Follow-up reflections after attending a PASSING workshop (#1)

SRV and PASSING training has been done in many agencies in many different countries over the last almost 30 years. Attending SRV and PASSING workshops are certainly intense learning experiences. By itself, however, attendance at these workshops is not likely to make a long-term positive difference for an agency service worker, nor more importantly for the people served. Internalization of learning, taking on leadership roles, and developing the necessary skills and habits to craft valued social roles for societally devalued people requires more: a supportive program or agency environment, co-workers with similar SRV-based understanding and skills, sufficient time to build and carry out relevant and potent SRV steps, and so on.

How might these factors be nurtured over time? One useful principle is to remember that attendance at SRV and PASSING workshops are the beginning of learning a new way of carrying out one’s service role, not the end. Too often, services act as if attendance at a workshop or two is all that is needed. Not so. How can learning be internalized? How can it be turned into concrete and habitual action? What will sustain continued learning and concrete action in the face of competing mindsets, responsibilities, pressures, and so on?

More learning of course is not all that is needed but it is helpful. One useful learning strategy (certainly not the only one) might be for workshop attendees to have opportunities to reflect on and to discuss what they learned at SRV and PASSING, particularly in the concrete context of their day-to-day roles. Program supervisors and training staff can help with such reflection and discussion in myriad ways. One such way for example would be to facilitate follow-up reflective discussions with attendees, making sure that such reflection is rooted in service workers’ actual day-by-day, week-by-week, month-by-month responsibilities.

Over the next several posts, we will share some sample questions that could help inform such reflective discussions. Please do not consider these sample questions to be exhaustive. We strongly encourage you to post helpful comments on these questions and to send us examples of your own experiences with post-PASSING learning and implementation, as well as other helpful reflective questions and strategies. We also encourage you to try using these questions in your own services and to let us know how it goes.

Below are the first of these posts and questions; more to follow.

Questions regarding the learning of SRV and the PASSING tool:

• After attending SRV and PASSING workshops, in what ways are you better able to identify with devalued people in general and with the people you serve in particular?

• What strategies in support of interpersonal identification did you learn from attending SRV and PASSING?

• How will you know if you are better able to identify with vulnerable people; what guideposts or signs will you look for?

• What gets in the way of your identification with devalued people in general or specifically? How might you and your fellow staff overcome such barriers? What help would you need to do so?

Posted on August 8, 2011 at 6:12 am by MTumeinski · Permalink
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