1st Edition

Playing with Purpose How Experiential Learning Can Be More Than a Game

By Steve Hutchinson, Helen Lawrence Copyright 2011

    Playing with Purpose shows how a facilitator, coach, manager, people developer or trainer can invent or reinvigorate an artificial learning experience and make it so much more than a game. The authors look at a range of dilemmas, challenges and problems faced by anyone wanting to run memorable training sessions, classes and project meetings and then demonstrate how to get powerful lessons from the simplest of household and office objects and situations. The exercises and ideas outlined provide a focused examination of a range of training aims and outcomes including leadership, teamwork, communications, equality and diversity, feedback and personal effectiveness; as well as general energisers, closers and problems to be solved. Steve Hutchinson and Helen Lawrence believe that seeing their sustainable, creative approach to experiential learning explicitly laid out, will give you the confidence to develop your own solutions.

    Contents: Preface: why read this book and how to use it; Part I The Concept of Experiential Learning: Optimizing artificial experiential learning. Part II The Skills of Facilitation: Extracting the lesson: how to review, capture and amplify the learning. Part III The Developer's Toolbox - Specific Issues and Tactics; Helping teams work; Facilitating leadership development; Building personal effectiveness; Dealing with change; Producing creative and critical thinkers; Understanding organizational quality; Getting people talking: building productive relationships; Exploring diversity issues; Final thoughts and last words; Bibliography.


    After completing his PhD in Behavioural Ecology and working in academia, Dr Steve Hutchinson led development programmes at the Universities of York and Leeds. He now owns and runs his own development consultancy and has designed and led acclaimed courses and events for a huge range of organisations and institutions, both in the UK and abroad. A highly skilled facilitator and trainer, he is both a Vitae GRADschool national course director and a programme director for the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education. He is a qualified trainer, coach and practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming. He writes articles and chapters on a range of topics from creativity to leadership and motivation. Playing With Purpose is his second book. Dr Helen Lawrence completed a PhD in Sociolinguistic Variation and worked in the academic sector for a number of years, publishing, teaching and lecturing. Discovering a passion for helping people realize their potential she moved into the field of training and development. For five years she worked at the University of York, taking a lead role in developing and delivering training programmes for staff and students. In 2008 she set up her own training and development business, and works with individuals, teams and institutions in the research, educational and not-for-profit sectors. Helen is also a local and national Vitae GRADschool tutor; an accredited Myers Briggs Type Indicator practitioner; and a trained Coactive Coach.

    'This book is indispensable for anybody aiming to help groups interact, reflect and develop themselves. The "learning-by-doing" approach has never been more clearly explained or imaginatively illustrated. Buy it, read it, use it, adapt it.' Dr Luke Freeman, University College, London '... we are faced with the need to develop creative, agile and responsive staff and students, capable of viewing the world in a very different way to the past. In this book the authors explore a range of techniques to recreate and facilitate a sense of 'fun' and 'excitement' of new learning - an art long left behind in childhood. This book assists people developers in facilitating learning experiences that have the capacity to bring about those skills and attributes so necessary to enable a constructive and positive response to whatever the future might hold. I commend it to the reader.' Stephanie Marshall Director of Programmes Leadership Foundation for Higher Education