Designing Meaning in the Reflective Practice of National Security: Frame Awareness and Frame Innovation

By Christopher Paparone

Chapter 5 of: Design Thinking: Applications for the Australian Defence Force, ed. Aaron P. Jackson (Joint Studies Paper Series, No. 3; Canberra: Australian Defence Publishing Service, 2019).

In this Chapter, Christopher Paparone seeks to find balance in the tension between organisational needs to explore emergent new frames through embracing methodological flexibility and instability while, concurrently, requiring a technique-based learning framework that is replicable enough to be uniformly teachable. He attempts this balance through an application of Schön’s ‘reflective practice’, which can be achieved through the teaching of frame reflection — to expose and deconstruct frame rigidity — and then enabling practitioners to conduct frame innovation, which involves reaching new understandings of unfamiliar situations. He subsequently discusses four tools that can be applied in a professional military education setting to help students achieve frame reflection and frame innovation.

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