Home > Workshop 2012 > Traces… (post-workshop reflections part 1)

Traces… (post-workshop reflections part 1)

It is Monday afternoon after the 2012 Shifting Thinking Workshop and this is my office floor…

Sifting through this eclectic pile of paper reveals fascinating traces of  thoughts and conversations that took place at the Workshop.   The researcher in me is puzzling now about what to do with the traces I have. Can I pull them together into some kind of coherent narrative about what happened, or even just find a way to share them back out as a resource for the people who were there? Should I keep everything? Should I have someone type all these up for me? Should I take photos of everything?

Yet I know that for every thought, question, or idea written down and currently residing on my office floor, are dozens and hundreds of others that exist now only in the memories of those who experience them last week, and even pulling together the best of what’s on my floor right now isn’t going to fully capture that. And that’s just the paper trail… we still have various video footage, photos, and other bits and pieces that record traces of Shifting Thinking in different media and many decisions to make about what to do with it all!

What next? Where to from here? How will you track or measure what difference has this made? These are the kinds of questions people were asking me at the Workshop. I’m not sure yet, I said. I don’t know. Those are a great questions. I wonder that too. What do YOU think? I feel like I should have had better answers, but I don’t yet. I hope you will keep asking me though, and I hope you will keep asking yourselves that too, because these are the questions that will take us towards our next opportunit(ies) for building something together again (maybe in a future Shifting Thinking workshop, or maybe in one of the new spaces that has been created in your own thinking, or in your new connections to ideas or to other people).

There’s more post-match analysis to come; of course. We will be sending out a post-workshop evaluation form, and thinking about how we can stay connected and keep feeding the energy for our work  and of our “shifting thinking”. We’ll have a go at getting a selection of the most interesting and useful  traces from the Workshop up onto this website so they are there for all of the Shifting Thinking community to use. But for now,  I will leave you with a few traces that I have picked up from crumpled-up balls of paper on my floor. Maybe they were your words or the words of someone you sat with or talked to at the Workshop, and perhaps they will inspire you to share more thoughts and reflections about your Workshop experience

Reminded of how thinking can shift when you work with other people.

I’ve been smiling so much my face hurts.

Liberated. Confidence to make the change. Empowered to do so. Opened my mind. Energised.

Being in the room with people who are curious – may not know the answers…. but curious!

Being with people who “get it”!! Who are excited by the process of learning and what that may mean for creating active citizens.

Use the students – consult! They are our resource.

I have had time to listen and space to think about connectoins between ideas – it has been helpful/productive/purposeful.

Risks have to be taken.

Inspiredness about connectedness and possibilities.





Workshop 2012

  1. Mary
    | #1

    Aah. Easy questions first, huh? =O I guess in terms of a definition, I think Etienne Wenger’s criteria are hard to go past…
    1)a group or network of people with an identity defined by a shared domain of interest
    2)Members engage in joint activities and discussions, help each other, and share information. They build relationships that enable them to learn from each other.
    3) Members develop a shared repertoire of resources: experiences, stories, tools, ways of addressing recurring problems over time and sustained interaction.

    As for the “practice” – well, I guess teh “Interest” that wouldmake us a “Community of Interest” is the Shifting Thinking kaupapa – however we chose to define that.
    Which I guess means that the “Practice” for a CoP would be the implementation or enactment of that kaupapa. Which would presumably be mostly in the workplace, but may also involve our personal development in other arenas.
    I’ve been part of several online CoPs. One was as an online student / tutor, so the resource base and the shared practice was tied in with the course content – a combination of “student” practice and “professional educator” practice. In that case the artifacts we created included assessment activities which we peer reviewed, resources that we posted for others to access, and feedback we provided for each other. The threaded discussion facility (forums) were a big part of that.

    Another experience was as part of a widely distributed team co-authoring a book. Again, similar parameters I guess.

    And tehre have been a couple of others along similar lines – and although I am no longer actively involved in them, I retain some contacts from each of them as well as the embedded kaupapa in my continuing practice.

    So, what might a “Shifting Thinking” CoP look like for us?
    Depends a bit on the capabilities of your existing platform, I suppose. But some of the things that really make it work for me are
    - Discussion forums, including the ability to sort by topic and start new ones / archive old ones
    - shared ownership / co-construction
    - clear protocols about purpose and nettiquette
    - a repository for uploading resources and/or links
    some blog-type functions for those who want to use them, or the capacity to link to existing ones.
    The ability to link back to other platforms e.g. FB, Twitter, LinkedIn.

    How does that sound for starters?

  2. | #2

    Thanks Mary. Regarding your first thought… well… what is a community of practice, from your point of view? What, do you think, defines what is the “practice” that would bind this community together? What is a community of practice for? What does it do? And, if you’ve experienced (or anyone reading this has experienced) examples of a community of practice, how did it work? what did it do? what might that look like for us?

  3. Mary
    | #3

    Hi, Rachel
    Here are some thoughts for you – like you, I’m not sure where they go yet…

    - Community of Practice. How could we use the ST platform to develop a genuine Community of Practice? Is that what we want to do? (I think for me the answer to that last question is yes. But it may not be what everyone else wants.)

    - C21st research. How does the ST experience to date tie in for you at NZCER with what you know of good practice in research models & methodologies (e.g. action research) and/or emerging research models & methodologies?

    - C21st Education. How does the ST experience to date tie in for participants with what they know of good practice and/or emerging models & methodologies in education such as “learning” &/or “teaching” &/or equivalents (ako etc)

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