To celebrate SOTs 30th Anniversary on 17 November, 2009, we started The SISOT Society.
Here are the ideas behind the society. SISOTÂ training is designed to help members of the society to better understand them, to discuss them and to be empowered by these ideas:
IDEA #1 – DFQS ARE THEÂ DRILL
If THINKING IS A SKILL then the DFQs are the drill.
For you to be reading this page you must already be a TISOT and you will be quite familiar with SOTs Daily Feedback Questions (DFQs) where members are invited to post their comment at the end of each lesson. You will have posted many of your own comments and you will have read many of the comments posted by other SOT members. This is one of the techniques that makes SOT training so effective. DFQs enable the member to do practise and repetition over time. This DFQ method is unique to SOT.
Compare that with the traditional European approach to education which has been that thinking has to do with intelligence and that intelligence is a gift; you either have it or you don’t.
“If you have intelligence then we don’t have to worry about you and if you don’t have intelligence then there’s nothing we can do about you”.
So for 500 years nothing much was done about it.
SOT has a different approach. We view thinking and intelligence as separate issues. We view intelligence as potential that can be realised by THINKING AS A SKILL. Like all skills THINKING can be learned and developed through practise, repetition and rehearsal (PRR). If THINKING IS A SKILL then the DFQs are the drill. An SOT member will need to do 100 DFQs a year to qualify for SISOT membership.
IDEA #2 – LEARNING BY TEACHING
One of the 6 CAP Principles is LEARNING BY TEACHING. This has been a founding idea of SOT’s train-the-trainer strategy for teaching thinking and for teaching teachers of thinking. Each SISOT can be a living example of this principle.
To qualify as a SISOT a TISOT needs to have at least one SOT member that they are teaching for at least one hour on a monthly basis.
IDEA #3 – OPT-IN/OPT-OUT
All SOT training is optional and it requires a personal act of will to participate.
SOT members opt-in if they choose to do so and they can opt-out at any time they want. There is no pressure or coercion of any kind. There are no rewards and no punishments. There is no guilt and no fear. There are no fees and no obligation between SOT and its members. There are many personal cognitive benefits for the members who do the training and there are none for those who do not.
There is no intrinsic value in being an SOT member. It is quite OK to not be interested in SOT and to not be interested in learning thinking. SOT members are not ‘saved’ and are no better or worse than anyone else.
SOT is an independent school of cognitive science. SOT is not a religion. SOT members are free to come and go as they please. SOT members are encouraged to invite friends and family members to join us if they wish and to respect their decision if they are not interested. To qualify as a SISOT you must have at least 10 OPT-OUTS a year.
IDEA #4 – FACE2FACE IN THE POSTCODE
Face to face (f2f) contact is better than online contact and online contact is better than no contact at all.
One of the three rights and responsibilities of a SISOT is the Monthly Meetup. The meetups are for free. The main benefit of the meetup is the opportunity for f2f contact with at least one other SOT member.
Over time, this may grow to a group of about ten menbers.
This is why the SISOT has his or her own local postcode — a geographical territory to focus on providing regular face to face contact for SOT members, old and new. To retain the postcode a SISOT must have a 120-minute meetup every month having f2f contact with at least one other SOT member.
IDEA #5 – FEES ARE DIFFERENT
There are no fees of any kind payable to SOT for membership in The SISOT Society. However, the SISOT is authorised to provide face to face consulting for fees to their own clients. To qualify as a SISOT mermber you must have at least one client for at least one hour per month. SISOT fees are AUD$100 per hour. There are no extra charges of any kind.
Fees means the SISOT can have clients and the professional consulting relationship between a SISOT and a paying client is different to the casual one between a SISOT and a pro bono member.
The SISOT can provide consulting services in the postcode to local small businesses, big corporations, schools, local government, sporting and other community organisations. But, fees are different. Fees are an investment.
The payment of fees by the client carries with it the expectation of a measureable return on that investment. A SISOT does have an obligation to the client to help them realise a much better return on their investment. The society will provide training to SISOT members in consulting skills and measureable returns.
IDEA #6 – THE SOCIETY
The SISOT Society is to be the leadership group of the School of Thinking around the world.
The idea of society is shared interests.
Shared interests rarely means shared opinions because there are many different and valid ways to create a possible future. The quintessence of society is co-operation. There are shared relationships. There are shared outcomes. There are shared aims, interests and a shared profession. There is shared experience and encouragement. There is fun and surprise. This is the value of being a member of The SISOT Society. To qualify for membership the SISOT may offer to do pro bono consulting for the Vice Principal of SOT for one to ten hours a month.
If you feel you will be able to subscribe to these ideas as a member of the SISOT Society, please say why you feel you can benefit from being a member.