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The 5 levels of the Self Assessment framework. What do you use? What should we use?

The question

How do we think about the levels in the Self Assessment? What do we do when we introduce the Self Assessment to communities? In particular, there is an issue around the meaning of level 2 that is raised in this note. What do we use? What should we use?


Some background

In July 2007, a group of Constellation coaches produced an updated version of the Self Assessment framework. Their proposal was reviewed and accepted by all Constellation coaches. That is the Self Assessment framework that we use in the Constellation today.

The July 2007 Self Assessment framework contains guidelines about the meaning of each of the 5 levels in a general sense. Discussion with coaches shows that the understanding of these levels has evolved since 2007.This note summarises that evolution.


The July 2007 definition of the 5 Levels.

The current Self Assessment framework carries a statement of a general meaning of the 5 levels. These are:

Level 1     Indicators that show us we are aware
Level 2     We react
Level 3     We act
Level 4     Continuous action, systematizing what we do
Level 5     The practice is part of our life-style


I have made these statements more explicit in this diagram, without, I hope, changing their meaning.



The current practice

Discussions with Constellation coaches make clear that another approach to the levels has developed and is being widely used. This approach is illustrated by the diagram that is used in our current website.



The distinctions between the 2 approaches

There is a clear distinction between the 2 approaches.

In the July 2007 framework, action occurs at level 2. There is action, but it is in response to a stimulus.

In the current use, the first 2 levels are about knowledge and action does not take place until level 3. The essential characteristic of this action is not that it is in response to a stimulus, but that it is haphazard.

Why this matters

The first reason that this matters is that the Self Assessment framework that we are using and that people are downloading reflects the July 2007 definition of levels. For 6 of the levels in our Self Assessment framework, there is action. So for ‘Mobilising resources’ the definition of level 2 is that ‘we act when resources are provided’. So the community takes action in response to an external stimulus. There is consistent with the general statement about levels.

We should work to make the Self Assessment framework consistent with the general statement of levels.

Our challenge

I don’t think that we are in a world of right or wrong here. The levels are an approximation to the description of an infinitely varied process of learning by experience.

But for the sake of consistency and practicality, the Constellation should decide on a general definition of the set of levels. We should then make sure that the Self Assessment framework reflects that definition.

The question again

How do we think about the levels in the Self Assessment. What do we do when we introduce the Self Assessment to communities? In particular, there is an issue around the meaning of level 2 that is raised in this note. What do we use? What should we use?

More material

I have attached to this a Word file that goes a little more deeply into this issue if you interested in reading a little more.

I have also placed this more detailed document on GoogleDocs. If you would like to work to make more detailed comments on it or to modify it please let me know and I will give you access to it.




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