Create A New Circle Of Thought

746. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

I am cleaning out old files and rediscovering some small gems. This one is useful for educators and the national non-conversation we continue to have about education. This gem is from the Circle Project years when Patti and I used Vicious and Virtuous circles with our clients as a way of clarifying their challenges. We also used them to clarify our challenges or to prepare for a training/teaching session. This Vicious circle came from our preparation to lead a train-the-trainer session. Imagine the phrases move clockwise around a circle so that the final phrase returns to the first. The challenge, of course, it to discover and change the premise of the vicious circle, transforming it into a virtuous circle:

I Am The Expert, requiring that I have all the answers

And when I must have all the answers, I can never say, “I don’t know.”

And when I can’t say, “I don’t know,” learners and questions become dangerous,

And when questions become dangerous, controlling the learner is my primary intention.
And when I need to control the learner, I train against surprise,

And when I train against surprise, my training becomes transactional,

And when my training becomes Transactional, I relegate the learner to a “passive receiver,”

And when the learner is relegated to being a passive receiver,

I am The Expert, requiring that I have all the answers…

Everything we need to know to revolutionize education: interrupt the loop OR do the opposite. Begin with this phrase and see what new loop you might create:

I refuse to be The Expert, requiring me to help my students find their own answers,

And because they must find their own answers, we begin by saying, “I don’t know.”

And when we can say, “I don’t know,” learners become questioners so there’s a reason to learn,

[the rest is for you to create – or go back and alter my start. Have fun revolutionizing a system badly in need of your new circle of thought!].

2 Responses

  1. I learn more than my students do everyday. I hope that never ceases to reign true because i guess at that point, I will have stopped trying to improve. I feel I have to be my best self to even attempt being the best teacher I can be. Great post, as usual!!

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