Listening Session Paintings

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Marin School of the Arts

On, Wed. Dec 5th, we led seven students in our modified Appreciative Inquiry process. While the outcome proved to be good, it was like riding an express train as we got off 40 minutes late. What made this session so interesting was the quality of the sharing that occurred for the questions in Part One and Two. Sitting in a close circle, each student opened up more and more as they got into the questions. Despite the fact that they are all students in a very small arts program housed within Novato High School, they really did not know each other. It was obvious as the time went on that they were really into "drinking" up the sharing. This slowed us down even more, but was so good for the students that I hated pushing them into the final section of questions and the dream. There were some wonderful quotes that I will post in another place.

Just like the Livermore group, there was one team (Labeled Dream #2 at the session) whose dream was very literal and not much different from what they are experiencing now, and another (labeled team # 1 at the session) that was completely out there. In fact, the latter group did no planning, instead opting to move immediately to painting. There were three girls in the group and they each worked individually on the dream. They then explained their dream afterwards to each other and to us! Remarkably they all saw the same thing and the dream was completely cohesive.

One final thought. All of the students completed all three sections of the questions in their journals. This time we asked them to do a section at a time. Each section took progressively longer to complete as if each section was harder to complete and required more thought. Section I (Personal) was 7 minutes, Section II (Outlook) was 9 minutes and the final section (Education) took 14 minutes. Passionate teachers was a dominant theme again. All journal questions were completed in 35 minutes, ten minutes ahead of schedule. It is still difficult to keep them the full three hours, but we really need all three in this format. Today's session ran over by ten minutes and ended in two and a half hours with the Dream section being extremely rushed.

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