• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

In a recent (January 30th, 2012) New Yorker article on “Groupthink,” author Jonah Lehrer observes the following: The most creative spaces are those which hurl us together. It is the human friction that makes the sparks. Lehrer's statement, grounded in decades of research in social psychology, is that the most constructive form of collaboration is one in which a diverse group of people, i.e., those from different discipline areas and backgrounds, engage in “the vigorous exchange of clashing perspectives.” Educators who have participated in effective PLCs have learned that some degree of conflict between group members is not only healthy but, in many cases, necessary to move the group forward. However, when strongly-opinionated individuals are unwilling to even consider differing perspectives, progress is unlikely. Perhaps ...

Introduction: Let's Put Our Differences to Work for Us
Introduction: Let's put our differences to work for us

“What's this book about?” my colleagues asked as I was writing.

“Have you ever put a ton of effort into implementing a new education initiative, only to have the pendulum swing back to the way things were after just a few years—or a few months?” I'd reply. “Or witnessed educators gridlocked over an issue, unable to move forward?”

“Only all the time!” was everyone's response.

Unleashing the Positive Power of Differences provides tools and processes for avoiding those pendulum swings by listening to the wisdom of multiple points of view—and then strategizing to move forward. We'll explore polarity thinking to clarify the goals, values, and fears of each side in ...

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