• 'Dynamic Groups, Dynamic Learning' Creative teachers, Facilitators and Group Leaders Courses

    6 day trainings, shorter workshops and consultancy

  • Robin's Full Re-edited, Reformatted 3rd Edition Book

    Now over 5000 copies sold

  • Robin's New Dynamic Groups Book Due for Release Mid 2016

    Robin's partner Rob Clark has just produced a stunning flier about it

  • Brand New 'Permaculture Principles Card Game'

    PLUS 'Creative Process Wild Cards'

  • Introducing ELFy The Magician to the World

    DaDarrr! Mascot, champion and colourful jigsaw puzzle symbol for Dynamic Groups

  • 'The Love Feast' Dynamic Relationships Retreat and Methodology

    Shorter workshops and private couples sessions available

Recent Posts

Group Energizers

Have you ever gone to sleep in a class, lecture or meeting? More importantly, have participants in your groups gone to sleep or looked bleary eyed and started yawning? This is a signal, not to go faster and try and get through copious notes more quickly, but to have a break of some kind. 

A Variety of Ways to TAKE A BREAK…

* The obvious one is to have a tea break. Preferably offering fruit, filtered water, juice and healthy light snacks. Too much sugar and heavy cakes can give a sugar spike to the blood sugar followed by a big drop in energy later on.

* Change chairs and visit an open window on the way. Take 3 deep breaths of the fresh air

* All stand up and have a big stretch and a yawn by massaging the jaw

* Use any ‘Cross-Crawling’ activity. Have a look at some of these free Brain Gym activities http://sspw.dpi.wi.gov/files/sspw/pdf/sascevanshandouts.pdf

* Juggle or throw a ball around the room for 5 minutes

* Drink a glass of cold water

* Give yourself an ear massage from the top of the earlobe down, rolling the ear out as you go down. This helps switch on the hearing if you’re sitting in an auditory presentation or wanting people to listen well.

* Change activities or brake into small groups

* Throw in a story with humour involved

* All the Group can act out the information being covered or be involved in creating a model of it. Find some way for people to use their bodies actively.

* Play an Energizer or active group game or process. One of my favourites is ‘Big Animals, Little Animals’ from our ‘Manual for Teaching Permaculture Creatively’. ( http://dynamicgroups.com.au/shop/#!/~/product/category=2749073&id=11984875 )

Here’s the instructions – BIG ANIMALS, LITTLE ANIMALS

This is a very active game that really needs to be played inside on a soft  floor in a room with few breakable items (it  can be very boisterous). We’ve also played it outside in a garden full of trees and other hidie holes. It is simple – divide the group  into halves,  explain to one half that they are “BIG, HUNGRY,  FEROCIOUS ANIMALS”, the other group are “small, tiny, timid, delicious to eat animals“. “Now GO!”

 After a few minutes of mayhem (remember play fighting when you were a child ?) yell for them to “STOP” and explain that everyone is to swap roles and “GO  AGAIN”.  This allows a bit of  friendly revenge and balances up the energy. De-Role at the end by shaking off the body and says one;s real name a few times. 

Magic Happens in Dynamic Groups

Magic Happens in ‘Dynamic Groups’ and Learning Happens Easily. Why is that so?

It’s been an exciting and rewarding journey for Robin Clayfield since she first began Teaching Permaculture Creatively in 1990. She and Skye (now from Brazil) had taught a 2 week Permaculture Design Course the year before, using lecturing, small group work, demonstrations, hands-on garden and design exercises and other standard educational practises. That’s how they’d been taught through school, Uni and in their Permaculture course as students.

The course went very well, people were inspired and learnt lots, though they reported a sense of ‘information overload’. It also didn’t feel right to Skye and Robin that they were teaching Soils to Soil scientists and Building Design to Architects. Many interesting discussions followed and the next course saw ‘Needs Based Learning’  implemented and ‘Creative Facilitation’ of relevant, diverse and empowering activities, many developed especially for the people in the course. The feedback was very encouraging. The journey had begun.

After a couple of years many requests for mentoring and  teaching a special course to share their ideas and processes had been received. They had also been asked repeatedly to write down some of the processes so others could duplicate them…. The first ‘Advanced Permaculture Creative Teachers Facilitation’ Course was run and in 1994 the ‘Manual for Teaching Permaculture Creatively’ was published.

