Less is more

Planning a school workshop for next week with my co-facilitator reminded me of the wide variation of approach to facilitation.

We are planning a run of Cognitive Edge Future Backwards in the school hall with groups of ten children to each. The theme is to be ‘the environment’. As I quickly ran through the order of the session, she immediately interrupted:

‘TODAY’ , how broad are we making it, global, national or local?

without thinking I replied

I don’t think we should specify a scale. It would be much more interesting to see what scale they choose if we just introduce ‘the environment’ as the topic. We might then get a greater understanding of their perspectives by looking at the overall story and seeing what scale is uppermost in their minds

She just laughed and reminded me that it always used to be like this when we worked together.

Not only that, If we do not give any introduction that says ‘the environment is in trouble’ we will be able to make sense of whether these children are optimistic or pessimistic, concerned or at ease with the current state of affairs.

This is what Sensemaker does explicitly and  I am going to try and set this event up with as little bias as I can convince my co-facilitator to muster, and look for patterns in the material afterwards, fingers crossed.

Wondering how we would tie up quite short sessions I remembered a Tales to Sustain workshop we had where Katrice Horsely (another great storytelling friend) put up a picture of a tree and asked us to add a symbol of our commitment. So that’s it we will draw a huge tree and ask the children to come up with one action that they are prepared to take, that will ensure a good rather than bad future (we are apprehensive of using ‘Heaven and Hell’ in a church school).

Individual, personal actions with commitment that emerge from the social (local) interactions of generating a story about their environment. Now this is starting to feel like the reason I was put on this planet.

I will let you know the outcome later in the month.

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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Randomness is good « The ecology of knowledge

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