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Dialogical moment Creating an overall view

Method 1: ”Let ideas bud and flourish” (Opening one's incomplete thinking)

(Opening one's incomplete thinking, Creating a dialogical moment III, dialogue scene 21, in English 14.)

The goal of this method is to learn to express one's thinking even when it is nothing more but ideas in the bud – in other words, to learn not to care whether one's thinking is particularly coherently organised at the time of expression or whether it makes any sense. The objective is to learn to contribute to the dialogue by understanding that expressing incomplete ideas is permitted. The speaker understands that everyone participates in a dialogue within the framework of their present thinking, and that doing so allows that thinking to bud, to develop, and makes it possible for understanding and knowledge to increase.


  • the participants are introduced to one of the principles of dialogue, namely the permission to be under development, and a demonstration of the method is given
  • for the theme of the dialogue, choose a topic that is important from the perspective of the learning goals or knowledge creation and formulate it into an open question (in this context, for example, “How to achieve a way of working that permits ideas to be under development?”)
  • the participants form groups of 3 to 4 persons
  • every person is given five stems; a stem is like a budding idea, a small element that can contribute to common understanding and work; in addition, the stems represent a participant's responsibility in collaborative knowledge creation
  • every time a participant expresses their thoughts, they use one stem
  • each participant keeps their turn short, i.e. they speak about two sentences, while others listen to their speech in a word-for-word manner
  • each speaker puts their stems on the table into a pile of contributions; when all stems have been used, they can be reused as many times as the participants wish
  • take turns to speak and to listen in a random order, that is, do not proceed clockwise or counter-clockwise
  • the dialogue lasts for about 15 minutes
  • the group uses the stems to build a structure that describes what they learned from this task; they write down their insights

Reflection in the learning community: The whole group jointly reflects upon their experiences of the method and thinking that it caused. One useful question for this reflection is ”What did you become aware of during this task?” Another, more demanding question is ”What did you learn from this task?” The purpose of the reflection is that several participants, not only some, share their thinking and experiences. You can engage more participants in the reflection by asking questions such as, ”What else can you tell us about your thinking?”, ”What else should be mentioned at this point?” etc. In other words, the common reflection should not be limited to hearing the experiences of a few active participants. When the reflection part is completed, every participant has gained an understanding of the permission to express incomplete thinking while engaged in dialogues and knowledge creation situations. This enables them to continue practising in real life situations.