One of those choices is between “considered judgement” and “raw opinion.”
“Considered judgment” means that we carefully consider the complexity of the problems we face and weigh the possible intended and unintended consequences of alternative solutions.
Considered judgment is often achieved when groups slow down the problem-solving process to fully understand the problem, consider the costs and benefits of various possible solutions, and choose the best-possible course of action.
“Raw opinion” means responding to problems with the first idea that comes to mind, which often then leads to defending that point of view with strong emotion. Many social and professional conversations, unfortunately, consist of individuals sharing and defending raw opinions regarding poorly-defined problems and vaguely-understood solutions.
Considered judgment offers several benefits:
• Because decision making is slowed down and issues are fully explored, participants are able to make informed commitments to a course of action, commitments which are more likely to be long-term.
• Because decision making is transparent, trust is increased.
• Because important decisions are carefully considered, resources are far more likely to be invested wisely.
Considered judgment is demanding. It asks participants to be open to and explore alternative points of view. It requires that they thoughtfully weigh evidence and seek consensus on a course of action.
But when school communities understand the benefits of considered judgment and use various problem-finding tools and decision-making protocols to support their work, students will be the beneficiaries.
[A note to readers: My blog will be taking an Easter-week break and will resume on Tuesday, April 9, 2013.]