Critical Thinking (Full or half day)
This training discusses the practices, values and attitudes that support critical thinking, encourages self reflection regarding how decision makers go about processing decision making, and presents the perspective that truth seeking in the human services, as in science, is a social enterprise.
Much of the training discusses how to recognize and combat heuristic biases, a discussion that draws on Daniel Kahneman's book, Thinking Fast and Slow. Two heuristic biases, Confirmation Bias and Halo Effect , are discussed with child welfare examples.
The first section of the training discusses the various ways in which uncritical use of intuition can lead to systematic errors in judgment. However, the second part of the training discusses how intuition can become a source of expertise, a perspective that uses Gary Klein's, Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions as its main source document. The last part of the training presents common case scenarios from child welfare practice, and asks participants to identify the pattern being described. Patterns of behavior suggestive of sporadic neglect, relapse, self sabotage and torture are discussed.
The full day training includes a small group exercise titled "Considering Alternative Hypotheses," in which participants are asked to identify alternative hypotheses for common child behaviors, and then develop a test to decide which of these alternative explanations best fits the evidence. The training closes with a discussion of a typology of physical abuse developed by Carole Bowdry, and a discussion of how well informed typologies can improve decision making in child welfare.