The first major task is to form teams. This can be done a variety of ways, but must ultimately be compatible with the philosophy of the school’s or organization’s administration. Destination Imagination believes that in order to provide a diverse talent base and to develop an appreciation of everyone’s abilities the opportunity should be available to all students, not just a select few. Teams can be recruited through a variety of options:
- classroom observation and tryouts
- grade level or all school tryouts
- team manager selection
- teacher recommendation
- self-selection (team forms and then recruits a Team Manager.
The selection process often includes the completion of an Instant Challenge or warm-up challenges. Tryouts can be scheduled after school on a one-time or multiple-time basis. Challenges should incorporate both performance and task-based dimensions. When recruiting from a large pool of students, make sure you have the commitment of enough Team Managers for more than one team. Determine your criteria ahead of time to expedite and substantiate the process. It is not uncommon for teams to remain relatively intact from year to year. This decision should be honored if DIers feel that team performance is improved through their continuance.
First-time Team Mangers may wish to recruit a diversity of team members with one or more of the following characteristics:
- artistic/musical/dramatic talent
- ability to construct
- scientific knowledge
- quick thinking (an asset in spontaneous practice)
- divergent/creative thinking
- risk taking
- leadership/organization skills (possible team captain?)
Remember that the DI process can build these characteristics in its participants. Many successful team members may not be successful students; they may possess highly developed problem solving abilities and talents that are not exhibited at the classroom level. More experienced Team Managers may consider team members who may not perform consistently.
ALL team members should possess the following characteristics:
- commitment to and respect for the team
- commitment to completing the problem solution