Kaospilot is a house with a wide range of educations. Alongside the three year education to be a kaospilot, we also have programmes for professionals in creative leadership, educational design and innovation. One of these courses is The Art and Craft of Facilitating Learning Spaces. This past year we have experienced a large increase in educators and educational designers from all over the world who come to the courses to get new takes and inspiration on how to move forward in their teaching and designs of educations.

In this article you get a sneak peek into one of the classes and meet the programme director and a couple of the participants.


ACFL foto



At the harbour of Aarhus 20 educators are gathered at the Kaospilot school for the second day of the course of Art and Craft of Facilitating Learning Spaces. Three groups are working concentrated in front of boards that they have covered with post-it notes and pictures from magazines.


-      One of the purposes of the programme is to move away from the text-based ideation and use a more visual and creative one that fosters more innovative takes on the educational design challenges, says Simon Kavanagh who is the programme director of The Art and Craft of Facilitating Learning Spaces.


The challenge that he has given the groups right now is to create a vision statement for the educational programme that they are in the process of designing. They have twenty minutes for the task and then have to present the vision like it is going to save the world, as Simon announces with a smile.


The programme runs for three days and the participants are divided into three groups that each work with the design of an educational programme that one of the participants is in the process of creating at his or her own job. However the learning at the course takes place on many levels.


-      The actual task right now is to co-create a programme. They get new takes on how to develop a new education design but also they experience tools and methods in that process that they can use when teaching and facilitating their students, says Simon Kavanagh.






Teams grow quickly from play

Participants from ten different nationalities have come to Denmark to join the course. One of them is David Bolton who is the enterprise manager of Swansea University. The university is expanding their programme in creative entrepreneurship and David is designing the new curriculum.


-      A colleague of mine recommended the programme and it gives me a unique framework for creating a different type of module, says David who also got a lot of new tools for teaching.


-      We have been learning through play by for example LEGO, yoyo exercises and collage exercises. The added value that I hadn’t expected is learning how to design and evaluate educational programmes, says David.


His group at The Art and Craft of Facilitating Learning Spaces programme is working on his project for Swansea University.


-      The input from the teammates has been brilliant! It has surprised me how quickly coherent structures come together from plays, and how quickly team grows. As Simon said: “So far you have worked for two days with people you didn’t know beforehand. Imagine the work you can do with colleagues in two years.” I can definitely use the input in the future work with the programme and we have agreed in the team that I will share how things develop, says David.


Lawyers thinking out of the box

Antine van Nederpelt is a public prosecutor in The Netherlands. Also, she is a programme manager and responsible for the learning and development of the new public prosecutors. She met Simon Kavanagh three years ago when she was visiting Denmark to meet with Danish colleagues who were also in the process of creating a new learning programme for public prosecutors. She and her Dutch colleague were curious about Kaospilot so they arranged a meeting in Aarhus.


-     I spent a day with Simon and I was really inspired because it was so different from the traditional way of thinking education, Antine remembers.


-     We experienced that our colleagues did not learn enough in the traditional class rooms. We have to connect it more than we already do with the practical learning. So now we have a different approach, but we are still developing the program. We brought two of our new tutors for the course as well so they get the tools and inspiration, Antine explains.


-      The biggest challenge has been to think out of the box. As lawyers we are used to always think by the rules and by the book. But here there are no limits and you don’t have to be afraid of making mistakes, because they can spark creativity, says Antine.


Challenged to change roles

To use yourself in another role than the one you are used to is also a big part of the learning at the course.


-      We challenge people to use other sides of them selves. So people who are normally very structured get a role in the group where they use their creative sides. On the other hand the creative ones have to take the structured role. This way you get to practice and explore new sides of yourself. So the programme is not only about the project and problem-based work, but also about self regulation and leadership, says Simon.


A side effect is also that the educators learn how it is to be a student within an experience based learning space.


The programme has run for three years and 450 participants from 25 nationalities have joined.


-      We initially made this program because we saw that we could create an impact on educations in many parts of the world. The programme is the essence of how we educate at Kaospilot and we believe that this can increase the bandwidth for creativity, innovation and risk in education, says Simon.


In the fall Kaospilot will run The Art and Craft of Facilitating Learning Spaces in Brazil, Texas, Holland and Singapore. And in addition establish licenced partners in Spain, Holland, Brazil and the Baltic states in 2016.



Text by Lotte Rystedt, journalist at Kaospilot  




The primary educational design tool that is used on the course and that David refers to above
is the Vision Backcasting Model that is available here.
You can read more about Art and Craft of Facilitating Learning Spaces here.