com·mon·sense \?kä-m?n-?sen(t)s\ adjective : sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts
People often say that effective risk assessments are the application of common sense. I tend to agree, but, different people have different perceptions based on their differing experience. The questions are then; how do we collect all that sense? How do we hold it in common so that everyone in a team, organisation or partnership shares the wealth of experience on offer? This is the role, to my mind, of the risk assessment. The process of collecting all that experience and judgment together to give us a ‘common sense’ of what is possible and how we make it work for the benefit for the participants.
But when children are given the opportunity to direct their own play and learning, then what they are doing could go beyond the collective experience which is recorded in those risk assessments. How do we make judgements then? [..read more..]