Personal Philosophy and Group Facilitation
What is a Personal Philosophy?
A personal philosophy is a person’s interpretation of the events and experiences encountered throughout their lifetime. Simply put it could be viewed as why people do and say the things they do. It is the driving force behind their actions. A person’s philosophy will be influenced by their personality, educational experience, personal constructs and their interactions with work colleagues, the public or clients and institutions. A good philosophy is not stagnant; it will change as people mature, undertake further educational experiences and gain expertise in their position.
Why is it Important?
Strongly held beliefs or constructs will influence how a group facilitator/early parenting educator interacts with the people in the group. Important questions for self reflection and development of a personal philosophy include:
• Why do I want to be an early parenting educator?
• What do I want to achieve?
• What impact do I want to make?
• How best can I help these people face the impending labour and birth and transition from a couple to a family?
How Can A Facilitator’s Personal Philosophy Impact on the Group?
Strongly held constructs can influence the amount and quality of information and resources a group facilitator/early parenting educator uses, especially where they are unaware of their own subconscious constructs. For example an early parenting educator who does not believe in circumcision may not provide information or resources for the group on circumcision. Other common controversial topics include vaccination and vegetarianism.
Birth and parenting practices evolve and change, sometimes in response to cultural or traditional beliefs or societal change. It is useful for early parenting educators to reflect on their attitudes and beliefs around current pregnancy, birth and parenting practices. This reflection will help to identify areas which they could find difficult to address in a group. Alternate strategies can be used to cover these issues for example:
• Tapping into participant knowledge through a large group discussion.
• Assigning a fact finding task for participants to complete between sessions.
• Provision of printed resources on the topic.
• A list of reputable websites and/or books on the topic.
• Invite a guest speaker with expertise in the topic.
Developed by Kim Brickwood September 2013