From learning in fear to letting go

“Integrative Thinking was the first tool, the first way of thinking, that gave you permission to let go — let go of the control, let go of the anxiety, let go of the idea that someone is watching every move you make. It really set the tone for where we are today.”

When she was a student, Chelsey Roche didn’t like school. “I learned in fear, which kept me in a box. It wasn’t an enjoyable experience.” She became a teacher to see if she could change that for others.

Now, Chelsey uses Integrative Thinking to help her students take risks and step outside their comfort zones in an environment where they feel safe and supported. “The idea that you can’t make a mistake, that every idea is valuable, that everyone matters within the process of learning is so refreshing. You can see the relief when you tell them they don’t have a bad idea.” 

After a year of experimenting with the I-Think toolbox, Chelsey’s students describe how the Causal Model, Ladder of Inference, and Pro-Pro Chart have helped them to become more confident in sharing and expanding on their ideas; looking at situations from different angles; and making tough decisions in other areas of their life, such as where to go to high school. 


For Chelsey, Integrative Thinking was “the first movement where someone said ‘What’s the worst that could happen?’” This approach helped Chelsey turn her classroom into what her students describe as a “team that works together."

Because there’s no fear, you can really push your thinking and you can push the boundaries. When you’re working within models that promote a deeper level of thinking, along with that safety net to fall and be picked back up, it allows the kids to just soar.

This true story told by Chelsey recounts the instance that led her to use a Causal Model in tackling the                                                issue of bullying and creating a safe school environment.