Force Field Analysis
By Evangelidou Foteini
March 2014, Greece
In Physics, the idea of a force field explains why objects in the physical universe move or fail to move because of the counteracting forces that push them back to the status quo or push them forward.
We might describe them as brakes and accelerators. So in a school or classroom context there are always impulses to move forward and improve and always things pushing back or constraining improvement.
This activity asks you as an individual, or better still, as a pair or a group, to identify an issue (for example, effective teaching, effective learning) and then list those things that are positive accelerators of success and those things that inhabit success.
Identify the issue, then write down things; five things that help on the left, and five things that hinder on the right.
The technique can be extended by:
1. initially listing all the factors that help and hinder, then identifying the three most important of each
2. showing the strength of the forces by assigning a score to each, from 1 (very strong) to 5 (strong enough).
You may consider (or discuss) options for actions that will add momentum to and capitalize on the favorable forces, minimize or overcome the obstacles, shift the balance in favor of the positive forces.
(Source: Foundations of Teaching for Learning 1: Introduction)