Due to the location of both ABC, DCU and IADT in Dublin, and the fact that we would be approaching, for the most part, the same organisations involving adult SEN/D service users and support workers, the piloting of the 3 Modules were undertaken together to avoid clashing and confusion.
In order to a) attempt to replicate the kind of activity that would go on in a school or SEN/D institution around this kind of training b) try to ensure that the information from the previous module would be retained and built upon, and c) ensure that the attendees would not have the piloting spread too much over their diaries, the training days took place over the course of 3 successive weeks, in 2 cohorts (Mondays & Thursdays) beginning on Monday February 25th 2019 and ending on Thursday March 14th. in St Patrick’s & All Hallows Campuses in DCU.
Both service users and support workers were very enthused and happy to be there throughout, and over the three weeks nearly all involved vocalised concern about the amount of bullying they had either seen or experienced personally, while some were attending to learn how to deal with current issues they were involved in with regards to being bullied.
Unexpected learning outcomes were found along the way. For example, there was a great deal of confusion around the difference between Conflict & Bullying, and both the PowerPoint materials and some work with Lego Serious Play allowed this to be explored to great effect among both groupings. Support workers also discovered through group discussions with service users on the various types of bullying that among service users experience of Relationship Bullying was much more commonly experienced by service users, especially among male service users, than they had thought it to be.
Overall the course provoked great conversation, creativity and feedback from the two groups, between the two groups, and from the entirety to the facilitators. And the demand for the resources from the Support Workers/Teachers, and desire for the course to continue on an ongoing/full basis across both groups appears telling as to its impact.