If an Instructional Design graduate program produces graduates who work as instructional designers, what does a program in Critical and Creative Thinking produce? A possible answer depends on first noting that the Program is really about changing practice so might be better called Critical, Creative, and Reflective Practice. The answer then could be “SloMoCoCo,” standing for SLOw MOde COach or CO-COach. The graduate has the ability to coach others in the following as well as walking the talk, that is, having established a studio to support their own work:

[I]n order to make best use of the one’s skills, experience, and aspirations, it is valuable to give oneself ample time for connecting, probing, reflecting, and creating (CPRC). In this spirit, students [in the Program are introduced] to many and varied CPRC tools and processes, principles and themes, which… students build into their own toolboxes and “studios” for lifelong learning and mindful practice (from previous post).

The next question might be: What does the process of being introduced to “tools and processes, principles and themes” and “build[ing them] into their own toolboxes and ‘studios'” look like? Can it be laid out as directly as one might lay out the skills needed for instructional design and teaching others instructional design? Graduates of the CCT Program — and anyone else interested — are welcome to provide their roadmaps for moving from applying to the Program to completing a capstone “synthesis of theory and practice.” One addition to what has happened so far in the Program is the new idea of:

a “virtual studio”… with every member taking responsibility for supporting each person’s studio-building initiatives, including those of the faculty member and alum that will join with the 4-6 students in each studio. Each studio creates the guidelines they use about how often to meet…, what processes to use during the meetings, how to bring in newcomers, how to take stock and revise the studio’s processes, and how to share… what they are learning about ways to build and run supportive studio spaces (from previous post).


About Peter J. Taylor
Peter Taylor teaches and directs programs on critical thinking, reflective practice, and science-in-society at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He studies the complexity of environmental and health sciences in their social context as well as innovation in teaching, group process, and interdisciplinary collaboration (see He is especially interested in conversations with others who are, in diverse ways, "troubled by heterogeneity" (

11 Responses to SloMoCoCo

  1. Teryl Cartwright says:

    Thank you for a cool idea. I think the coaching/competency is a tangible “product” and even more so the creation of “studio/supportive space”. If you want to take on Instructional Design by offering something I don’t think that they have yet (besides what you mentioned in the hangout), “embedded instructional design” (that CEology idea from awhile ago should work–it also fits CCT and comes from CCT. You could take this structure implicitly teaching and complementing content idea in transformative directions for education. I will be working on it too, but my “product” will of course be different than yours.

    • Can you remind me of the source for ‘“embedded instructional design” (that CEology idea from awhile ago should work’?

      • Teryl Cartwright says:

        The CEology idea is mine and came during the inspiration and influence of this July’s CE. Perhaps checking with UMass’s graduate ID program might show who else is working on a similar concept since I suppose it can’t be a fully original idea. As far as my sources for my thinking at the time of the Design14 CE, I had briefly researched Instructional Design and saw they mostly followed a structure similar to story arcs, or in the case of Universal Design, a newspaper article’s inverted pyramid, I had at the time read an article saying that any kind of variation increased student learning (that it wasn’t due to multiple intelligences or technology) and most importantly I remembered how the Greeks used to try to show their values in their architecture (some of the first embedded concept in design). I also recall Googling the pictures of instructional designs and didn’t see anything really very unique. Hope that helps–I had been going to present the embedded content concept to the geographers in London as a new way to teach their lessons, but didn’t get to go.

      • Teryl Cartwright says:

        I guess I should correct the term to “CEagogy” since I went back to re-read the original “amphoragogy” post with the comments you had in the CE to help my thought processing there. “CE=content embedded, constantly evolving…”

      • I also re-read the CE posts. Can you clarify/elaborate on “From my preliminary research, ID tends to ignore or really just dismiss “content delivery” as if a lesser element. So one can try a new design with contents and since it is improv (can’t plan it) and also embedded into structure (likely tried only occasionally), I think I don’t have to change a whole system or everyone’s mind to offer it as an alternative”?

      • Teryl Cartwright says:

        Long day, sorry for the delay in response! If needed, I will try to go back to track down the articles about content delivery since there are two I used for that statement. I think my worry was that my embedded design concept could become codified or another mandated program like what happened to Universal Design–an example of when good ideas are taken too far or applied to everything, every time. If the reason for CEagogy is to add variety and improv to curriculum structure to improve learning, then I wanted to build in these two elements to CEagogy itself too in order to keep it from becoming cookie cutter solutions and in order to improve learning–for the teachers too.

        I was trying to offer something that would make content delivery more important and something teachers could have in their toolbox without having to use everywhere. I think it is easier to convince people to try something new if it is not meant to replace what they have, only add to it. I’ll keep working on it–good to reflect on what I had meant at the time and what I think now.

  2. Teryl Cartwright says:

    This is intriguing and a nice restructuring… pRobing or gRoundwork could be “rooting” in various senses, or resourcing. I wonder if there should be space for “Resistance, rebellion, rejection” as a positive rather than merely a roadblock on the map (thinking of air resistance needed by planes).

  3. Really rawsome reply! aRigato or obRigado

  4. Pingback: What is it that it is (producing)? | Probe—Create Change—Reflect

  5. Pingback: Design change for individuals in/and society | Probe—Create Change—Reflect

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