Integral Review

A Transdisciplinary and Transcultural Journal For New Thought, Research, and Praxis

Posts Tagged ‘Education’

Developing an Inclusive Perspective for a Diverse College: Inclusion = Diversity + Engagement

Cheryl Whitelaw

This article describes a project at the NorQuest College Center for Intercultural Education to develop an inclusion model for a post-secondary, two-year college. Inclusion = Diversity + Engagement is a model for action based on the integration of integral theory, particularly the all quadrants component of the AQAL model by Ken Wilber and the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity by Dr. Milton Bennett. The author views inclusion as a perspectival phenomenon, socially constructed; a culture of inclusion is, in part, founded on perspective seeking behaviors. Within the model, the focus for translative and transformative change is guided by the Intercultural Competence Stretch Goals document, a map created by the author and her project collaborators to identify selected attitudes, knowledge and skills to support more inclusive communication behaviors. The model is informed by concepts arising out of discourse on inclusion and intercultural competence, specifically on a capacity for perspective taking within a Canadian socio-cultural surround. Within the context of a college with identifiable diversity in terms of country of origin, languages spoken, race, ethnocultural origin including First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples and the level of ability requiring supports (for physical and/or learning challenges), this article describes an organizational change project sparked by an applied research study to create the Inclusion = Diversity + Engagement model and the organizational change initiatives that flowed out of the model. The applied research question asked: “In what ways might Student Services enhance intercultural communication skills during face-to-face interactions with students.” We found a need to focus on the enhancement of intercultural communication skills based on a primarily ethnocentric, minimization worldview for student services staff. Specific skills included developing a deeper understanding of staff’s own worldview with a focus on identifying preferred communication styles and practicing less familiar, less comfortable styles. We also found a need to practice perspective taking to increase staff capability to check for inclusion in service interactions. Results were used to design inclusion training; the project evolved to develop an integrally informed inclusion map. These organizational change initiatives are continuing through an ongoing inclusion focus at NorQuest College in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Although written from a single author perspective, I want to acknowledge the project team members and the community of participants that engaged in this project from project proposal to ongoing inclusion initiatives.

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From Knowledge to Wisdom: Assessment and Prospects after Three Decades

Nicholas Maxwell

Abstract: We are in a state of impending crisis. And the fault lies in part with academia. For two centuries or so, academia has been devoted to the pursuit of knowledge and technological know-how. This has enormously increased our power to act which has, in turn, brought us both all the great benefits of the modern world and the crises we now face. Modern science and technology have made possible modern industry and agriculture, the explosive growth of the world’s population, global warming, modern armaments and the lethal character of modern warfare, destruction of natural habitats and rapid extinction of species, immense inequalities of wealth and power across the globe, pollution of earth, sea and air, even the aids epidemic (aids being spread by modern travel). All these global problems have arisen because some of us have acquired unprecedented powers to act without acquiring the capacity to act wisely. We urgently need to bring about a revolution in universities so that the basic intellectual aim becomes, not knowledge merely, but rather wisdom – wisdom being the capacity to realize what is of value in life, for oneself and others, thus including knowledge and technological know-how, but much else besides. This is an argument I have propounded during the last three decades in six books, over thirty papers, and countless lectures delivered in universities and conferences all over the UK, Europe and north America. Despite all this effort, the argument has, by and large, been ignored. What is really surprising is that philosophers have paid no attention, despite the fact that that this body of work claims to solve the profoundly important philosophical problem: What kind of inquiry best helps us make progress towards as good a world as possible? There are, nevertheless, indications that some scientists and university administrators are beginning to become aware of the urgent need for science, and universities, to change. This is prompted, partly by growing awareness of the seriousness of environmental problems, especially global warming, and partly by a concern to improve the relationship between science and the public. So far, however, these changes have been small-scale, scattered and piecemeal. What we require is for academics and non-academics alike to wake up to the urgent need for change so that we may come to possess what we so strikingly and disastrously lack at present: a kind of inquiry rationally devoted to helping humanity make progress towards as good a world as possible.

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Evolving Dimensions of Integral Education

Judie Gaffin Wexler

Abstract: This article explores the concept of integral education as a way to prepare students for the complex, rapidly changing global environment in which they will be living and working. It contends that education must help students focus both internally and externally if they are to be effectively prepared. The experience of the California Institute of Integral Studies is used as a case study to discuss key dimensions of integral education.

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Daring to Step into the Open: Moving Beyond Perspectives in Education and Life

Kaisa Puhakka

Abstract: Evolution in all spheres—cosmos, culture, and consciousness—is explored as a dynamic, creative process of shifting and settling, where shifting breaks out of existing structures and conceptual moorings and settling solidifies the movement of evolution into structures. Both are seen as essential aspects of the evolutionary process, but a bias for settling is noted among living creatures. For humans in particular, shifting arouses anxiety whereas settling promises security. The correction of this bias in the educational process to help realign human consciousness and culture with the rest of nature and cosmos is explored. Such a realignment may be necessary for meeting the unprecedented challenges of our world today, and an open, perspective-free inquiry can serve as a vehicle for it. But this inquiry calls for a new way of relating to the inherent uncertainty of shifting and to the anxiety this arouses in teachers and students alike.

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Educational Crises and the Scramble for Usable Knowledge

Zachary Stein

Abstract: Quality-control efforts in the field of applied developmental psychology are just beginning. In this paper I set these efforts in a larger context to frame their significance and guide their direction. I argue that the challenges arising in the current post-national constellation are best understood as educational crises. The task demands of the global problem space increasingly outstrip available human capabilities. This situation is leading to a scramble for usable knowledge about education—defined broadly as any process intentionally undertaken to promote human development. There is a growing demand for techniques and technologies that catalyze the transformation of human capabilities; and this demand exceeds available supplies. Education becomes a growth market as specific types of human capabilities come to be recognized as scarce but valuable resources. This pressing global demand for innovative educational solutions and approaches has the potential to systematically distort the production of relevant usable knowledge. I present a set of general quality-control challenges that face the field of applied developmental psychology as it strives to meet the demands of a globalized crisis-ridden educational marketplace. I argue that the field should overcome temptations to circumvent peer review processes by going directly to consumers. I suggest adopting a general stance of epistemic humility so that research and collaboration are promoted and argumentative strategies that insulate approaches from criticism are avoided. Finally, I argue that more careful attention should be paid to the normative dimensions of educational enterprises, as they involve the creation of new values and raise ethical questions about the shape of what life ought to be like.

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What is the Integral in Integral Education? From Progressive Pedagogy to Integral Pedagogy

Tom Murray

Abstract: Integrally-informed educational approaches have much in common with progressive (including reform, alternative, holistic, and transformative) approaches, and share many of the same values. One function of the integral approach is to provide an overarching model within which to coordinate different progressive methods. Though integral adds much more than that, descriptions of integral education sometimes sound like progressive educational principles recast with new terminology. This essay attempts to clarify what the integral approach adds over and above progressive educational theories. After an overview of progressive pedagogical principles, the integral approach is discussed in terms of integral as a model, a method, a community, and a developmental stage. Integral as a type of consciousness or developmental level is elaborated upon as consisting of construct-awareness, ego-awareness, relational-awareness, and system-awareness, all important to the educational process. Finally, challenges and support systems for realizing integral education are discussed.

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