Home > Conference: November 2009 > Act II begins! (Liveblog)

Act II begins! (Liveblog)

November 3rd, 2009

Here we are sitting in Circa theatre as Act II of Shifting Thinking begins.

We are welcomed by students from Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Nga Mokopuna

Next, Robyn Baker explains how the thinking for the Shifting Thinking Conference has evolved over the past year. She describes this conference as “participatory theatre” – yes indeed! (Do you hear that, friends? We are calling on you to take on a role in this somewhat planned, but somewhat improvised performance in the next two days!)

After a few “housekeeping” notices, Robyn passes over to Jane Gilbert to explain some of the context for this conference. Jane describes this conference as….

“A big experiment”

“Trying newways of running a conference”

and notes (with a smile)

“Some of them might not work”

Jane explains that we have travelled a long journey with our thinking and planning for this conference. We began with the idea of holding a traditional academic conference, and now we are seeking to model what we think 21st century learning might look like (particularly on day 2). She explains the purpose of the thinking tools that will be interspersed with the talks on Day 1

“designed to get you to think about how your thinking has shifted during these two days of the conference”

Jane  explains that Day 2 will be emergent and complex. At the end of the day, we will all be given a list of quandaries from which we will select the one which we are most interested in. Based on our selection, we will be put into groups on Day 2 and our task for the day will be to think through these ideas drawing on the input and inspiration from the menu of breakout sessions.

Jane hands over to Jennifer Garvey-Berger who introduces herself the first Thinking Tool.  She asks how many people read this blog – many hands are raised – (awesome!!).  Jennifer explains that the key challenge we have is in thinking how to translate all the new ideas that we blog about into shifted practice.  She invites us to talk to the person next to us -then a few moments later tries to recapture our attention [with limited success]- laughing that the tension of 21st century education – as soon as you let people start talking to each other, you lose control!

Jennifer asks – how do our brains understand change? A photo of a straight garden path – is this how our brain thinks of change – linear? predictable? The next slide shows a tangle of woods – aha. This is what change is really like, isn’t it?  She says, have we been too focussed on getting things “exactly right” in education (and hoping that this will bring the change we desire) – instead of recognising the chaos, and complexity, non-linearity of real-world change.






How do we tip over from one stable state (20th century thinking) through a place of chaos, instability, before we finally “tip over” into a new stable state (a 21st century system of thinking)?

Now Jennifer introduces the thinking tool based on Bridges’ theory of Transitions . After a cogent explanation of Bridges’ theory, she invites us to think about a time that we have made a shift in our thinking. When did it happen, what did we have to give up, what happened to us when we were in the “neutral zone”? How did we come to make a new beginning? Talk to your neighbour…..

[NB Jennifer's powerpoint slide will be put up on Shifting Thinking soon :) ]

Conference: November 2009 , ,

  1. | #1

    Some twitter postings during Jennifer’s Thinking Tool session:

    @NIckiDow Are easiest changers those who have least to lose

    @muzza299@shiftingthinkng: ah, but change is a new journey and direction, not necc a new destination!

    @shiftingthinkng Jennifer Garvey-Berger is helping us figure out how to be comfortable with transitions

    @NIckiDow There is no template for change

    @quelayla @shiftingthinkng waiting for everything to be ‘exactly right’ is a safety zone. We need to be brave.

    @muzza299 thats it! Major issue of future and now is whether we’re prepared to release control. Invention, education… @shiftingthinkng

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