I’ve already pointed out the MIT’s OpenCourse Ware: a free and open educational resource for educators, students, and self-learners around the world (under a Creative Commons License 2.5). I love it: there is also a set of RSS feeds with news, new courses …

I’ve just read about this course: Reflective Practice: An Approach for Expanding Your Learning Frontiers. You can find all the lectures notes and slides in the site.

In particular Reframing for resolving Intractable Controversies deals about what we “use” when we face a problem:

  • assumptions (common beliefs, in our thinking)
  • values  (criteria that we use for deciding if a situation is desirable or undesirable and then the mind state we have facing that problem)

We use to frame (new) situations using assumptions and values that might be wrong.

The discovery of assumptions is easier when we are “out of the box”, but the box is invisible for us.
People who disagree with our frames are more acute for identifying our assumptions.
The discovering of assumptions is a kind of reverse engineering that disturb our beliefs.

A possibility for discovering assumptions is to go through the components and the causal relations of the frame asking “why”they are stated in that particular way.

Questions for Exploring Assumptions
Why the scenario, or one component of it, is generated by the problem or a component of it?
Why the factor A contributes to the problem?
Which conditions are required for the work of causal relations?

Questions for Exploring Values:
•Why do you think it is a problem?
•Which values are threatened by the problem or by the scenario?
•Which motivations are behind the way the situation were framed?

I really recommend to have a look around: very interesting concepts!