Scenarios and decision making


Nigel posted this video on my Facebook Funwall recently, and I’ve been pondering its usefulness for education. Four things occur to me:

  1. It provides a very useful framework for engaging students with thinking about complex issues and reconciling multiple points of view. I’ve long been a fan of the scenario-planning methodologies, and this framework uses some of this thinking (although I’m guessing is origins are more in the economic modelling and decision making domain).
  2. It provides a great vehicle for encouraging group work by providing the four perspectives that could be explored by different groups for instance. it provides an opportunity to us the ideas promoted by DeBono with his thinking hats to encourage students to explore ideas from a perspective that may not be their own, or the one they’d naturally identify with.
  3. It provides a good model for how students could present the efforts of their individual or group research into topical issues – both in terms of the framework itself, and in terms of the video as a way of sharing it. I also got to thinking how effective it would be to create the quadrants in a web environment and add hyperlinks from each statement to supporting evidence etc.
  4. It’s a ready-made learning object for use with a class thinking about climate change! Students could be encouraged to add their own perspectives to each of the quadrants, debate what the presenter has already added, seek the evidence to support their statements etc.

Some food for thought here, and I’m sure this could be a starting point for lots of teachers to explore other ways of using such a framework for ‘unpacking’ complex issues and working towards identifying solutions or acceptable outcomes – whether these be big issues such as global warming, or deciding on what foods should be served in the school tuck shop etc.

One thought on “Scenarios and decision making

  1. What a great process- thanks for adding it. Highly useful strategy and seeing it modelled will result in being used effectively by teachers and their students = and adult learners as they tackle big issues in learning. Great!

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