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The AP Toolkit

Skills for Life Network

Don’t forget that the AP Toolkit, comprising the set of Development Cards and the 4 new AP Practical Guides, are available to download from the Education and Training Foundation’s website.

AP Toolkit

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These evidence-based resources have been widely applauded as accessible, very relevant and well-presented in supporting the AP-type role.

In this edition of the #APConnect communication, we will take a closer look at our new AP Guide: Creating Spaces to Think in Further Education and Training.  

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This resource was developed following overwhelmingly positive feedback from APs attending our 3-day ‘Developing Advanced Practitioners’ Development programme. On Day 1 and on Day 3, Lou Mycroft introduced APs to the Thinking Environment and how to apply the underpinning skills in support of relationships building, coaching, meetings and a Time to Think Council.  These highly immersive and experiential sessions clearly made a significant impression on everyone, leaving us all reflecting on the potential power of this approach in facilitating positive change and building cultures of mutual respect, support and collaboration.

Thankfully, Lou was persuaded to create this guide with the help of her colleague Kay Sidebottom. As Lou and Kay explain, the Thinking Environment was developed by Nancy Kline who realised that 10 behaviours were key to encouraging and enabling individuals to think fully, freely and productively for themselves, leading to profound positive impacts on (for example) their sense of self-worth, their motivation and commitment and their preference for collaborative working.  These results have now been confirmed and replicated (here and internationally) in contexts as wide as family- learning, through to national governance. Lou and Kay explain:

‘The Thinking Environment can be used by APs in a range of situations, to create effective thinking spaces. These include one-to-one coaching and mentoring sessions as well as with pairs and groups of colleagues. We want to stress at the outset that a Thinking Environment approach is not a quick fix. It has profound potential for culture change and such work takes time, particularly as its simple processes feel familiar – easy to dismiss but in their rigour they are in fact profoundly radical.’

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In our next edition, we will highlight our two Coaching and Mentoring Guides together with a selection of relevant Toolkit cards.

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