When considering why, there are 3 approaches:
- Alternatives - challenging uniqueness - asking "Is this the only way?"
- Because - challenging the reasons and asking if they are valid
- Cut - challenging the necessity and asking "Do we need to do this at all?"
When challenging traditional thinking we need to start with the C (do we need it?) and then move onto B (are the reasons we are doing this valid?) and finally the A (are there other ways of doing this?"
We were given a checklist to work through when considering our issue, which in our group was non-human resources. The checklist was made up of 5 areas:
- Dominating ideas, thoughts and beliefs that control the situation
- Boundaries that we think we need to work within
- Assumptions that we are making - do they just exist in our minds?
- Essential factors that have to be present
- Avoidance factors
Having considered all the above, we we able to use to Green Thinking Hat to come up with a lot of new ideas. For example just challenging the notion that the school day runs from 8 am to 4 pm would give us many new ideas to work with. Perhaps there could be 2 "shifts" with elementary running in the morning and secondary in the afternoon, for example. We ended up with many new ideas, and then these were sorted into a grid based on the impact they would have on student learning and how sustainable they would be once the present faculty who were advocating for them left the school.
In the top right quadrant (high impact on learning and sustainable) we had about 50 ideas. These were then numbered and we were each given 18 stickers to write down the number of our favourite ideas. Once these were then sorted and grouped, 4 main ideas came to the surface:
- Becoming a green school
- Exploring outdoor education and the use of green spaces around the campuses
- Multi-age approaches to inquiry
- Building an off-site innovation centre
All of these seemed great ideas to work with - and hopefully we will take these forward to grow ASB's culture of innovation.