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The Dialogic Learning Weekly #169

Hi team - welcome to the 169th edition of this weekly newsletter. I hope you are safe and well. How h
The Dialogic Learning Weekly
The Dialogic Learning Weekly #169
By Tom Barrett • Issue #169 • View online
Hi team - welcome to the 169th edition of this weekly newsletter. I hope you are safe and well. How has your week been? What’s on your mind?
Today I want to expand on thinking I started back in issue #167 about transition. Let’s unshackle from the present pressures and look ahead to a further horizon.
See these as provocations you can use with your teams as you begin to navigate your way through the next few months. How will you process the transition? What language will guide your thoughts and actions?

Restart
Is it even possible to go “back to normal”? Where would we be going back to?
Restart the race. Restart your modem, Restart your Fitbit. Turn it off and on again. “Just restart it and it should return to normal”. Is that what we will be doing in this transition?
The challenge with the restart disposition is that it implies everything else has remained constant. We can achieve the same outcomes in our schools and businesses with ideas that worked before. Relying on an assumption they will work again.
Everything has shifted and maybe our approaches and ideas need to adapt.
Taking a hardline on this may also be a blindspot. “This is not a restart, everything has changed” may also be implausible. Let’s stay connected to the amazing ideas we had two months ago and adapt those that had the highest impact. Don’t lose sight of what works.
Your Talking Point
What has remained true and constant? Why are those ideas and approaches more resilient than others?
Reframe
Framing and reframing a problem is a common approach in creative problem solving processes like design thinking.
What benefits might there be from approaching the transition as an opportunity for reframing what we do?
In therapy cognitive reframing is used to help explore a range of different perspectives and restructure experiences.
a psychological technique that consists of identifying and then changing the way situations, experiences, events, ideas, and/or emotions are viewed. Cognitive reframing is the process by which such situations or thoughts are challenged and then changed.
We might not be able to change the circumstances we are facing and real changes we experience, but reframing helps us to see alternative perspectives.
A simple example of this would be the difference between saying, “we are stuck at home” compared with “we get to spend more time with our loved ones”. That is an example of reframing.
Approaching our transition to a new pattern of work and learning, through reframing would help you:
  • Identify and understand different perspectives
  • Recognise competing truths
  • Challenge assumptions
  • Identify opportunities for growth and development
Your Talking Point
How is your frame of reference, for work and learning, different to your colleagues? Reflect on something that you have recently changed your perspective or opinion on.
Recast
To recast is to take the existing parts and to reshape them into a new form. Is that what we might experience with school? With our worklife?
Recasting the role of school in our society. Recasting the experience of learning for students. Recasting what it means to ‘work’.
Bellfounding is the casting of bells in a foundry for use in churches, clocks, and public buildings. Broken or out of tune bells would often be melted down and recast into something new.
Bell metal was considered so valuable that the first bronze coins for England were made in France out of melted-down old bells.
If our approach to transition is to recast, this is fundamentally different to restarting. We apply an intentional force to what we have. Reshaping it to a new form of our own design. Not simply restarting with what we had.
It also differs from reframing. We are not simply describing our situation in a new light. We are not just thinking of the opportunity as opposed to the hurdle. We are creating something new from the salvageable, unimaginable and valuable experiences we face.
Your Talking Point
What aspects of education and work need to be recast and reforged? What do you think Winston Churchill meant when he said,
“Never let a good crisis go to waste”
Restart, reframe and recast. Perhaps our transition to normality, the repeatable habits and patterns we enjoy, will incorporate a whole range of approaches. As always, let me know what resonates with you.
Restart, Reframe or Recast
Take care of yourself and those close to you this week. See you next time for another issue.
In dialogue we trust.
~ Tom Barrett
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Tom Barrett

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