A Beginner’s Mind

We ran a training last March on human centered development. One of the trainers told us  that developing a beginner’s mind allowed us to process information and imagine new solutions. As you may recall, a beginner’s mind is that terrified, curious, excited brain that we experience when doing something we have never done before. It is the brainContinue reading “A Beginner’s Mind”

“For Small Nonprofits” Podcast

In October 2016, I had the tremendous privilege to be interviewed by one of my favorite podcast producers: Erik Hanberg of the “For Small Nonprofits” podcast.  Take a listen if you want to learn more about what resources we have designed for small nonprofits and why. Nancy Bacon – Free Resources For Nonprofits – EpisodeContinue reading ““For Small Nonprofits” Podcast”

The Inseparability of Reflection and Action

“We find two dimensions, reflection and action, in such radical interaction that if one is sacrificed—even in part—the other immediately suffers.” – Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed Sometimes you give people time to think about something, and things get a lot deeper than you were planning on. You stop for reflection, and they dig intoContinue reading “The Inseparability of Reflection and Action”

3 Thoughts on Human-Centered Design

Human-centered design has taken center stage. It is the theme for this year’s Washington State Nonprofit Conference. It comes up regularly now in conversation about human service program design and how to engage previously not reached populations in our programs. It has jumped from designing products to delivering programs. A movement is underfoot, and IContinue reading “3 Thoughts on Human-Centered Design”

Learning is more fun with a buddy

Our workshop participants won’t learn most of what they need to know from us. Hard to imagine, but it is true. The prevailing wisdom of 70/20/10 — 70% is learned on the job, 20% in interactions with others, and 10% in classrooms– rings true as I check back with people who were fired up to changeContinue reading “Learning is more fun with a buddy”

Chunk, the Superhero of Learning

I recently presented at a conference with someone who has lived and breathed grantwriting for a long time. We were working over our presentation, and I found myself in the same conversation I often find myself in with experts in the field. “They need to understand this. And this. And this. And this. And this.”Continue reading “Chunk, the Superhero of Learning”

Action Objectives Are More Active

A good lesson begins with learning objectives, we are told. We create and then communicate what we intend our students to learn by the end of our time together. Learning is great, but action is better. Teachers, imagine how our teaching shifts when we articulate the actions our students will take because of our lesson. Those creatingContinue reading “Action Objectives Are More Active”

The start of something new

We often don’t think about why we do what we do until well after we have done it. Such was the case with Chunk, Flip, Guide, Laugh, an educational approach that I have subconsciously been developing over the past 15 years without an intentional focus on the purpose behind it. It took a colleague’s request that IContinue reading “The start of something new”