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Critical and Creative Thinking in the Workplace

(CCT697, Sum 01)

Initial Goals
Once I began directing the program I became aware of previous attempts to expand CCT in the area of critical and creative thinking in the workplace. Responding to interest from a loyal CCT adjunct, I organized a Friday-Saturday, 1-credit workshop in summer 2000. Building on this and my own interest in reflective practice, I organized a suite of three courses through Continuing Education-The Dialogue Process (CCT616), Constructivist Listening (winter), and CCT in the Workplace (summer) that could be taken on their own or as part of a version of the CCT Certificate with the theme, "Dialogue and Collaboration in Organizational Change."
CCT in the Workplace would consist of three Friday-Saturday, 1-credit workshops, with options to take individual workshops on a credit or non-credit basis. I originally planned to lead the workshop on participatory planning, but, given my other commitments, was happy when Tom Flanagan agreed to lead a workshop on "Large Group Collaborative Design" in my place. My role became organizer, host, occasional participant, and grader of portfolios.

Challenges and Responses
This course proved very popular, drawing students from a variety of programs and leading a number of students to apply to or transfer into CCT. The Friday-Saturday format was widely appreciated.

The biggest challenge relevant to me if I teach a workshop on participatory planning in the future was dissatisfaction with the second workshop on Large Group Collaborative Design. Tom Flanagan and his co-instructor, Kevin Dye, decided not to teach their methods directly, but to have the group learn by experiencing them as participants in a Large Group Collaborative Design. They knew from experience that discussion of the process along the way detracts from participants carrying the process through to its culmination, and it is experience of having collaboratively created a plan/design that motivates people to learn and practice the required techniques of working in large groups. Participants this summer wanted more gratification along the way and more take-away tools to use.

Future Plans
A proposal to formalize this course is now being prepared. Once this is in place, I will consult with Tom and Kevin about who will teach the second workshop and how to improve its reception.

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