Doors of Perception

Can you remember that idea we had next door?

Can you remember that idea we had next door?

Reading the latest blog post by Lily of Oxford Creativity, with whom I co-midwife the final day of How to facilitate TRIZ I was reminded of something else we mentioned in passing last year.

We allow all the participants to facilitate a group at least once so that they can experience all the responsibilities that go with such a key role. Syndicate groups are allocated separate rooms and at the end of the exercise we ‘usually’ bring them back into the main room to reflect on the learning.

I had seen what I think was a section of a BBC Horizon programme in which crossing doorways was said to cause memory loss. I now know this to be the work of Radvansky et al and the PDF can be downloaded here. In summary Radvansky suggests that we connect our memories to the room we are in, and passing out of the door, effectively says those memories are no longer needed. Passing through the doorway is an event boundary, and a new ‘event’ is created, with a ‘cleaner’ slate.

I speculated that the groups might not remember all their learning if the reflection was done outside the room as Radvanskey had speculated, so we did each group reflection back in the original work rooms.

I have no proof whether this was more effective or not but …

My wife works as a Teaching Assistant and as such works one to one with children who have learning difficulties. The children are all given instruction, examples and guidance in the main room. Then my wife takes the children with learning difficulties out, through the door, to a private area where there is less distraction. Is this action making their learning even more difficult?  Because if it is, this is a common practice approach to school classes with differing abilities.

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