Striving For Accuracy
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Avoiding errors, being precise, near enough is not good enough. Checking you work and editing it with care. Always presenting your best. Avoiding careless mistakes. Checking your facts and the claims you make. Looking for sound evidence. Making judgements based on facts and identifying the role judgements and feelings play in your decision making.
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Striving for Accuracy always matters, and in most cases it is not hard to achieve, the difficulty is having accurate work as your goal. The old adage of measure twice and cut once applies in many settings and asks that you always check your work and expect great things.
In todays world of instant access to information the need for accurate facts is critical. How will you know what information to trust?
WHEN SHOULD YOU USE IT?
Whenever you need to present your best effort. When accuracy matters (when doesn't it). When your work will be shown to someone whose opinion matters, like you. When making the wrong decision is not an option and you need to rely on evidence.
In different ways the videos here show the importance for striving for accuracy. In one a Panda must focus on his training to become a master, in the other we see how a week of precision polishing produces the accuracy required for a luxury watch.
5 TOP STRATEGIES:
- Check it twice, then check it again. Check it backwards, check it one step at a time.
- Have a buddy check, ask them to be honest, 'Is this the quality you expect from me?'.
- Use tools and strategies that will make your work accurate, eg rulers for straight lines, dictionaries for editing
- Check your facts, evaluate your sources, look for supporting evidence, evaluate the alternative opinion or point of view
- Aim to get it right the first time and reward yourself when you do. Take the time you need to do it right, doing it over always takes longer.
5 QUESTIONS TO ASK ABOUT YOUR THINKING:
- Can you trust that piece of evidence? How do you know it is true? Is it fact or opinion? Is there support for that claim? Is there an alternative point of view you must consider?
- What is causing you to make mistakes? Your understanding or your working?
- Learn from mistakes, see them as an opportunity not a failing, but avoid making the same mistake twice?
- Is there a pattern to your errors? Learned mistakes are hard to fix if you don't recognise them.
- Take pride in what you do well and use it to inspire you to improve the things you don't eg. A great story deserves accurate spelling and neat handwriting.
Thinking Routines for Striving for Accuracy
- Tug for Truth - a thinking routine that encourages you to gather and evaluate supporting evidence for claims or questions of truth.
- Identify a question of truth or controversial claim. Possibly an idea that is presented as a fact or an idea that is critical to your solution to a problem but where there is a conflicting view point.
- Investigate opinions on both sides
- Construct a 'tug of war' diagram on a large piece of paper - a line with true on one end and false on the other. Now gather evidence and place it along the line. Evidence that the claim is true goes towards the true end of the line, evidence that the claim is false goes towards the other. Where you place the evidence depends on the strength of the evidence.
- Use the results of your 'tug of war' to evaluate the truth of the claim.
- Reporters Notebook - a thinking routine for distinguishing between facts and thoughts or judgements.
- Identify a situation, a story or dilemma for discussion.
- Identify the Facts and Events of the situation. As you name them, ask if these are clear facts, or if they need more information about them.
- Name the Thoughts & Feelings of the characters/participants involved in the story. As you name them, ask if these are clear facts, or if they need more infor- mation about them.
- Now make a judgement based on the information at hand.