Integral Review

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

Posts Tagged ‘Higher Education’

A Complete Integral Education: Five Principal Aspects

Jeremie Zulaski

This article reviews the five principal aspects of a “complete integral education” envisioned by Sri Aurobindo and Mother Mirra Alfassa and elucidated in their writings. This innovative, learner-centered pedagogy encourages holistic development through acknowledgment and cultivation of the five dimensions of a human being—the physical, the vital, the mental, the psychic, and the spiritual. The article suggests that a complete integral education contributes a potentially corrective alternative to outmoded orthodox methods that privilege intellectual proficiency over the holistic knowledge potentially present, given authentic engagement of learning communities.

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CIIS and American Higher Education

Joseph L. Subbiondo

Abstract: In this article a brief history of the California Institute of Integral Studies and its predecessor institution, the American Academy of Asian Studies is discussed, and several key founding figures of both institutions are introduced. It is argued that the role these unique institutions of higher learning have played have been crucial, initially in the cultural life of San Francisco Bay Area and the social and cultural movements it inspired, and currently in the context of the role that an integral, whole-person oriented education plays in higher education.

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Trans-Dance: Disciplinary Cross-Dressing and Integral Education in a Language and Sexuality Course

Matthew C. Bronson

Abstract: This article showcases an integral approach to education through the lens of a transdisciplinary graduate-level class on Sexuality and Language. The graduate-level class was co-taught by two CIIS faculty whose backgrounds span the fields of social and cultural anthropology, psychology, sociology, social policy, linguistics, education and drama-centered expressive arts therapy. The class brought together students from six separate academic programs and drew from a wide array of performative and arts-based modes of inquiry to create a deep context through which to unpack the complex relationship(s) between language and sexuality. These practices were interwoven with theoretical exposition and discussion in a hermeneutic spiral leading up to students’ planned research projects. This “disciplinary cross-dressing,” where diverse students and faculty engaged each others’ points of view rigorously in a common inquiry, created powerful teachable moments and served as the foundation for a transgressive mode of scholarship and advocacy.

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Coaching Ethics and Immunity to Change: A Response to Kjellström

David Zeitler

Abstract: The Immunity to Change coaching process has risen in popularity since creators Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey published their second book using this method, Immunity to Change: How to Overcome it and Unlock the Potential for Yourself and Your Organization (2009). Sofia Kjellström (2009) recently published an article taking a critical perspective on the ethics of using ITC in educational and vocational contexts. I argue herein that when used properly, the ITC process avoids most of the criticisms that Kjellström brings to bear on this issue. Furthermore, it is argued that private life and public life (Freud’s “love and work”) are already inextricably intertwined, and methods like ITC give employers and employees the tools needed to navigate what are often highly charged issues, that we might increase our quality of life and increase our efficiency. Finally, the article summarizes the relationship between Subject/Object Theory and ITC, while also addressing the issue of developmental transformations in the coaching process.

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Toward Integral Higher Education Study Programs in the European Higher Education Area: A Programmatic and Strategic View

Markus Molz

Abstract: This essay somehow arbitrarily freezes my ongoing attempt to grasp the present situation and future possibilities of higher education courses, programs, institutions and initiatives that are inspired by integral and likeminded approaches. The focus in this essay is on the European Higher Education Area and its specifics, whereas some implicit or explicit comparisons with the USA are made. My reflections are triggered by the recurrent observation that in Europe there seems to be i) more demand than offer of integrally oriented higher education programs, ii) an imbalance between overused but little successful and underused but potentially more promising strategies to implement such programs, iii) little or no learning from past failures, and iv) little mutual awareness, communication and collaboration between different activists and initiatives in this field. The context for this essay is i) the current societal macroshift, ii) the unfolding of academic level integral and likeminded research worldwide, and iii) the large scale reform of the European Higher Education systems brought about by the Bologna process, its (false) promises and the potential it nevertheless has for realizing examples of a more integral higher education. On this basis the consequences for attempts to overcome a relatively stagnant state of affairs in Europe are discussed. Given that; most past attempts to implement programs inspired by an integral worldview have failed from the start, or disappeared after a relatively short period, or are marginalised or becoming remainstreamed, this essay aims to devise a potentially more promising strategic corridor and describes the contours of the results that could be brought about when following a developmental trajectory within this corridor. This futurising exercise is inspired by principles shared by many integral and likeminded approaches, especially the reconsideration, integration and transcendence of premodern, modern and postmodern structures and practices of higher education.
This essay is programmatic and thus deliberately combines facts and values, past and future, summaries of first person observations and third person factual information, without the burden of systematic referencing required by scholarly writing. It does not claim to replace empirical surveys which, however, are still lacking to date regarding the actual state of affairs of higher education inspired by integral and likeminded approaches in Europe. Accordingly, at this stage, the essay is an exercise of awareness-raising to stimulate more and better collaboration across streams, disciplines and countries between those scholars, students and activists who are already inspired by integral and likeminded approaches and interested or already engaged in developing and sustaining higher education programs according to a more integral spirit.

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The Development of Dialectical Thinking As An Approach to Integration

Michael Basseches

Abstract: This article offers a description of dialectical thinking as a psychological phenomenon that reflects adult intellectual development. While relating this psychological phenomenon to the various dialectical philosophical perspectives from which the description is derived, the article conceptualizes dialectical thinking as a form of organization of thought, various aspects of which can be identified in individual adults’ approaches to conceptualizing a range of problems, rather than as one particular stream of intellectual history. The article provides a range of examples of dialectical analyses, contrasting them with more formalistic analyses, in order to convey the power, adequacy, and significance of dialectical thinking for the sorts of challenges that this journal embraces. It suggests that events in all areas of life demand recognition of the limitations of closed-system approaches to analysis. Approaches based instead on the organizing principle of dialectic integrate dimensions of contradiction, change and system-transformation over time in a way that supports people’s adaptation when structures under girding their sense of self/world coherence are challenged. Higher education and psychotherapy are considered as examples of potential contexts for adult intellectual development, and the conditions that foster such development in these contexts are discussed. The article as a whole makes the case for consciously attempting to foster such development in all our work as an approach to integration.

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