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Connection Before Content: Tools For Building Relational Foundations To Support Experiential Learning
Building on work on psychological safety, this symposium offers several tools and approaches that instructors can implement to build relationships among students and between students and the instructors at the start of and throughout a course. In addition to psychological safety, the theoretical foundation for this symposium is based on what we know about effective leadership vis-à-vis relationship-building and the positive effects of nurtured relationships on long-term health and happiness. We suggest that building psychological safety before diving into course-specific experiential activities is paramount to their effectiveness, as is continuing to reinforce psychological safety throughout the course.