How the Map Process Works

"People will tolerate the conclusions of others. They will only act on their own conclusions.” – Randy Root 

The Investing in Wisconsin Public Schools™ map activity creates conditions in which participants can easily learn from each other. This comprehensive process includes large scale visual maps, key data points, and engaging discussion questions, which are used in small groups guided by facilitators.

People learn more comprehensively when they are engaged and enjoying themselves in a discussion without being told the answers. Participants can come to their own conclusions guided by a questioning process and information provided on the Map. The process requires participants to summarize key societal issues from their own beliefs and opinions, encourages embracing change and connects these changes to the school district’s goals and direction. The Map Process takes into consideration peoples’ different ways of learning and maximizes understanding as well as longer-term retention that leads to action when people return to their daily job responsibilities and activities.

Six Components of the Map Process

1. Visualization or Storyboarding of the Wisconsin Educational System & Complex Systems
The Map creates a visual framework which helps participants to discuss the same issues at the same time with the same words. This allows group members to link issues to graphic images and forms common language and understanding.
2. Data Connections

Key pieces of data and information are linked within the Map that allow dialogue to occur around facts, not just opinions. Specific Wisconsin school data supports the storyboard metaphors.

3. Socratic Dialogue & Discovery

The use of the correct questions at the correct time helps lead groups of people through the process and creates a synergy for exploring issues with all the participants. Titles and status mean nothing. Learning is a matter of asking the right questions, not simply having the right answers. This activity allows the group members to offer opinions, comments and insights in a nonthreatening atmosphere.

4. Learning Peripherals, Exercises & Simulations

Exercises and game pieces provide information into the learning process and increasingly encourage the interactive process. The learning peripherals harness one of the most effective ways people learn, by making mistakes. Group members are put into different scenarios to enhance understanding and recognition through sharing.

5. Interaction in Small Group Settings

The Map is ideally used with groups of 6 to 10 people in a process that takes two hours. This allows for everyone to be engaged and ensures that everyone gets to introduce their ideas. Participants hear and learn from one another.

6. Trained Facilitation

Excellent facilitation is the key to the Map process. The Table Coach does not have to be an expert on the topic, but is a person who encourages understanding through thought provoking questions and listens carefully, with empathy. The Table Coach must avoid providing answers. The Table Coach’s role is to keep the process moving proactively, using group discovery methods. When the Table Coach is not talking, the group is working. The expectation is for participants to be actively engaged and be explorers, not “sit and get” learners.