Alice is a consultant in educational development at schools and day care and uses Dialoogle as a tool in her courses and sparring.
In schools all around the country, intense work is being done to bring the new Danish school reform into practise. Teachers and educators are finding new ways to cooperate and Alice Kastbjerg Darville is helping putting cooperation into action. Alice is a consultant of educational development at schools and day care, and Dialoogle is included as a tool in her courses and exercises.
She prepares her courses by designing a process with a focus on good questions that can lead the participants to the best solution of a challenge. The process looks broadly as follows:
- Framework: You define the challenge and the common goal and put the rules in place.
- The actual challenge: The group uncovers its strengths and opportunities and develops ideas.
- The action plan: You work on how the group can work concretely with the best solutions.
And what are the good questions? Here are some tips from Alice:
“The questions have to be open, they have to take the participants’ backgrounds and situations into account, and they have to ensure that we get the exact information that the participants need to know to meet their challenge,” Alice says. Among other things, she uses the psychiatrist Karl Tomm’s four types of questions as inspiration.
“As an introduction, it is a good idea to get to know expectations of the participants by asking: If we only have one hour for this course, what would be the most important outcome for you to take with you? This is important for me to know as a course leader and for all participants as well.”
For instance, when Alice asks the participants at a counselling session which values are important in a professional learning community, she gets many different answers. “Values are subjective, which almost always comes as a surprise to people. For instance, when I get an answer like good communication or good energy, then my next question will be: And what is exactly is that? In the following discussion, the group have to define a set of rules that they can all understand.”
The challenges in questions could for instance be to improve the teaching level, the working climate or the cooperation between teachers and day care providers. Here, Alice gives us a tip to save time:
“I do not spend time analysing where the problems are and what is not working well. Instead, I pretend to be a sunflower scouting for the sun and asks questions that causes people to focus on succeeding, looking ahead and searching for strengths, opportunities, and solutions. In this way, we can quickly head in the right direction.”
The questions are important because they control the process. The Dialoogle cards are important because they remove the inherent barriers that exist in our way of thinking and our vocabulary and motivate us.
“The questions are important because they control the process. The Dialoogle cards are important because they remove the inherent barriers that exist in our way of thinking and our vocabulary and motivate us to reflect, think creatively, talk freely and express ourselves in more details. With the combination of picture cards and good questions, the group can obtain insight into the strengths and opportunities that make it easier to understand, decide and draw up a specific plan of action.”
Alice ends her courses by looking back at the expectations put forward by the participants and asking: What can you take with you from this course today?
“Evaluating in the group means that everyone can leave the course with a detailed understanding of what they have learner which will be very useful for the participants as well as the course leader,” Alice Darville concludes.