Pedagogical examples: Purple Organizational Mentorship

The Purple Islands Map

The Purple Islands map is a tool developed by the Purple Lab and used during mentorship sessions taking place at the schools between the program’s mentors and the leading purple team in the school. The “Islands” on the map symbolize various school artifacts, routines and habits which are interconnected (e.g. staff meetings, faculty professional development, curriculum, classroom management) and they highlight the school as a complex system, as these islands are all interconnected and influence one another. During mentorship sessions, school leaders acquire the knowledge and tools to sense what is going on in the different islands on the map and to recognize “hotspots” – areas of conflict, discomfort etc. which call for organizational change. They are also mindful of islands in which things are running smoothly and there is a congruency between the day-to-day functioning in those specific island and the schools values and mission statement. The Purple Islands Map is used during the 3 years of the program and enables the leading teams to systematically and continually sense and evaluate the school’s climate and functioning, thereby fostering systems thinking, systems sensing and a learning organization culture. The leading teams are invited to use The Purple Islands Map with an open and curious attitude (in effect serving as an informal mindfulness practice), while nurturing  a non-judgmental and compassionate stance towards themselves and other members of the school community represented in this map.