In this section we share the story of one of the activities that took place within the EPEE project. We hope this and our other case studies may provide inspiration for types of projects that can take place.
The Monster’s Workshop is designed to help the participating sixth form students explore the challenges they experience as they consider a possible transition from A-levels to Higher Education, immersing them in a campus learning experience, and drawing on innovative methods, informed by Beverley Hawkin's research on the development of leadership skills and resilience in transition.
The idea of the workshop is to help participants explore their potential for growth through identifying their fears and ways to overcome those fears. Participants use play-dough to build monsters which represent their fears. The workshop uses play and creativity to open people up to talking about their concerns. Having named the fears participants then get to create a liminal map to help them identify where and when they might encounter those monsters and develop strategies for overcoming them.
Two consectutive workshops where held, ten students from one school in workshop one and thirteen students from another school for the second workshop. The students were accompanied in both cases by the head of sixth form at the respective schools.
During the 90-minute session, students were briefly introduced to the research on leadership and liminal transition which informed the workshop – Beverley even donned a blue monsters tail for this aspect! Students then worked in groups to create play-doh representations of the monsters that lurk at various points in their experience of transition through A-level, to ‘infinity and beyond’.
The following video provides an introduction to this workshop, some of the techniques used and the feedback from participants.