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January 2011
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July 2011

Strategies for Exploring Positive Questions for Professional Development

I've been writing and thinking over the past few days about using positive questions for professional development. First I looked at some questions for creating an internal and external learning environment and then I looked at questions to use in exploring what you want to learn. Today I'm thinking more about different strategies you can use to explore these questions. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. Frankly, I've found... Read more →

Positive Questions for Professional Development: Developing a Vision for Learning

This week I've been exploring the power of positive questions in professional development. Yesterday I looked at some questions for setting the stage for learning. Today I want to propose some questions that can help us better define what we want to learn. Professional Development Action vs. Activity This is related in some ways to my earlier post on action vs. activity. I've found that it can be easy to... Read more →

Positive Questions for Professional Development: Setting the Stage

This week I'm exploring how positive questions might transform our approaches to professional development. Originally I was going to start by playing with some questions about what to learn, but in thinking about the whole issue of professional development, it occurs to me how many of us may need help in setting up for ourselves a more positive environment around taking control of our own learning, especially when we work... Read more →

Professional Development from Inspiration, Not Desperation

I've been thinking a lot lately about positive questions and their connection to professional development. Last week I talked about the power of positive priming and how brain research shows that when we have negative expectations for learning and development, we are less likely to learn from our experiences. I also discussed positive questioning and how reframing the questions we focus our brains on can lead us to better solutions... Read more →

Action vs. Activity

Over on his Learnstreaming blog, Dennis Callahan writes about the difference between signing up for social media and joining: Having a social media account (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin) doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve joined. It means you’ve signed up. It’s like signing up for the gym. You can say that you belong to the gym but if you don’t get on the equipment and exercise, what benefit is there to your... Read more →

Improving Happiness at Work: Positive Practices and the Power of the Positive Question

An interesting article in the Harvard Business Review on The Happiness Dividend has me thinking this morning about how we can re-train our brains to be more positive at work. According to the article: the single greatest advantage in the modern economy is a happy and engaged workforce. A decade of research proves that happiness raises nearly every business and educational outcome: raising sales by 37%, productivity by 31%, and... Read more →

The Power of Positive Priming

Intuitively I've always understood that when we think we are stupid, we are less likely to learn. I'm well aware that my struggles with math throughout my lifetime began with a 3rd grade teacher who was convinced that girls couldn't work with numbers. But it's interesting to see how brain science now supports something many of us have experienced. From an article in Time Magazine on the optimism bias: Cognitive... Read more →

What Do You Want MORE Of?

On Facebook yesterday, LaDonna Coy posed an interesting question: Noodling--what would happen if we were actually able to figure out what we want in life (instead of what we don't want) and then focus on it? What would that make possible? I've been doing a lot of reading in and work with appreciative inquiry lately and this is one of its key principles, called the Poetic Principle. In a nutshell,... Read more →

The Power of Writing It Down

Long-time readers of my blog know that I'm an inveterate user and admirer of technology. I'm consistently drawn to its possibilities and have benefited tremendously from all that technology offers to us. But, during my recent social media sabbatical, I was reminded again of some of the more old-fashioned strategies for learning that served me well in the past. One of them was the power of physical writing, as opposed... Read more →

On yesterday's post about creative anxiety and risk-taking, Holly McDonald left me an excellent link to an article on risk-taking at the Open Education blog, which, in turn, led me to Gever Tulley's TEDTalk on 5 Dangerous Things You Should Allow Your Child to Do. We learn as children to stop taking risks, but I think that as we become adults, we can be even more risk-averse, mainly because we... Read more →