Integral Review

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

Posts Tagged ‘perspective’

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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Wise Ways of Seeing: Wisdom and Perspectives

Roger Walsh

Abstract: The capacity for perspective taking is thought to be linked to psychological development and to wisdom. This article draws from psychological, contemplative, cross-cultural, and philosophical disciplines to create an inventory of perspectival skills and their possible relationships to wisdom. The nature of perspectives is explored, as are the characteristics of healthy perspectives, and the factors—such as developmental stage, assumptions, and state of mind—that determine the number and kinds of available perspectives. The article then examines rare postconventional perspectival capacities such as the ability to integrate multiple perspectives, to adopt higher order metaperspectives, and to experience transperspectival “pure awareness.” Fifteen kinds of wise perspectives and perspectival skills are suggested. Finally, the article reviews psychological, relational, contemplative, philosophical, and educational methods thought to foster perspectival skills and wisdom.

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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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A Process Model of Integral Theory

Bonnitta Roy

Abstract: In this article I introduce a Process Model of integral theory, combining Dzogchen ideas and Western works on process philosophy. I make a distinction between Wilber’s notion of perspective and the Dzogchen notion of view. I make the further distinction between Wilber’s use of process in his writings from what I consider to be a process view. I distinguish epistemological categories of knowing from ontological ways of understanding and propose ways to integrate the epistemological field with the ontological dimension by contextualizing both the ways they are related, and the characteristics that distinguish them. This article outlines the conditions of structural enfoldment and shows how they can help contextualize the limits of structural frameworks. I introduce how process models of cognition, conceptualization and value can be integrated into the Process Model.

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