Marc G. Lucas and Matthew Rich-Tolsma
Vol. 11 No. 3 Sep 2015
Re-viewing Self and Societal Development from a Postformal Perspective: An Artistic De-concealiation, Reconciliation and Trans-formation
Marc G. Lucas
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to attempt to do justice to the chosen topic, including regarding its design. In a conscious distinction from the more conventional, materialistic, rationalistic, and quantitative approaches that prevail today in the economic and social sciences, the focus of this study will first be placed on consideration of images, contextualising the way in which I perceive them (first person perspective). Thus the paper is structured along sequential instances of experience and concomitant reflection bringing together such different paradigmatic positions as artistic and scientific approaches to individual and collective developments within an integrated approach that includes and transcends conventional thought. Together with statements from several artists and their works of visual arts (second person perspective) and in a mutual exchange with third person approaches from current psychological, economic, and neuro-scientific debates this will create an integrated systemic image, which in particular allows a deeper look into the underlying overall developmental theme. Every section of the article will be introduced by two correspondent statements, one written from an artistic more introspective perspective and one from a philosophical or scientific position to point out the main tension experienced and discussed within the section. Main aim is to allow to arise cross-fertilization in the sense of a hermeneutic circle. This circle finds its dynamically-sustaining shape in the form of a Mobius strip. Philosophical contributions in particular from phenomenology and complexity theory complete the picture, thus creating a conscious draft, which is aware of its own subjectivity. Ultimately the simultaneous inclusion of artistic and creative skills carried out in this article, goes beyond individual paradigms of a formal logic inherent in existing theories of development toward a more inclusive and visionary logic of the art looked at/and artistic lens seen through.
The Generality of Adult Development Stages and Transformations: Comparing Meaning-making and Logical Reasoning
Tom Hagström and Kristian Stålne
Abstract: Human development theories differ in “context sensitivity,” covering those stressing development stages and those stressing continuously progressing changes. The former theories differ in whether, how and why the stages are regarded as being generalized across domains, i.e. their generality claims. Piaget’s developmental stage theory of logical complexity of children and adolescents fulfill “strong” such claims, including fixed stage sequentiality of increasing complexity levels and higher stage structures integrating earlier ones. His theory has inspired a number of adult development stage theories with varying generality claims. These provide suggestions of stages and stage transitions reaching beyond “pure” cognition, integrating more of e.g. emotional, value and moral dimensions. From a neo-Piagetian perspective, core generality aspects seem to concern on the one hand logical reasoning and on the other hand meaning-making. This raises questions of how these aspects are related to each other in terms of stage structures and transformations.
The aim of the article is to discern general features in adult development stage structures and transitions, in terms of logical reasoning and meaning making. This is carried out by a “thought experiment” interrelating two theories that differ in these respects but that are both based on Piaget’s theory, namely Robert Kegan’s constructive developmental Subject-Object Theory (SOT) and Michael Common´s behaviouristic Model of Hierarchical Complexity (MHC). This comparing approach concerns the 3rd, 4th and 5th order of consciousness as well as transitions between these according to SOT, and order 9 to 12 and corresponding transitions according to MHC. The thought experiment indicates that the generality claims of both models can be argued for without one of them necessarily being subordinated to the other one. Both theories are interpreted as differing but partly overlapping structures of coherence, while also being involved in transformative thesis-antithesis-synthesis processes. The possible interrelatedness between logical reasoning and meaning making is considered and discussed, as well as the relevance of differing generality claims, and contrasting subjectivistic and objectivistic “scientific positions.” Finally, it is argued for the need of contextualizing adult development theory and research by relating it to postindustrial societal demands and challenges in terms of e.g. a “transform-actional” approach.”
Tags: adult development, meaning-making, hierarchical complexity, stages, Kristian Stålne, cognition, contextualization, dualities, generality, subject-object structures, dialectical transformations, self-other coordination, differentiation-integration, affection, logical reasoning., Tom Hagström
Strategy as Emergence: Reviewing the Practice Turn in Social, Organizational and Leadership Studies from an Integral Perspective
Abstract: Practice perspectives are increasingly popular in many social sciences. Moreover, the practice turn (PT) has gained influence across various disciplines as a novel epistemological and research perspective. It claims to be able to better explain the workings of social action, among them leadership phenomena in organizations, due to a detailed look onto the micro level. Due to their focus and epistemology, they also claim to be able to better describe and analyze the complexity of social action than more traditional individualistic or institutional approaches. This paper therefore takes a closer look at some of the epistemological claims made by practice perspectives, based on integral epistemological concepts and tools. It proposes a selective discussion of the PT’s genuine epistemological value, as well as potential shortcomings, blind spots and limitations.
