Saturday, May 19, 2007

Focused Conversation Method (16 May 2007)

The Focused Conversation Method comprises of 4 levels of Questioning...

  • Objective Level Questions employed at the data collection level
  • Reflective Level Questions that elicit one's reaction to the data
  • Interpretative Level Questions get us to tease out the significance of the reaction to the subject, how we interpret to the reality.
  • Decision Level Questions lead to "What's next?", pointing to the future...

In fact, the above structure creates a very systematic way of questioning and reflection.

The workshop brought out something that the rational working environment often neglect - the "Experiential Aim" - that addresses to the affective part.

I guess, the most fruitful part of the workshop is the post-lunch segment, where we started to examine some close-to-heart issues.

  1. Reluctant participants to workshops
  2. Preparing for mid-Term review of Baseline Pilot (Sec)
  3. Integration of Technology in T&L

For Reluctant participants to workshops, in fact, I thought we revisited one of the cases discussed in the "Workshop Strategies" sharing session.

Yes, as far as professional development is concerned, it's always torn between "being volunteered" or "signed up voluntarily or involuntarily".

  • "being volunteered" type is definitely more challenging to deal with... there are many possible mindsets that we may have to deal with:
  • Some may not see why they were there? They don't see the relevance of the workshop to what they are doing... what's in their mind? "I'm here to have my attendance marked."
  • Some thought they already know everything. Should I say, there's blindspot in these participants' perspectives? In fact, that reminds me fo the mp1 days where teachers are to attend IT Power workshops. I volunteered to attend the workshop on Spreadsheet (although was exempted)... Though I know most of the stuff, I realised learning some new things when I look out for that...
  • Of course, most of these people will be less bothered to find out what the workshop encompasses and examine its relevance... Many have their minds closed... (that speaks its difficulty to engage them). Of course there are also exceptions who are volunteered and see it being an opportunity and come with an open mind (No harm coming... mindset) :D

The Monty Roberts Video

On one hand, Anita (our trainer) used the video to illustrate the method (creating an experiential learning experience!). On the other hand, I thought, the video in fact has brought us through some soul searching. Here are some interesting points brought up:

  1. How the horses are 'tamed' - the clip shows how Monty Roberts uses a more humane way of taming the animal. Yes, certainly when one saw the way horses 'used' to be tamed (using physical forces, he/she will bound to buy in his method - it's so (physically) painless.
  2. Of course, undeniably, it's a result of his careful and sharp observation, and being able to pick on the 'weakest' 'button' - the emotional aspect of the animal. ie. Isolation. Well, doesn't that apply to the 'human' creatures too? In fact, he has turned the horses' weakest point to an opportunity.
  3. Still on the outcomes - ie. the tamed horses. How are they exactly tamed? Through an emotion test! By subjecting the horse to extreme condition- that I think, it has in turned created fear! When it's subjected to the extreme, of course, it will probably not able to wait rationally. be continued...

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