help professionals from health and education sectors work together better to support the wellbeing of children and young people in schools.

This is a creative exercise testing an approach that has the potential to be put to use as a boundary-spanning method of co-production (between schools and other service sectors) and/or a pedagogic intervention (in schools). Both potential uses would seek to improve the wellbeing of children and young people as methods of a preventative strategy promoting inclusive, peer-to-peer support cultures in schools.

Workshop take-aways

Calling all change-makers:

  • Understand the value of making physical objects as a co-creation method for sharing thoughts and feelings that is highly visual, tactile and less verbal.
  • Understand the role of empathy tools in co-creation and how they draw out, express and respect difference.
  • Experience a dialogic (as opposed to dialectic) method of cooperation, that in attending to difference, resists consensus (which would otherwise keep the power base, that maintains things as they are, hidden).
A record of the workshop event

Please look out for an illustrated account of the workshop event that will soon be uploaded onto the ‘In progress‘ section of this website.

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