Visual Metaphors for Noticing Change
By Innovative Resources
Book Medium: 10 Scaling Pads, Each With 25 Tear-off Sheets
Our new Scales... The Scaling Kit: visual metaphors for noticing change
Design by Tim Lane. Booklet by Russell Deal, with a foreword by Di O'Neil.
The New Scales Pads are:
Sun up / sun down
Ups and Downs
In 1996 Innovative Resources published Scales: Tools for Change as a set of pads with tear-off sheets. Each pad featured a simple line drawing which could be used as a visual metaphor to record parts of the change process. Scales was followed in 1999 by an additional set of eight pads with new images. The simplicity of the images, the colour and format of the pads had great appeal to many people, especially those with a visual learning style.
The Scales pads were readily adopted as a tool by counsellors, therapists, children and family workers, youth workers, teachers, supervisors and others in diverse professional roles because they could be used to plot change very easily and thereby create new possibilities for change. As Innovative Resources' publishing experience has grown over the years, the team has become increasingly aware of the value of creative arts in conversation-building. In fact, the overlay of creative arts ideas onto St Luke's evolving strengths-based philosophy has emerged as one of the hallmarks of our publishing vision.
As Howard Gardner has consistently argued in his theory of multiple intelligences, many people do not think, learn or interact with the world just through language. While linguistic and mathematical intelligences have traditionally been valued most in western societies, for countless people living both inside and outside these societies there are other learning and thinking preferences. Gardner's theory made sense of our belief that the creative arts in general - and visual imagery in particular - contain profound transformational possibilities. It seemed that to ignore these other intelligences or 'ways of knowing' was a subtle form of oppression or colonisation. While acknowledging that the drawings printed on the pads are incredibly minimalist in their application of creative arts ideas to human services, we became convinced of the efficacy of people creating and using their own art and artefacts to help describe the challenges, joys, struggles and successes in their journeys.
By mid 2006 the scaling pads had well and truly proved themselves and continued to be popular. Yet the team at Innovative Resources also felt that the time had come for change to the change-recording tool itself! And so began the search for more versatile formats.
The Scaling Kit: visual metaphors for noticing change includes 10 scaling pads, each with 25 tear-off sheets. We selected eight of the most popular and versatile visual metaphors from Scales and Scales II. These have been redrawn and the pads redesigned to enhance their appeal and efficacy. In addition, two brand new visual metaphors ('Ups and Downs' and the rating 'Wheel') have been added.
Finally, the user's guide to the pads (now taking the form of a booklet) has been extended and enhanced to include a greater array of suggested uses. Some of the suggestions in the booklet have grown out of St Luke's practice and some have been offered by creative and inventive colleagues from around the world.
For those new to scaling, we hope you find something in The Scaling Kit that gives you the confidence to try out some of the suggestions. For those who have used the images from Scales and Scales II in the past, we hope you rediscover old friends, make new ones and find fresh ways of working with both the old and the new.
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