Ellen Aschermann and Jennifer Klenzan
Abstract: The current pedagogical discussion emphasizes self-determined and cooperative forms of learning. The theoretical background stems from constructivist theories of learning, which interpret social exchange and reflecting on one’s learning pathway as crucial points for construction processes. Consequently, self-regulation turns into a central condition for scholarly learning. This includes setting goals, planning and conducting the learning process as well as the evaluation of results. This paper focusses on the processes secondary school teachers use to implement newly acquired knowledge on self-regulated learning in their lessons. By means of qualitative research methodology, we wanted to explore how experienced teachers develop their own abilities for self-determined learning while teaching their own pupils to do so. Method: In a transdisciplinary research-project between a secondary school and a university, a group of mathematic teachers participated in a two-day training course on self-regulated learning during which they discussed and developed ways to enhance self-regulation of learners. They were then tasked with implementing their newly acquired knowledge during their maths lessons (number of pupils = 270, 4 – 5 lessons per week) with eighth graders in the course of a twelve week teaching period. Two separate groups of teachers were asked to put their newly acquired skills into practice. The first group (N = 6) used a collaborative setting in which tasks, teaching activities and performance reviews had been clarified and discussed within the group. The second group (N = 4) fulfilled these tasks individually without seeking assistance. The teaching strategies were assessed by means of multiple semi-structured interviews and observations of classroom activities. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the teachers prior to the training and after 12 and 32 weeks respectively to explore their understanding of self-regulated learning and their experiences during implementation. A thematic analysis approach was used to identify the factors relevant for the implementation from the teacher’s perspective. Observation sessions of classroom activities were undertaken four times during the project period in each class. Results: Both groups stated that the focus on self-regulated learning inspired them to change some of their habits in their own teaching. Teachers in the cooperative group increasingly reported a growing awareness for details of their own preparations when planning lessons or grading, more so than the teachers in the supervisory group. In the collaborative group concrete attempts were made to change some organizational factors so that collaboration could continue for a longer period. Conclusion: The distribution of didactic innovations such as the implementation of self-regulated learning in teaching contexts requires a two fold perspective. Not only the teachers and their individual teaching have to be taken into account but also the school conditions under which the teachers work. The integral perspective on the analysis of these implementation processes proved to be fruitful.
Abstract: The article gives an overview of the Yalla program that has taken place in Egypt and Germany since 2012 and was originally initiated by Katharina Petrisson from the Federal Foreign Ministry of Germany in cooperation with Matthias Ruff and the Humboldt Viadrina School of Governance. After an introduction of underlying causes for the uprising in the Middle East, the preconditions of the program are explained. Furthermore the integrative framework that was used to design such trainings is analyzed. The paper also evaluates the online value development assessments of German and Egyptian participants within the Yalla-2-training. As a framework for the case study An interdisciplinary approach was used including developmental psychology, social and political science as well as system theory and action research.
Transformative Learning for Climate Change Engagement: Regenerating Perspectives, Principles, and Practice
Gary P. Hampson & Matthew Rich-Tolsma
Abstract: In this position paper the worldview from which climate change continues to occur is identified as late modernism. This worldview is critiqued as being unduly economistic, reductive, mechanistic, and fragmented. There is a clear requirement for an inclusive and transcending transformation of this worldview toward one substantively more able to meet the challenges that climate change presents, as well as an understanding of the processes that facilitate such a transformation. This paper foregrounds transformative learning as a generic process that might well be key to this transformation. The paper addresses transformative learning both as an active process and as a feature of a regenerated worldview, identified here with respect to Griffin’s reconstructive postmodernism, which goes beyond deconstructive postmodernism in its proto-integral orientation. Transformative learning is exemplified by the seminal approach of Mezirow as well as Scharmer’s Theory U. The discussion of worldview is vertically differentiated in terms of principles, worldview perspectives, and sectoral practice with reference to the depth ontology of Inayallatulah’s Causal Layered Analysis. Principles addresses the regeneration of the philosophy of science, and explores the critical contrast between atomism acting as attractor for modernism, and complex integration acting as attractor for reconstructive postmodernism / the ecological worldview; it indicates the fecundity of Bhaskar’s critical realism for aptly addressing climate change. Sectoral practice is represented by higher education, specifically addressing andragogy, heutagogy, the transformative learner, and the transformative educator. Climate change is a complex, big-picture issue, one that requires a complex, integrative epistemology and transdisciplinary orientation.
Tags: transformative learning., transdisciplinarity, Gary P. Hampson, Climate change, sustainability., Causal layered analysis, complex integration, ecological worldview, worldview., Matthew Rich-Tolsma