I have just completed a course in Compassionate Systems and I am trying to think about how I could embed some of the skills into my teaching practice. I find the best way to reflect on this is to write, so here are my musing so far. **warning the images are from my notes during the conference so not perfect!**

Today I am going to concentrate on two strategies that were discussed; the “iceberg” and the “ladder of inference”

Honestly, it has taken me a while to work out how I would use them in a classroom setting. In my role as a coach it is reasonably clear, the harder part is to think of them in a lesson context, so here goes!

The Iceberg as the name suggest first we see the event (the tip of the iceberg) but this is often clouded in noise. It is hard to see what actually has happened by looking at the event alone. To make good solutions/decisions we need to look at the underlying factors:

First Factor – Patterns/Behavioural Dynamics – What has lead to this event? This gives more clarity as you can start to see the patterns that have lead to the event happening. However, by just working at this level you do not find the underpinning issues.

Second Factor – Underlying structures – These are split into the Mental Models and Artefacts

Mental Models: These are the lens through which we see the world, our habits, bias, thoughts and beliefs. These often underpin decisions that we make and help us make sense of the work we live in.

Artefacts: These look at the “stuff” we have in place that supports our models such as infrastructures, legislation, how we organise and collect data, where do we collect data from…..

Musings: Within lessons I could see this as an excellent visual tool to look at an event for example an environmental issue or government change or the decisions of a protagonist in a book. The pupils could put the event at the top and then try and determine the underpinning elements.

Ladder of Inference this looks at what we have inferred about an issue and how we can escalate an idea/problem/myth to action by jumping to the top of the ladder without looking at reasonings that underpin our thoughts. For example we could jump from data to assumption, without spending time looking for the meaning.

Musings: Within lessons I think it would be a great tool when pupils are looking at their reactions to a stimuli. I could see the data been given and then allowing pupils to work to their own conclusions. Then asking them to look again following the ladder and looking at each stage – do the conclusions change when we consider our own assumptions and beliefs? This would be similar technique to the use of De Bono’s 6 Thinking Hats

Also these two techniques can tie together as mental models can be driven through the ladder of inference

All in all I think I can see how this can be used in class and I would be excited to talk this through with anyone who is interested!