Megan Dixon

Don’t get tied in knots: plan how to make decisions

It’s easy to rush headlong into launching a bold new strategy, but even easier to regret a rash call later on. So try slowing your thinking down instead of always relying on instinct, writes Megan Dixon

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This term, I have spent a lot of time thinking hard about decision-making and how we can use research evidence to support the teaching, learning and leadership decisions we make.

Nobel prizewinning psychologist Daniel Kahneman divides the decisions we make into two types of thinking: System 1 decisions, he suggests, are quick, instinctive and rely on our past experiences – they are typically unconscious; in contrast, System 2 thinking is hard, slow, logical and calculating – it involves effort and is challenging.

We need to use both. We couldn’t get through a day’s teaching without building ...

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