It Isn't Easy!

But it is possible

Last week I talked about the need to continue the process of increasingly complex meaning-making - begun in childhood - through into adulthood and that education is lagging behind broader society in this respect.

The research shows that moving from the Expert* level of meaning-making to the Achiever* level – that is now the level required to be conventionally successful in our society - typically requires a ‘disequilibrating event’ that is personally salient and that this happens within a supporting environment.

In other words, the individual needs to come across something that is important to them which they cannot make sense of at their current level of meaning making, at the same time they are in an environment that is supportive of their struggle to make new meaning.

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A paper written in 2004 in Western Australia showed that you can design an intervention that reliably moves Experts up to the Achiever level of meaning making.

This intervention was made up of weekly sessions of 90 minutes over ten weeks.  A significant investment of time but achievable in a modern school environment.

The pay off is more capable middle leadership and more role models for students.

A further benefit is to allow more senior leaders to continue their own development.  The level above Achiever is able to work ON the system rather than just IN the system and this seems like a necessary capability as our education systems slowly transform themselves to better suit the 21st century.

*See, for example, this article for more detail on these terms.

John Corrigan is an expert in helping individuals to bring their whole of mind to their daily life and increase their effectiveness and the effectiveness of those around them. This expertise scales from the individual to the team to the organisation. At the core of this work is the practice of encounter.  Earlier blogs can be found here.

John Corrigan