Robin now offers the ‘Dynamic Groups, Dynamic Learning’ methodology and training course to people from all industries, sector and walks of life and learning. It is an evolution of this original work, gleaning 24 years of experience, creativity, reflection, research and input from participants in hundreds of courses. She gets virtually 100% positive feedback in written and verbal evaluations and glowing testimonials. Why does this course achieve such fantastic feedback? How does it empower participants to build their confidence and skills so easily and successfully? What creates the magic? 

Piecing together 8 essential elements which together create a Dynamic Group, culminating in a positive and highly successful learning experience.

The Magician helps us put those pieces together.

* Be Grounded in Healthy and Appropriate Ethics and Principles, even things as simple and essential as ‘Duty of Care’. Think about what your Ethics and Principles are that may apply to groups you’re facilitating or involved with.

* Have Shared Goals and Vision as a Group. Think about the common understandings that would support your group to work together and solve problems together.

* Empowerment of the participants through working in a circle, using collaborative group experiences, processes and opportunities and having a positive learning (and participation) self image is very important.

* Use Creative Processes rather than lecturing and other non-participatory methods. Introduce activities that cater to everyone’s learning style, help keep the brain alert and that support memory retention.

* Use Interactive, Participatory Processes. Engagement of participants leads to motivation, enjoyment and increased learning plus a greater sense of achievement as everyone’s input is included and valued.

* Develop the Art and Skill of Facilitation so that learning happens easily rather than being handed down in teaching style lectures or talks. This also involves creative problem solving in groups, using interesting content and techniques, developing confidence and good planning and preparation.

* Expand your Tool Box of Creative Interactive processes for Group Dynamics, Learning Content Sessions, Meetings and Discussions, Evaluations, Completions and Celebrations. Do you have ‘IceBreakers, Energizers, Name Games and Grouping processes in your tool box? How many trust building activities do you know? Can you support a group to use both sides of their brain in a diversity of fun and easy ways?

* Develop Support Systems and Create a Supportive Learning Environment for your Participants and Yourself. Putting a system of Buddies in place so people don’t miss out on learning and encouraging Mentors are two examples. Having great food provided and adequate breaks are other examples as is offering a safe and comfortable learning and group work environment.

When all this is in place people are motivated, they are learning easily or achieving the group task and they are having fun. If the group is involved in a course or learning situation add a few more pieces to the puzzle…

* Consider Cycles and Patterns of Learning.  Introduce ‘Accelerated Learning’ techniques (see http://www.acceleratedlearning.com/index.html ) and use Planning cycles and concepts like ‘Implement, Review, Improve’.

* Ensure Multi-Sensory Learning is in place. Rather than using lecturing and other mostly auditory techniques also involve Visual and Kinaesthetic ways of presenting and gathering information and learning.

* Use Inspiring Content. Make sure it’s relevant and addresses the needs of the learner or participant rather than being something they aren’t interested in or haven’t asked to learn about. Keep up to date and offer current information that’s well researched.

 * Maintain a Positive Attitude. Include appropriate humour and use fun, relaxing and motivating processes and activities. Find ways to affirm the positive self image of all the participants.

Have a look at the 4 minute movie of the ‘Dynamic Groups, Dynamic Learning’ Methodology on YouTube if you’d like to watch the magician put all the pieces of the puzzle together. 

‘Like’ it, Share it on FaceBook or other Social Media then tell Robin you’ve done that and receive a $50 discount on her next ‘Dynamic Groups, Dynamic Learning’ Creative Facilitators Training in Sth East Q’ld, 26th to 31st August.

Social Permaculture Smorgasboard

What is Social Permaculture?

As a culture and a movement for positive global change we’re getting better and better at designing our gardens, food systems, buildings and landscapes using Permaculture Principles, common sense ways of sensitively developing systems to sustain ourselves based on how nature and natural systems work. Designing our social systems, groups, communities and our household living using the same principles gives us an interesting exercise in ‘People Care’, a key Ethic of Permaculture. Try taking each of the Permaculture Principles and explore how your favourite group or a course you’ve just done has integrated each of the principles. Imagine how our world would be if all our organisations, groups, learning environments and neighbourhoods embraced these great approaches to life and people.

