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The Dialogic Learning Weekly #171

Welcome to your weekly dose of provocation on leadership, learning and innovation. -- The word spek-
The Dialogic Learning Weekly
The Dialogic Learning Weekly #171
By Tom Barrett • Issue #171 • View online
Welcome to your weekly dose of provocation on leadership, learning and innovation.
The word spek- is a really old word root meaning “to observe”. If you prefer a little Greek: skopein means to “behold, look, consider”. Or perhaps some end of the week Latin: specere “to look at”.
You can see it is the root of the word perspective. This is something we are all seeking at the moment. Our isolation has meant that we are missing the normal connection and interactions that allow us to “consider” and to “observe” how others are. And so how we are.
The word perspective originates from Latin perspectus meaning “clearly perceived”. We want perspective because we seek clarity.
Let’s look at some other uses of the word and how they are important utilities for us right now.

Introspective
You know this one. Looking inside ourselves. Many of us have had to spend more time with ourselves than we might have liked (!)
It is not just about looking and observing. This is a time for increasing self-awareness of our response to change and the problems that have emerged.
Regular introspection and reflection give us the chance to capture what is happening with our disposition. The ups, downs and spirals.
Write it down, talk to a colleague or loved one. Using language to express how we see ourselves is a powerful way to process what we are going through.
Your Talking Point
What do you notice about how you have responded to the uncertainty of your current experience?
Retrospective
Looking back is a critical position to take in the coming months, as we transition to some sort of normality. Future innovations will build on the success of the past. They are not disconnected.
Our schools need to consider the powerful practices that were already having a high impact. In our enthusiasm for change and the “new normal” we have to look back at what worked for our community.
What were we doing before? What did we value and how is that different? What still works? Which first principles still exist?
In many ways it is illogical to consider a snap back to the way things were. Learning, leadership and innovation are intricate and complex behaviours. The stories we carry now and the experiences we have gone through, will mean it will be irrevocably changed, because we have changed.
Your Talking Point
How has your value set shifted and changed?
Prospective
When we add pro- we look forward. We are scanning the horizon and looking ahead. Here in Australia (in early May) we are starting to see a shift in the restrictions and easing of the constraints.
Many of us are looking ahead and figuring out the path through the next few months. Prospective thinking will serve our communities well, as we navigate a return to the normal rhythms of school and consider what is ahead.
There are school events and rituals to be celebrated that will undoubtedly be on our minds. Will we run those as normal? Will they be different this year?
As we lead, we need to be prospective. Crucially our students and families will not have had a homogenous experience. Regardless of the synchronous and asynchronous labels we might use. That diversity will mean we might be all looking ahead and prospecting for different things.
Exploring and surfacing that type of insight may help us design a better learning experience in the future.
Your Talking Point
How will you discover what your community members are looking forward to?
Look back, and smile on perils past
Thanks for taking the time to explore the ideas this week. As always let me know what resonates.
In dialogue we trust.
~ Tom
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Tom Barrett

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