#CritLit2010 Reflective Thinking – A Personal Perspective Part 2

Here are some of my further learning and reflection on Appreciative Inquiry (AI) – about Changes.

I found this Appreciative Inquiry in the Catholic Church useful in helping me to reflect, and develop further skills in respond to changes.

I have read the first few chapters and found a lot of common approaches and findings with the sensemaking approach (especially the group sense making).  These have also been documented here and in Roy Williams’s wiki.

Also George writes in his post Complexifying Dave Snowden, Cognitive Edge, Sense Maker:

Basically, as a narrative-driven tool, SM offers researchers, business people, politicians, policy makers, and others to make sense of complex situations. But is narrative capturing and self-signification sufficient to “make sense” of complex subjects? In the edfuture course, we’re exploring trends and patterns. These will be used as a basis for considering long term implications in society and education. The value of tracking trends – drawing on reliable data sources (World Bank, Unesco, UN, US gov’t) as well as narratives – rests in challenging our existing views, thereby reducing our rigid existing frame of reference and increasing our capacity for adaptivity.

Here I would try to relate sensemaking with appreciative inquiry.

As mentioned in my previous post, one of the most important part of a reflection starts with an inquiry – by formulating questions that could relate to our experience, our past, our inner thoughts and future dreams.  I think they are important part of my quest for changes, and personal development.  Responses to these questions would form part of the narratives under sensemaking.

Here are some interesting questions extracted from the book:


Tell me a story about a time when you felt most _____ (alive) and _____ (proud) of being ______ (Catholic).


God gifts each of us with certain abilities.  Without being humble, what strengths have you been given that enable you to contribute positively to our _________ (parish)?

What is the single most important thing our _______ (parish ) has contributed to your life?

What do you value most about yourself as a ___________ (Catholic)?


If you could imagine or transform our ________ (parish) in any way you wished, what one to three things would you like to see happen to enhance its life and vitality.


If all these themes were fully realized every day, what would our _________ (parish) look like?

The above questions could be based on a community, a network or an institution, and so I could rephrase them to suit my needs.

What is the philosophy of Appreciative Inquiry?

Appreciative Inquiry philosophy is a quest to see that :

‘the glass is half-full and how do we make it more full?”

“We believe that every person is precious, that people are more important than things, and that the measure of every institution is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person.  We believe people have a right and duty to participate in society, seeking together the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable.”

AI incorporates three universal needs of all humans: the need for Exceptionality, Essentiality, and Equality of Voice.

Equality of voice:  We all have a desire to be able to share, without censorship, our hopes and visions of the true, the good and the possible.

This is quite similar to the idea of one person, one voice and the importance of having the freedom of one’s voice afforded by the internet mentioned in A gathering of ideas by Stephen Downes  .



We will apply the word dialogue.

Here, then…. is the noble origin of this dialogue: in the mind of God Himself… Indeed, the whole history of man’s salvation is one long, varied dialogue, which marvelously begins with God, and which He prolongs with men in so many ways.

Would dialogue amongst people be the essential bridge for connectivity in social networked learning?


AI promotes inclusiveness and trust with the belief that each of us is of immense value and can contribute ideas, dreams, and strategies.

Again this is similar to Stephen’s ideas in his post A gathering of ideas, relating to the contribution and gathering of ideas.

Best experience of a partnership

Tell me about a high point – a time when you felt you were involved in a really good partnership, a time that stands out as significant, meaningful, mutually empowering, or particularly effective in terms of results achieved.  Share the story.  What made it a good relationship?  How were you involved?  What were the key learnings?

Here is an Appreciative Inquiry Slide show

So, would the narratives collected through the Appreciative Inquiry be used in sensemaking? May be that is what I would like to learn through further research with Jenny and Roy.

What are the things that I would like to learn further?

This Things You Really Need to Learn by Stephen Downes provides a great learning list.

1. How to predict consequences

2. How to read

3. How to distinguish truth from fiction

4. How to empathize

5. How to be creative

6. How to communicate clearly

7. How to learn

8. How to stay healthy

9. How to value yourself

10. How to live meaningfully

That would all be part of the things I want to reflect upon….

So the literacies that I would relate to changes in myself include:

(a) critical thinking literacy

(b) media literacy

(c) communication and language literacy

(d) information and technology literacy

(e) social and emotional literacy

(f) creative and innovative literacy

In Heli’s Life is dynamic and complex she asked:

How could different expertise learn from each other? Life is dynamic and complex and we have to live it, can’t categorize or manage, just live through. We can tell stories and narratives, I agree with Dave Snowden and many others.

In an attempt to respond to Heli’s question, I would like to reflect on Social cognitive theory of mass communication by Bandura

People are self-organizing, proactive, self-reflecting, and self-regulating, not just reactive organisms shaped and shepherded by environmental events or inner forces.

Human self-development, adaptation, and change are embedded in social systems.  Therefore, personal agency operates within a broad network sociostructural influences.  In these agentic transactions people are producers as well as products of social systems.

In reflection, all the literacies that we have referred so far would make sense when people and agents are operating within a network social structure, especially under the Web 2.0 environment in global digital media space.  We would have an impact on the media (the environment) we are using, which would change the media, and in turn the media (machine) is also changing us.  We become both producers and products of such social systems, through our contribution and consumption of blog posts, videos (Youtube, Blip.tv), podcasts, artifacts, slideshares, pictures (flickr), Facebook, Twitters, and delicious etc.

From Flickr

What sorts of literacies are you interested in?