• 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 ...

Introducing Polarity Thinking to your Team
Introducing polarity thinking to your team

Are there issues, dilemmas, or disagreements that keep returning to the table in your learning community? All the following examples can be considered through the lens of polarities:

Should students be penalized for turning in assignments after the deadline?

Is allowing students to retake tests a good policy?

When should students be sent to the office because of behavior problems?

Should all teachers be using the same lesson plans?

These may bring to mind at least a dozen other topics you've heard discussed in district offices, the teachers’ lounge, and elsewhere. While Part II showed how polarity thinking can help us sort out some of the most puzzling policy issues of our time, Part III provides tools that ...

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