Integral Review

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

Posts Tagged ‘Markus Molz’

Research Across Boundaries: Introduction to the First Part of the Special Issue

Markus Molz & Mark G. Edwards

Abstract: The international symposium “Research across Boundaries – Advances in Theory-building” was held at the University of Luxembourg in June of 2010. It brought together, for the first time, many leading boundary spanning and meta-level researchers from more than 15 countries across all continents and as many different research areas. In what became a set of truly global dialogues, the participants presented and commented an astounding array of contemporary integrative frameworks, as well as inter- and transdisciplinary reviews and research practices across various fields of inquiry of high relevance for the future.

This special issue brings together the contributions of many of the scholars and visionaries that participated in the symposium, plus a couple of complementary papers of resonating researchers who couldn’t make it to the event itself but were keen to make a contribution nevertheless. Our invitation was to deliver summary accounts of sustained boundary-crossing research and (meta)theory-building, often of a lifetime, to colleagues rooted in other research domains. The contributors were called to make the essentials of their sophisticated views, or more focused parts thereof, accessible to the interested public and to provide extended bibliographies for those attracted to explore the original sources of their work. Our guiding idea was to encourage boundary-crossing, on a meta-level, between mature boundary-crossing approaches that, somehow paradoxically, did not yet, or barely, come in touch with each other. The scientific committee of the symposium and its helpers volunteered to identify and invite these boundary-crossing scholars and to facilitate their meta-boundary-crossing dialogues and polylogues.

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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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