Liberating Structures


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About this Studio

Liberating Structures in the classroom: simple rules to unleash and engage everyone in learning, online and offline. With a repertoire of structures, you can (re)design a class or activity to increase learner engagement. Or  use them to have better staff meetings! Better family gatherings! Anywhere, any time. Studio slides are here.

The Activity

Opener Option 1:  Mad Tea:

  • Form into two concentric circles, one facing in, one facing out with people equally divided between each circle.
  • Identify your “partner” in front of you.
  • A question will be shown on the screen. First person takes 30 seconds to complete the sentence, then the other partner completes the sentence.
  • When you hear two bells/voice signal, move to the right (new partner!)  (15 minutes)
  • Online Variation: Ask the question to the group in a synchronous web meeting space and have people type their answers in the public chat space.

Note the sequence of the type of questions.

  • What first inspired me in this work as a teacher is…
  • What I find challenging in our current situation is…
  • Something we should stop doing (or divest) is…
  • What I hope can happen for us in this work is…
  • A big opportunity I see for us is…
  • A courageous conversation we are not having is…
  • An action or practice helping us move forward is…
  • A project that gives me confidence we are transforming is…
  • Something we need to research is…
  • A bold idea I recommend is…
  • A question that is emerging for me is…
  • Something I plan to do is…
  • I like Mad Tea because…

Now, after hearing from your colleagues, take a minute to answer these questions for yourself:

  • What is happening in teaching and learning around us that demands the use of mobile technology for student engagement?
  • Where are we starting, honestly?
  • Given our purpose as UdG educators, what seems possible?
  • What is at stake if we do not change?
  • How are we moving away from the current state toward the future?

Debrief: (5 minutes)   WWW: What, So What, Now What

  • “WHAT? What happened? What did you notice, what facts or observations stood out?” Take one minute to think alone, then share with a partner.
  • Share the most compelling observations.
  • “SO WHAT? Why is that important? What patterns or conclusions are emerging? What hypotheses can you make?” In pairs or groups of four, discuss.
  • Share the most compelling observations.
  • “NOW WHAT? What next actions make sense?”

Overview of Liberating Structures:

  • We will review  3-5 foundational LS slides which are also available online in English and (soon) in Spanish.

Challenges: 45 minutes – see links below

The Tools and Resources

Session Slides:

Suggested tools/tutorials

LS Resources in Spanish

The Challenges

We will choose one as a whole group and do in smaller teams.

The Wrap-up

4 thoughts on “Liberating Structures

  1. Muy interesante tener la oportunidad de realizar una entrevista y darnos la oportunidad de escuchar a otra persona. La importancia de sensibilizar al estudiante sobre el desempeño de su profesión, fue el tema central de la entrevista.

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