I am a psychological flexibility expert. I help teachers and students, work teams and families communicate, collaborate and solve problems.
We use this very simple diagram and a few words to get a conversation started.
It is called the ACT Matrix, a two by two grid. ACT stands for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Training. In education, we are interested in training. ACT is based on science and the research of what works to improve conditions for growth and change. You do not need to know ACT to use the Matrix.
The Matrix is a Diagram of How We Learn
You start at the top of the diagram where we take in information from our five senses. It flows down inside of us and becomes our learning history or mental experience. At the same time, we move toward important people and things in our lives and we move away from uncomfortable experiences like fear, anger, and sadness. Knowing what is going on around us, being aware of what is showing up inside of us, and recognizing, where our actions are leading us, leads to making choices that work.
You invite your learners into a conversation by asking them the questions, fill up the grid with their responses and everyone starts communicating better. It works with individuals and groups of all ages. You can use it anywhere but it is especially useful when a student or adult is feeling stuck. Asking and answering the questions is the way out of feeling stuck and getting moving toward who and what is important.
The Matrix is about Inviting, Connecting, and Collaborating
Educators spend a lot of time in classrooms dealing with problems. High on the list of issues are engaging and motivating students, managing challenging behaviors, curriculum demands, and administrative pressures. These issues can be ongoing and lead to a lot of struggling and wheel spinning.
Effective problem solving entails both the art of influencing and the application of well-defined scientific principles.
The Matrix Gets Educators and Learners Moving
The Matrix is for all of us on the front lines working to make a difference. It helps you reduce the struggles, get more done and be more effective. It also assists your learners in doing the same. The Matrix promotes psychological flexibility, which leads to resilience, persistence, and growth in the face of obstacles and difficulties. It allows everyone to “notice what works” to get teachers and learners on the same page and moving toward effective learning. Everyone feels empowered to make healthy choices and work together.
More Teaching…More Learning…Less Struggling
The bottom line is that promoting psychological flexibility in schools and classrooms leads to less struggling with what doesn’t work and more creativity, effective instruction and success. Students use the Matrix to develop the self-monitoring and self-regulation skills needed for success in school and life.
Tyr it out and discover the power of psychological flexibility and what it can do for you!