Encourage Critical Evaluation

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(Self-assessment for Professional Development)
 
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To be honest, there are situations where we don't like to face critical thinking. In example when we are tired after intensive days of faciltating, when we face confrontative discussions, or when we feel that we are treated with less respect. For our well-being and good performance we need harmony, a positive flow and a kind atmosphere.
 
To be honest, there are situations where we don't like to face critical thinking. In example when we are tired after intensive days of faciltating, when we face confrontative discussions, or when we feel that we are treated with less respect. For our well-being and good performance we need harmony, a positive flow and a kind atmosphere.
  
On the other hand decisions are only good decisions when they reflect all perspectives. When there is too much harmony then we pay often the price for excluding important aspects that take our rationale in question. On a structural level this wish for harmony leads to the exclusion of whole societal groups, because they are not like we, they do not understand us without much words or they have not the same hobbies or beliefs.  
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On the other hand decisions are only good decisions when they reflect all perspectives. Having a diverse group in a seminar means having different tastes and impressions. Making the seminar relevant for all those individuals is a difficult task, even without specific diversity awareness. Realizing this and accepting the gap between your planning and your realistically evaluated results is an important step. It’s your challenge of making the gap smaller.  
  
 
==Towards a Balance Between Harmony and Critical Thinking==
 
==Towards a Balance Between Harmony and Critical Thinking==
In short - we need a balance of critical and harmonious thinking. But this does not allow the conclusion a lot of facilitators draw too fast: Not encouraging critical evaluation for the sake of the good spirit. Because encouraging your participants to critical evaluation may paradoxically lead to both:
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In diverse groups the necessity for more critical evaluation will increase. For the whole learning event we need a balance of critical and harmonious thinking. The last one is a preferred attitude of a lot of facilitators: Not encouraging critical evaluation for the sake of the good, constructive spirit.  
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What sounds natural and sympathetic, may lead to the opposite - harmony gains more priority than (constructive) learning. Therefore we think, that ecouraging critical evalaluation should be an attitude that ''always'' be cultivated.
  
 
* In fact, a group feels sometimes less as a homogenious group when it discusses controverse. Sometimes this is counterproductive, but often it is realistic.
 
* In fact, a group feels sometimes less as a homogenious group when it discusses controverse. Sometimes this is counterproductive, but often it is realistic.
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* On the other hand, who had long discussions but felt in the same time, that their arguments where heard and taken for serious even from the opponents, may as well show more respect for the opposite opinions.  
 
* On the other hand, who had long discussions but felt in the same time, that their arguments where heard and taken for serious even from the opponents, may as well show more respect for the opposite opinions.  
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* This implies not to mix ''critical evaluation'' with ''destructive evaluation''. Only ''criticism'' plus a ''constructive component'' could lead to ''acceptance''
  
 
Therefore it is on you to shape a space, where critics may be expressed and furthermore is welcomed as enrichment, useful information or a positive statement showing that the opponent wants to contribute to the common.
 
Therefore it is on you to shape a space, where critics may be expressed and furthermore is welcomed as enrichment, useful information or a positive statement showing that the opponent wants to contribute to the common.
 
==Strengthening Self-responsibility==
 
You show your participants that you take their concerns serious. This leads to greater acceptance for your work and to more commitment in terms of shared responsibility for the common learning process: [[Addressing the responsibility and autonomy of participants]]
 
  
 
==Their Critics are Your Basis for Effective Planning==
 
==Their Critics are Your Basis for Effective Planning==
Having a diverse group in a seminar means having many different tastes and impressions. Making the seminar relevant for all those individuals is a difficult task. The greater the diversity, the more challenging it becomes to address all kinds of preferences and needs.  
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Having a diverse group in a seminar means having different tastes and impressions. Making the seminar relevant for all those individuals is a difficult task, even without specific diversity awareness. Realizing this and accepting the gap between your planning and your realistically evaluated results is an important step.
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It’s your challenge of making the gap smaller. We cultivate appreciation through invitation to constructive criticism. [[Evaluation]] helps us better understand our participants and their needs.  
  
Realizing this and accepting the gap between your planning and your realistically evaluated results is an important step. It’s important to face the challenge of making the gap smaller. [[Evaluation]] helps us better understand our participants and their needs. And in diverse groups the necessity for even more critical evaluation will increase. Considering the fact that participants’ feedback is constructive, we should accept it as another tool that helps us understand seminar dynamics. It’s not always easy, but we should try not to take feedback personally.
 
  
 
==Self-assessment for Professional Development==
 
==Self-assessment for Professional Development==

Latest revision as of 11:35, 7 July 2015

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