Chapter 8: Experiencing New Paths.

An Advantaged Thinking Learning Framework.

“Advantaged Thinking empowers people to believe in themselves and have agency over their life decisions.” Sally James, independent consultant in Australia

“Young people are the best at explaining Advantaged Thinking and what could be different. The most profound change happens when they are able to lead the change process.” Nicola Kidston, Peer Power

How can we move Advantaged Thinking into the hands of young people? In Chapter 8, Experiencing New Paths, we unpack a Learning Framework designed to prepare young people not just for independent living, but for an Advantaged Thinking life in all its fullness. The Learning Framework guides young people through a clear curriculum, from their initial engagement with the learning process to becoming leaders of Advantaged Thinking in their own right. 

Where to start? 

Advantaged Thinking was born and grew with young people at its heart. However, the journey that Advantaged Thinking takes us on – one that hones our skills, experiences, and learning – has so often become confined to the services and staff that work with young people rather than the young people themselves.

“I feel that we need to equip and enable young people to become Advantaged Thinking advocates rather than staff ‘owning the rights’ to the ethos [in our services].” Glen O’Hare, Operations Manager at Ravenhead Foyer

The Advantaged Thinking Learning Framework will boost the current learning opportunities on offer within youth supported housing via the introduction of a 'living curriculum'.  A combination of the current quality learning on offer, plus new content created by and for young people, this new curriculum will be relevant, contemporary and in tune with young people's aspirations.  With access to a clear, engaging and bespoke learning pathway young people in supported housing will increase their mastery of Advantaged Thinking, eventually becoming leaders in the field and change makers in their own lives.

The Advantaged Thinking Learning Framework will:

  • Be accessible online from any location
  • Allow content to be created and added by young people, for young people
  • Include a variety of learning materials for different delivery styles as well as self-learning materials
  • Have inbuilt recognition, reward and tracking of progress
  • Provide access to new opportunities such as social action projects and work experience

Chapter 8: Experiencing New Paths takes a closer look at:

  • The Advantaged Thinking Learning Framework
  • The 7 Tests of Advantaged Thinking
  • The 10 Principles of Learning Delivery
  • The Domains and Competency Levels of Advantaged Thinking Learning

Key Learnings:

  • Young people are best placed to advocate for and lead their own Advantaged Thinking journey, their knowledge and experience will form a valuable part of the Advantaged Thinking Learning Framework curriculum,
  • The Advantaged Thinking Learning Framework is constructively designed to build on skills and experience, ultimately empowering young people to become Advantaged Thinking leaders in their own lives,
  • The Learning Framework curriculum has three connected parts:
    • competency in Advantaged Thinking
    • technical understanding of the 7 Tests of Advantaged Thinking
    • application of Advantaged Thinking to achieve impact through its Theory of Change areas.
  • The curriculum is underpinned by 10 Principles of Learning Delivery (see below)
  • The Framework offers a simple way of tracking Advantaged Thinking performance in a service by showing the percentage of young people at a particular competency level, a useful metric for service commissioners and managers wishing to promote Advantaged Thinking outcomes.

What are we doing?

The Foyer Federation will formally endorse and manage content as a ‘recognised resource’ within the Advantaged Thinking Learning Framework and will endorse ‘recognised delivery centres’ that offer young people access to the Advantaged Thinking Learning Framework within a creative and quality learning environment. Learning providers will be encouraged to identify content that can be endorsed by the Foyer Federation to meet the expectations of the Advantaged Thinking Learning Framework. 

Young people will be encouraged to create new content for endorsement with the support of learning providers where needed. To achieve endorsement, content must show how it supports progression in or across the three competency levels, how it achieves outcomes from either or both learning domains and how it offers proof of how the required delivery principles can be met.

The Foyer Federation encourages delivery centres to be endorsed to offer young people Advantaged Thinking experiences. To achieve endorsement, centres must show how they will uphold the delivery principles, offer endorsed content and engage in annual reviews of quality. In return, delivery centres will be able to offer young people Advantaged Thinking certification through the Foyer Federation.

Learners will be expected to explore and develop technical understanding across some or all of the 7 Test areas, demonstrating the learning outcomes defined below for each Test:

The 7 Tests of Advantaged Thinking:

Learning Framework Competency Levels

Competency Level One: 'Getting Ready To Excel Through Advantaged Thinking' prepares learners to develop self-confidence, understanding and self-belief, to get inspired and engaged to experience learning and show commitment to learn by themselves and with others. The outcome of level one is that young people are ready to learn, evidenced by levels of confidence, engagement and preparation to take up a future learning opportunities. Endorsed learning provision will introduce young people to Tests One, Two and Five of Advantaged Thinking and invest in preparing young people to engage and commit to learning.

Competency Level Two: Experiencing Advantaged Thinking. At this level learners will be able to reflect on the 7 Tests to advance self-awareness, use the 7 Tests as a personal development tool and apply Advantaged Thinking to life experiences. The outcome of level two is that young people can direct and achieve a positive impact in their life, evidenced by use of Advantaged Thinking to progress personal quality of life in any of the Advantaged Thinking Theory of Change areas. Endorsed learning provision will allow young people to use and express the 7 Tests of Advantaged Thinking by exploring any or all of the practical contexts identified through the Theory of Change areas from the Advantaged Thinking learning map.

Competency Level Three: Leading Advantaged Thinking. At this level learners will be able to develop content to promote Advantaged Thinking, showcase their Advantaged Thinking Action to influence others, then train, coach and mentor others to use Advantaged Thinking. The outcome of level three is that young people have the power to influence others, evidenced by examples of young people promoting, sharing and supporting Advantaged thinking with and for others. Endorsed learning provision will equip young people to develop or deliver their own Advantaged Thinking material and experiences, giving them the power to influence and inspire others and achieve further quality of life impact for themselves.

10 Principles of Learning Framework Delivery

Learning experiences delivered as part of the Advantaged Thinking Learning Framework must conform to the 10 Principles of Learning Delivery:

  1. Inspiring and exciting
  2. Personalised to young people’s interests and goals
  3. Accessible to all young people
  4. Engaging for different learning styles
  5. High quality with clear learning aims and outcomes relevant to young people
  6. High value with meaningful forms of recognition and achievement
  7. Designed with the active involvement of young people
  8. Able to connect with opportunities for progression
  9. Able to offer opportunities for young people to lead or co-deliver sessions
  10. Delivered by appropriately skilled and qualified trainers, offering demonstrable lived and/or learning experience to facilitate an Advantaged Thinking learning space

Reflection Questions:

Q1. Do you have, or could you create, future content to be endorsed as a learning resource for the Advantaged Thinking Learning Framework?

Q2. What do you see as the main positives of being able to offer young people access to learning experiences through the Advantaged Thinking Learning Framework?

Q3. How many of the learning delivery principles do you uphold in your current offer? 

Q4. How might an annual review process be of benefit to your learning offer?

The Foyer Federation is registered in England and Wales under company number 2699839 at Work.Life, Core Building, 30 Brown Street, Manchester, M2 1DH. The charity is registered under charity number 1040482.
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