|Aquaculture - Training Manual (Peace Corps, 1990, 350 p.)|
|Chapter ten: Program design - week one|
Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
· Process the week's activities by providing opportunity for trainees to share experiences and feelings;
· Share ideas about new ways of learning based on experiences in first week;
· Define the purpose of training in the context of service in the Peace Corps aquaculture programs and of what will be expected of trainees upon arrival in those programs;
· Discuss and provide information about the role of aquaculture Volunteers;
· Provide opportunity to consider the assessment component of the training program in the context of the needs of Peace Corps field staff;
· Inform trainees about the expectations the training staff have of them;
· Encourage trainees to set personal goals for training.
Overview: This meeting takes place at the end of the first week, and serves several purposes. The first week of training can be a strange and intense experience for many trainees, and this meeting provides an opportunity to process that experience. After a week of individual work during which trainees may have felt alone and sometimes confused, it can be reassuring to share the feelings they had and to discuss what they learned about working in this environment. Some of the topics that were touched on in Orientation are reviewed again now that trainees have some experience with the program to help them put them into perspective. In addition to processing, this meeting also serves as a forum for providing additional information about the job of a fish culture extensionist that will help trainees put training into context. Trainees are informed of the staff's expectations of them. Finally, now that trainees have had a chance to get oriented, they are encouraged to set personal goals for themselves related to the training program.
1. The facilitator begins the session by reviewing what the trainees have done over the course of the week. He/she asks the trainees to share some of the experiences and feelings they had during the week.
2. The facilitator asks trainees to list what they have learned about new ways of learning. As the trainees repond, a trainer records their list on newsprint.
3. When the trainees feel that the list is complete, the trainer tapes the sheets of newsprint along the front of the room. The facilitator asks the trainees to take ten minutes and write down how they plan to apply what they have learned this week to the rest of training.
4. At this point, the facilitator gives a brief lecture during which the following topics are discussed:
· The organizational structure of Peace Corps (in terms of the aquaculture programs) including the roles, relationships and interactions among Peace Corps/Washington, Peace Corps field staff, host government agencies and other development and/or private volunteer organizations involved in aquaculture programs;
· A more detailed description of the role of the Associate Peace Corps Directors (or field Project Manager), and his/her working relationship with the Volunteers;
· The role of the aquaculture Volunteers in the Peace Corps aquaculture extension programs overseas, including information about the programming strategies and how volunteers fit into the different stages of aquaculture development as fits the planned program design.
5. The facilitator asks the trainees what they feel are some of the important skills and characteristics that a volunteer must possess in order to be effective. Encourage the trainees to make links between these skills or characteristics and the job of the fisheries volunteer, and to explain how each point affects the volunteer's effectiveness.
6. The facilitator now asks the trainees to turn their thoughts, in light of what has been discussed to this point, to what the Peace Corps field staff will expect of them. Again, this is to be a verbal discussion among the trainees.
7. At this point, the facilitator refers to the assessment component of the program that was initially introduced during the Orientation session. He/she stresses that the main purpose of this component, as well as the dimensions that are used, are based on the needs of the overseas staff regarding the volunteers who enter the fisheries programs. The importance of honest self-assessment is again emphasized with reference to its relevance to the aquaculture programs. Trainees are encouraged to express their thoughts or questions about either self-assessment or staff assessment.
8. The staff's expectations of the trainees are explained. These include:
· Honest self-assessment;
· High level of commitment and effort;
· Very high quality work;
· Trainees take responsibility for their learning;
· Trainees take advantage of opportunities;
· Trainees are on time and prepared for all activities;
· Openness to giving and receiving feedback;
· Trainees take responsibility for their own health and well-being;
· Keep an open mind, take risks, suspend cynicism, do not fear failure;
· Participate actively;
· Sensitivity to the image of Peace Corps in local community;
· Take responsibility for maintaining facilities, equipment, etc.
9. In concluding the session, the facilitator points out that training can serve as a transition period for developing and enhancing the characteristics they listed and for trying out what for most will be a new role. The trainees are given an assignment to reflect upon what has been discussed and upon their own past experiences, and to set some personal goals for themselves for training. These are to be written down and turned in the following morning. Make it clear that the goal statements will be returned to them within a day or two and they may be referred to in future feedback sessions.
Resources and Materials:
· Flip chart stand;
· Masking tape.
· This session can be facilitated by the Master Trainer, the Project Director, or Project Manager. It can also be co-facilitated by some combination of a regular training staff member and/or the Project Director, and a visiting official such as an Associate Peace Corps Director or the other Peace Corps staff;
· The timing of this session is important. It should be scheduled at the end of the first week. However, it is also important to consider what other activities the trainees are involved in. If trainees are in the midst of stocking their ponds, for example, it may be difficult to get them all together at a time when they will really be able to focus on the content of the session. If it is more likely to have the trainees' full concentration and attention a day earlier or the first morning of the second week, this should be considered.