To "scratch beneath the surface" of an inquiry topic is to go deeper. It is to make progress. It is to arrive at a tentative answer to the inquiry question or, as is more oftentimes the case, to see new connections or even to feel the puzzlement that comes with a deeper understanding of the complexity of the topic. This week our group will demonstrate strategies that will help you to scratch beneath the surface and guide the community towards intellectual progress.Read more
The "T" in this kit stands for "Is it true?" Sometimes everyone thinks something is true. It is, they say, common knowledge. But is this belief really true? How do we know that it is true? And how can we be sure that it is true?
Sometimes, as we get older, we stop wondering and stop asking questions like these. This can be a mistake. Sometimes we can be a little too sure of our beliefs and, as a consequence, head down the wrong track. "T" is a sort of cognitive dynamite. We use it to blow up the roadblock of over-confident certainty and, by so doing, provide ourselves with the opportunity to verify that our beliefs and subsequent choices are, indeed, leading us down the right track.
"A" stands for Assumption. Usually we think of an assumption as a bad belief or a belief that does not have enough support. But, as I see it, an assumption is a flag of warning that we raise in order to indicate that a belief may not be accurate.
My explanation of Assumption is, to be sure, different. I don't know if anyone else in p4cHI would explain this tool in the way that I'm going to explain it. Have I got it right? You can listen and be the judge of that. Ultimately, I think what's most important isn't whether or not I've got everything right. It is whether or not my ideas are useful or thought-provoking.
The I in Jackson's tool kit stands for a cluster of skills. We use the "I' tool when we do hypothetical "If...Then..." thinking. If this happens, we might think, then what might the consequences be? When we engage in this sort of thinking we send out an intellectual scout. Just as a scout goes ahead of an army in order to scope out potential sources of danger, we use this hypothetical "If...then..." thinking to scout out likely consequences. Yes, my son could learn from trial and error that jumping off the roof is a bad thing. But I would much rather he send ahead the scout; if I jump off the roof, then what might happen?
Drawing from his many years of experience, p4cHI founder Dr. Thomas Jackson (Dr. J) shares some of his most memorable moments and significant realizations. These stories provide us with a vibrant and oftentimes inspirational perspective on where p4cHI has come from, what it is, and, indeed, on what it could be.
This week Dr. J reflects upon "progress." There are, he explains, three kinds of progress that can take place during the course of a p4cHI inquiry.