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The walkingpeople
 

The walkingpeople

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Describes the sense and sensemaking strategies of the Iroquois as described in Paula Underwood's book, The Walking People

Describes the sense and sensemaking strategies of the Iroquois as described in Paula Underwood's book, The Walking People

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    The walkingpeople The walkingpeople Presentation Transcript

    • Search and Sense-making Strategies of The Walking People Human Computer Interaction Consortium Winter Park, Colorado February 3, 2007 John C. Thomas
    • Outline
      • Widespread Disappearance of Cultures
      • Possibility of Learning from them
      • Example: The Walking People
      • What is a Pattern Language?
      • Pattern Language examples from The Walking People
    • Widespread Cultural Extinction
      • Hard to measure culture, per se
      • One reasonable ersatz measure: disappearance of languages
      • 6000 languages currently
      • Possibly only a few hundred in a couple hundred years
      • Should the only metric of cultural “contribution” be the lethality of its weapons?
      • The Forgotten Founders by Bruce Johnson recounts incorporation of Iroquois ideas into US Constitution via Ben Franklin to Thomas Jefferson including “inalienable rights”, separation of powers, federated system, etc.
      • AND WE SAW
        • HOW IT WAS
        • HOW THE LEARNING
        • WAS NOT MUTUAL
        • “ You see how it is”
        • -- some one suggested.
        • “ How these ones think
        • it is only the wearing
        • of shining discs about the neck
        • that enables thought.”
        • And we laughed,
        • remembering disparate others who held a similar view.
        • FOR IT IS OFTEN SO,
        • AMONG THIS PEOPLE AND THAT,
        • WE FIND A FAILURE
        • TO RECOGNIZE ANY WISDOM
        • DISSIMILAR FROM THEIR OWN.
        • LET US BE A WISER PEOPLE….
        • (Essential attitude of contextual enquiry)
    • The Walking People
      • One branch of the Iroquois
      • “ Oral History” transcribed into English by Paula Underwood
      • Paula Underwood was “designated storyteller” for her family
      • Decided six generations earlier that this was time to share with wider circle
      • The Walking People also has associated notes about the process of knowledge transmission
      • Other books on learning by Paula Underwood also used
    • The Walking People
      • One branch of the Iroquois
      • “ Oral History” transcribed into English by Paula Underwood
      • Paula Underwood was “designated storyteller” for her family
      • Decided six generations earlier that this was time to share with wider circle
      • The Walking People also has associated notes about the process of knowledge transmission
      • Other books on learning by Paula Underwood also used
      ~Paula Underwood
    • Major Story Line
      • Begins in Asia with “natural disaster”
      • At that time, living in tripartite culture with “first among us” given responsibility of transmitting stories and learning; they have primo beach front property
      • After many killed by “rocks like rain” tidal wave comes and sweeps away the “first among us”
      • Main story recounts travels across water-swept land bridge, down west coast of North America, across great plains to Atlantic Ocean and back to Great Lakes
      • During this time, The Walking People must learn to live with various and changing physical and social environments
      • Always concerned with “learning to learn” better
      • “ Flashback” stories to much earlier times describe, e.g., invention of clothing, experiment to determine cause of pregnancy.
    •  
    • Patterns
      • Named essence of solutions to recurring problems
      • Based on experiences with what worked
      • Each Pattern includes Problem, Analysis, Solution, Summary Statement
      • A Pattern is similar to, but different from, a template, a script, a concept, etc.
    • Pattern Language
      • Consists of a lattice of inter-related patterns which attempt to cover a coherent field
      • Christopher Alexander: A Pattern Language
      • Examples:
        • Eccentric Town Center allows commuter traffic to stop at Town Center
        • European Pub
        • Gradient of Privacy in homes: porch, entry, LR, DR, kitchen, bedroom
      • Object-oriented programming (e.g.,Coplien, Vlissides, Gamma)
      • HCI (e.g., Borchers, Tidwell, Van Weile)
      • Socio-technical (e.g., Schummer, Schuler)
      • Pedagogical ( http://www.pedagogicalpatterns.org/ )
      • Management (e.g., Coplien & Harrison)
    • One useful way to view The Walking People: A Pattern Language
      • Most “stories” state a problem facing a person, group, or, more commonly, the whole Walking People
      • Often, a previously learned Pattern is applied in a transformed and transformative way
      • The story recounts the outcome
      • There is a summary restatement of the “new learning”
    • The Walking People as Pattern Language
      • Sole criterion for inclusion seems to be whether the incidents recounted show new learning
      • NOT included to:
        • Demonstrate “superiority” of The Walking People over others
        • Demonstrate “success”
        • Increase dramatic effect (cf. McKee; Frey)
      • Each story includes context, detailed description, summary of solution pattern and an “analysis of forces” illustrated by a recounting of the arguments pro and con
      • Taken together, the stories form a lattice of inter-related solutions to a domain of problems
    • Some Socio-Technical Patterns
      • Circle and Epicircle Search
      • Elicit from Diversity
      • Rule of Six
      • Small Successes Early
      • Reality Check
      • Who Speaks for Wolf?
      • Support Conversation at Boundaries
      • Social Proxy
      • Context-setting Entry
      • Answer Garden
      • Registered Anonymity
      • Anonymized Stories for Organizational Learning
      • Mentoring Circle
      • Radical Co-location
      • Levels of Authority
      • Rites of Passage
    •  
    • Elicit from Diversity
      • Pp. 7-8: “AND HOW MANY MIGHT DO WHAT FEW-ALONE COULD NOT EVEN THOUGH EACH OF THE MANY HAS LESS STRENGTH.” (Bears)