Dive more deeply into exploring this theme by joining Robin and Friends for A SMORGASBOARD of Social Permaculture, Community Development and Valuable Skill Enhancement. 

4 workshops over 3 weeks in August at Crystal Waters Permaculture Eco-Village. Sth East Q’ld.

Do one course, do two or do them all and receive a  substantial discount. Bring a friend, members of your local group or organisation, encourage your family members and come celebrate a deepening learning journey of how Social Permaculture can inform your life and living situation, serve your groups to achieve their purpose more effectively and easily and support a better world. 

Click here to see more details of the four courses on offer

‘Social Permaculture’ Weekend – with Robin Clayfield – 17th and 18th August 

‘U Theory, Dragon Dreaming and Mini Vision Quest’ – A weekend workshop with Skye from Brazil  – 24th and 25th August 

‘Dynamic Groups, Dynamic Learning’ Creative Presentation, Facilitation and Teachers Training Intensive – with Robin Clayfield – 26th to 31st August 

‘Dynamic Decision Making’ Day – With Robin Clayfield – 2nd September 

Click here to see the poster with details of all these courses 🙂

We’d love to share this special one off time with you.

‘Dynamic Groups’ Creative Facilitation Course Feedback

“Hi Robin
Remember we (Ruth and Tommy) did both the Permaculture Design Course and the Facilitators Course with you in …. Oct/Nov 1994 I think it was. 
Since then my life has gone in perhaps a different direction, as I realised my skills are in working with people rather than with plants.
So now I am a holistic counsellor offering various vibrational energy based ways of helping others, plus I run small groups offering similar skills – either self care or practitioner skills
I also taught at Sophia College for a while, teaching people to become holistic counsellors.
In all my work I have been significantly influenced by what I learned with you on those courses, especially the facilitators course. So much so, that really I just take your approach ‘for granted’ – take it as normal.
All my work that I offer is experiential in nature, actively engaging the people in their own process
Staying clear of intellectualising as much as possible, engaging the wholeness of the person.
I learned to do this with you.
I can’t imagine any other way of being now.
Occasionally I end up at some lecture where the teacher is not behaving like this and I am so bored!
But I think this is still the norm out there maybe?
So I feel very fortunate to have done those courses with you back then.
And the fact I engage with live plants very infrequently – I still gained so much in terms of helping others,
and by that helping the planet in a way that matches my skills.
Also of course those 3 weeks we spent with you at Crystal Waters were personally so empowering and transforming for me. At the end of them I felt I could do anything!!!
While that feeling hasn’t persisted (!) life being a continuing growth challenge – still the transformation has been forever:) Probably without attending your courses I never would have dreamt of doing what I do now
Outside of my previous thought boxes of constraint and into who I truly am:):)
Oh well that’s a continuing journey too, but those 3 weeks spent with you were a huge and significant leap towards my potential. 
I guess that’s part of it, you helped me to see I had so much more potential than I dared to dream of,
And that you showed us how to bring this out in others too.
Thanks…. really thanks:)
Love Ruth”

Southern Winter Tour

Time to pack the winter woolies in June and head to the cold country 

for several courses in Blue Mts, St Albans and Bermagui.

Click on the links for a flier and join us, we’ll be on fire for sure with all this great learning and skill building.

‘Dynamic Decision Making’  Leura Blue Mts on 5th June

‘Social Permaculture’  Bandusia Retreat, St Albans via Sydney 8th and 9th June

‘Dynamic Groups, Dynamic Learning’  Bandusia Retreat, St Albans via Sydney 10th to 13th June

‘Dynamic Decision Making’ at The Crossing, Bermagui, Sth Coast NSW 17th June

‘Social Permaculture’ Weekend Workshop

Robin’s been invited to create and offer her first ever ‘Social Permaculture – Working Together for Change’ Weekend Workshop at Penny Pyett’s new Permaculture Sydney Institute retreat centre, Bundusia near St Ambans.

Join us on 9th and 10th February for a wonderful world first.

Click here to see more info.