Going Further in Practicing Scientific Thinking

The Kata in the Classroom (KiC) exercise illustrates the four-step Improvement Kata pattern and helps students recognize that any idea we have needs to be tested – no matter how sure we feel. You can build on these scientific-thinking fundamentals.

The KiC exercise takes a few shortcuts in order to convey those first fundamentals. For instance, it lets students change more than one factor at a time and collect only one data point before designing their next experiment. Once students have practiced and learned the four-step Improvement Kata pattern, this page gives you resources for more detailed and precise Improvement Kata practice. You might also find the Toyota Kata Website to be helpful.

 

Kata at Home (22 minutes)

The Improvement Kata pattern is practiced in business and education, why not at home? No one can accurately predict what we will face in the future, so it's a good idea to teach ourselves how to develop solutions rather than just the applying the solutions we have today.

A Coaching Cycle (3 minutes)

This is the coach and learnerʼs daily routine for practicing scientific thinking. A coaching cycle is used to guide the learner through the steps of the Improvement Kata, by providing procedural inputs and corrections as the learner applies the Improvement Kata pattern step-by step to a real situation.

 

Note that problems are not solved in coaching cycles. That happens through experimenting toward the target condition. The purpose of  coaching cycles is to review the problem-solving process and ensure it is proceeding scientifically.

Grasping the Current Condition
(3 minutes)

Grasping the Current Condition means getting an understanding of the current patterns in a process, so you can then define an appropriate next “Target Condition” for it. In this video eight year old Bradley Davis demonstrates how to make a run chart; a super useful tool for scientific thinkers who want to more objectively understand a process.

 

For instructions on how to

make a run chart + a timing

worksheet, click the items

at right -->

The Improvement Kata Tools.
Click each item to download.

These are the tools you see being used in the videos, to practice the Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata. They are easy to understand and use in any practice of scientific thinking.:

 

  • 5-Question Card

  • Storyboard Format

  • Experimenting Record

  • Obstacle Parking Lot

 

You can also order pre-printed 5-Question cards at:

www.tiny.cc/5Q_purchase

With instructions, ideas and much more, you'll also find the Toyota Kata Practice Guide to be a great resource for teaching scientific thinking.