      • Pp. 11-12: “WHAT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR ONE MAY BE POSSIBLE FOR MANY” (Multi-colored paintings)
      • P 44. “IF THERE IS NOT ONE AMONG US WHO CONTAINS SUFFICIENT WISDOM MANY PEOPLE TOGETHER MAY FIND A CLEAR PATH.” (Council)
      • P. 65: “WHAT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR ONE MAY BE POSSIBLE FOR MANY” (Ropes)
    • “ WHAT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR ONE MAY BE POSSIBLE FOR MANY”
      • THINKING OF THIS,
      • They wove ropes
      • which were long as well as thick
      • and with which those who were struck by Ocean
      • and washed from their footing
      • might be restrained by others
      • who were more secure.
    • Iroquois “Rule of Six”
      • You are in a meeting room. Your calendar says the meeting is supposed to start at 10 am. The clock on the wall says 10:15. John is not here yet. You think: “John doesn’t really care about this project.”
      • According to the “Rule of Six” you need to generate five additional explanations for the current situation.
    • Iroquois “Rule of Six”
      • Your calendar entry is wrong
      • The clock on the wall is wrong
      • John comes from a culture where 15 minutes is not “late”
      • John was unavoidably delayed in traffic
      • John was waylaid by the Vice-President and even now is talking up the project
    • Seek to Understand the Heart of Others
      • The Iroquois reflect on how giant tree sloths became extinct and how even now bear and deer are more difficult to find; they decide to understand more about how their four-footed brothers live and ensure the world is arranged for their prosperity.
      • Later, when confronted with a war-like tribe with superior weaponry, they see that this other tribe, unlike the Iroquois, has a strict division of labor between men and women. The Iroquois use this, first to learn the arts of war and then, when battle comes, to “freak out” their opponents by sending five women to fight their braves.
    • Small Successes Early Based on the story of Old Grandfather who invented Clothing
    • Small Successes Early
      • “ Take off your skins,
        • Carry them if you must…
        • Proceed in this unvaried manner
        • for many days –
        • until I make a sign to you.
        • “ IN THIS MANNER OVER SOME DAYS
        • I hope to change the thinking of the People
        • leading them as I might lead them
        • over some great mountain
        • with slow and careful steps.”
        • Her voice was neither loud nor soft
        • as she asked her questions.
        • It was such that those nearby could easily hear,
        • yet those at some great distance
        • could easily turn away and hear no more.
    • Small Successes Early
      • Her father never more than answering
        • any specific question,
        • those among the People coming and going,
        • so that curiosity or discomfort with the new
        • were equally accommodated.
        • Gradually the People learned –
        • each at their own pace –
        • the nature of the path
        • of one who walks North… and yet returns.
        • “ Old Father,” she began –
        • “ I was wondering
        • whether you have any use
        • for that softest skin…”
    • Reality Check
    • Reality Check
    • Who Speaks for Wolf? Visual by www.PDIimages.com
    • Application to “Dynamic Learning Environment”
      • Circle and Epicircle Search
        • Focus on developing workable system
        • Peripheral search: joined MERLOT; read about e-learning; participated in panels; constant inquiry of social network
      • Elicit from Diversity
        • Team make-up and summer students
      • Small Successes Early
        • Three iterations of “PowerPoint Prototypes”
        • Two successive field deployments
      • Reality Check
        • Ersatz measures: questionnaires gave promising results. People liked system and found it easy to use
        • Experiment to determine whether it really worked for learning
      • Who Speaks for Wolf?
        • Early interviews with curriculum developers; course developers; content providers; potential users; potential “catchers” in IBM; used earlier comparative study for initial requirements
    • “ Systems Thinking” proposal to NYNEX CEO
      • Understanding the heart of others
        • Need to understand what would appeal to the CEO
        • Also needed to understand nature of my own management: infinite regress of permission
        • But also a “rebel at heart”
    • Further Reading
      • Alexander, C. A., Ishikawa, S., Silverstein, M., Jacobson, M, Fiksdahl-King, I. and Angel, S. A pattern language. New York: Oxford Press, 1977.
      • Gamma, E., Helm, R., Johnson, R. and Vlissides, J. Design patterns: Elements of reusable object oriented software. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1995.
      • Johansen, B. E. Forgotten founders: How the American Indian helped shape democracy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Common Press, 1987.
      • Johansen, B. E. Debating democracy: Native American legacy of freedom. Sante Fe: Clear Light, 1998.
      • McKee, R. Story: Substance, structure, style and the principles of screenwriting. New York: Harper & Row, 1997.
      • Thomas, J. Narrative technology and the new millennium, Knowledge Management Journal (2), 14-17, 1999.
      • Thomas, J. Kellogg, W. A., & Erickson, T. A. The knowledge management puzzle: human and social factors in knowledge management, IBM Systems Journal, 40 (4), 863-884, 2001.
      • Underwood, P. Who speaks for Wolf: A Native American learning story. San Anselmo, CA: Tribe of Two Press, 1983.
      • Underwood, P. Three strands in the braid: A guide for learning enablers. San Anselmo, CA: Tribe of Two Press, 1994.
      • Underwood, P. The walking people. San Anselmo, Ca: Tribe of Two Press, 1993.
    • Irrelevant Public Service Announcement
      • GROUP 2007
      • November 4th - 7th, Sanibel Island, Florida, USA = WARM
      • Important Dates
      • May 21, 2007 All submissions due.
      • Early July, 2007 Notification of acceptance.
      • http://www.acm.org/conferences/group/conferences/group07/index.html