Girl Guide/Girl Scout Educational Method

Non-formal education is the essence of how members learn in the Guiding movement.  It means that the learning methods are highly participatory and the learning goals and methods are decided by the learners themselves.  This doesn’t mean Leaders have no role but that they are shapers or facilitators of the experience.  Facilitators step in when they need to, if the learning gets stuck or if something goes wrong.  They ask questions and help girls articulate their goals clearly, make connections e.g. between what they have done and the Promise and Law.  Often they tease out the learning in the review and reflection stages.

WAGGGS has summarised the Girl Guide and Girl Scout educational method as having five essential elements.

Learning in small groups. Small groups create a sense of belonging and so it’s easy to support each other, solve problems and take risks.  Interacting with peers in small groups reinforces values and develops self-esteem.

Learning by doing.  The most powerful learning happens through real experiences.  Learning should be hands-on and challenging and involve games, projects, experiments and skills challenges.

My path, my pace.  Individuals learn in different ways and often want to learn different things.  Having a choice of what and how to learn means girls learn at their own pace and are more likely to take risks and make mistakes.

Connecting with others.  Learning happens naturally when we connect with people of different ages, genders, cultural and social backgrounds.  So learning happens naturally when Unit membership is diverse and girls have the opportunity to participate in District activities.

Connecting with my world.  Learning about the world involves protecting the environment, undertaking community projects, speaking out on issues, enjoying the outdoors and learning about global issues.

A simple summary of this is that a Guide learns about herself, others and her world through doing things in small groups.  WAGGGS has identified the six skills that, together, enable young people to thrive in a rapidly changing world as being:

  • Self-aware, confident, achieving goals individually and by leading others.
  • Creative thinkers, resilient problem solvers.
  • Active in communities, connected to the world, taking action.
  • Express ideas confidently, good listeners, respond empathetically.
  • Team players, work positively with others, care about diversity.
  • Committed life-long learners.

Acknowledgement: Prepared to Learn, Prepared to Lead, WAGGGS 2014

Last Modified: 14/07/16 at 2:19 PM