The plan for the second meeting of our TAS: Team As Support FIG is to
review the 3 elements of the design of this program (permanent teams that
have a rotating Team Leader in which team members are connected
by self-chosen platforms for chats and zooms). The focus, however,
of the meeting will be on the “psychic infrastructure” of these teams
and the 3 guiding ideas underlying this approach.
In our session, we plan to explore 3 concepts that fundamentally
distinguish this approach from all others:
3. Breakdown as creating the opportunity for Breakthrough.
1, Support is perhaps the largest and most important concept that
shapes this classroom and conditions its success. Research has made
clear that high performance is predicated on teams that attain the highest
levels of support, comfort, and trust. How does the professor make
this concept explicit and how is the support of team members for one another
encouraged and rewarded by the professor?
2. Possibility is used as a concept that at both individual levels
and within the definition of the work of the Team Leader asks the
student to assess where they are at and determine an aspirational
focus for the week, for a specific assignment, for mastery of
the content of the course. The question, what is possible, asks
the student to see him, their or herself as capable, hopeful, eager, and
ambitious and constantly setting new actionable small goals as
they move forward in the work of the course. How is this done?
What does this look like at the level of the Team Leader?
What does it look like at the level of team members? What does
it look like for the professors and their aspirations for their students?
3. Breakdown / Breakthrough. Training students to examine
closely what created the conditions for a failure or disappointment
and to take action to change those conditions is a powerful tool
in the arsenal of high performance in the classroom and in life.
In TAS, students learn to think creatively, hopefully, and critically
about issues that led to a disappointing result (a “breakdown”)
in order to create a far more powerful “breakthrough” in their work.
It is training that is especially important for the fragile
students in our classrooms who typically beat themselves up when they don’t
meet their own expectations. How exactly does a professor
“teach” this methodology to their students? Can a professor model
this approach in the classroom to their students?