Integral Review

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

Posts Tagged ‘Tom Murray’

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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Collaborative Knowledge Building and Integral Theory: On Perspectives, Uncertainty, and Mutual Regard

Tom Murray

Abstract: Uncertainty in knowing and communicating affect all aspects of modern life. Ubiquitous and inevitable uncertainty, including ambiguity and paradox, is particularly salient and important in knowledge building communities. Because knowledge building communities represent and evolve knowledge explicitly, the causes, effects, and approaches to this “epistemological indeterminacy” can be directly addressed in knowledge building practices. Integral theory’s approach (including “methodological pluralism”) involves accepting and integrating diverse perspectives in ways that transcend and include them. This approach accentuates the problems of epistemological indeterminacy and highlights the general need to deal creatively with it. This article begins with a cursory analysis of textual dialogs among integral theorists, showing that, while integral theory itself points to leading-edge ways of dealing with epistemological indeterminacy, the knowledge building practices of integral theorists, by and large, exhibit the same limitations as traditional intellectual discourses. Yet, due to its values and core methods, the integral theory community is in a unique position to develop novel and more adequate modes of inquiry and dialog. This text explores how epistemological indeterminacy impacts the activities and products of groups engaged in collaborative knowledge building. Approaching the issue from three perspectives–mutual understanding, mutual agreement, and mutual regard—I show the interdependence of those perspectives and ground them in relation to integral theory’s concerns. This article proposes three phases of developing constructive alternatives drawn from the knowledge building field: awareness of the phenomena, understanding the phenomena, and offering some tools (and some hope) for dealing with it. Though here I focus on the integral theory community (or communities), the conclusions of the article are meant to be applicable to any knowledge building community, and especially value-oriented groups who see themselves fundamentally as working together to benefit humanity.

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