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Roots Mastery Board





I had this idea for a Roots Mastery Board, a tool for facilitators to use to study their implementation of the four roots at their ALC.

We often talk about how everything we do comes from the roots, but in my facilitation I sometimes found it hard to connect the dots and trace the things we were doing day to day back to the roots.

The idea for the Roots Mastery Board (RMB) is that once a week the facilitators at an ALC would meet up to have a little changeup meeting just for the roots.  There are four swim-lanes, one for each root.  You’d put ideas into the Awareness column, including ideas you’ve gotten from other ALCs that you haven’t yet implemented, etc.

There are of course many things that would appear in multiple swim-lanes, but for that you could just make multiple stickies, because an implementation could be mastered for one root but not another.cmb-for-roots-02


Here’s an example of something that would be on the RMB – spawn points. Spawn point is an expression of the 4th root.

Some other things that could go on the RMB include:

  • 1st Root
    • Playing games
    • Having conversations
    • Reading
  • 2nd Root
    • Kids direct themselves
    • ALFs ask kids what they want to do
  • 3rd Root
    • Positive happy culture
    • Use of CMB
    • Kids hold offerings
  • 4th Root
    • Set intentions at spawn
    • Share reflections at spawn
    • Blogging
    • Conversations

The 4th root could even be broken down into 4 separate columns, one for each step in the Agile Learning Cycle.


Please comment on this post with your ideas for what can go on the RMB and I’ll add them to this post.


  1. Tomis says:

    Love this, Liam! I think it helps make the tools, practices, and activity of the community visibly mapped back to the roots really effectively. It’s also just a great way to see how well we are doing with these community practices and always draw them back to the “why”, which is super important.

  2. artbrock says:

    Yeah… I’m out in Vancouver right now, and I think one of the things the WH staff is struggling with in embracing new tools, is knowing the roots of their educational model. I think they’ve identified as Dem School / Dem process, and now with kids scattered across different campuses every day, they can’t even call a Democratic Meeting (School Council) in a place such that everyone could choose to come.

    I think they’ve identified their model with their tools, rules, and processes, rather than what those were rooted in, and now to embrace new tools, it’s like they’re giving up what their whole school was about. Yet, they have to change it, but they haven’t fully integrated that and don’t know how to if it feels like it IS their model.

    So… that’s another conversation for us to have out here.

    • Liam says:

      Yeah it can get easy to get tangled up in that kind of thing. I imagine it would be helpful to see all your tools and processes laid out and to see how they relate to the ‘broader mission’.

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