The professionals, researchers and authors in this podcast season have shared their specific social constructionist practice in a pre COVID world. In this episode, five of us reflect how social constructionism as an orientation is relevant and meaningful at all times, in all places and communities. More than ever, constructionist approaches that are available to us can help us heal the past and respond to current challenges and societal unrest in relational and collaborative ways.
How do we participate in community building practices in ways that attend to difference? Ways that are genuinely committed to consider power relations and how they play out when working amidst differences? Attending to such interactions opens us to surprises, and adjusts our ideas and practices. What we encounter in community can shift our perspectives and impact the relationships with ourselves and others.
Transmaterial worlding provokes us to pay attention. Once we start to realize that we are merely co-inhabitors of this world, we awaken to the notion we are making it or breaking it with each breath we take, each word we utter, and each action we take. The human species as all powerful and in control is a social-cultural construct. Globally right now, we need to listen differently to the distinct parts of the world and understand that other matter is also communicating. Humans need de-centering and de-throning from our illusion of being in control of the world.
Educational evaluation that comes from a relational perspective truly speaks to the demands of a rapidly changing world. Embracing collaborative learning, dialogic pedagogy, and flexible curricula can enhance learning processes, students’ engagement and vitality of relationships in classrooms, and in the evaluation of teaching and the school as a whole.
Relational processes are key to recovering from addiction. Addiction's development, sustainability and finally its ending are embedded in family, community and broader societal contexts. In order to recover an addict needs to establish new bonds based on trust respect and love; and together with others build unique pathways to a sense of belonging.
Social therapeutics as a playful, performatory, philosophical methodology for person and community development is the topic explored in this episode. Influenced by three intellectual traditions, it seeks to bring meaning to our relational processes in collaborative and appreciative ways to elevate human connection and bridge cultural divides.
Transformative community conferencing is an approach to community building or reconciliation. As a narrative practice, it embodies a more reflective orientation to relationships and to systems change. How and when we ask questions helps us think differently. It helps to begin to ask questions such as: “What is the narrative here? What is the story you are telling in relation to that narrative?” It enables people to engage and to flourish. When you look at events as stories you can always unpack them to make the narrative more visible to support flourishing for all.
Schooling is at a crossroads. The need for more relational ways of being in schools has been apparent for decades. Creating school harmony with social constructionist practices is one of the pathways to co-create a future for our children.
Research into positive aging delivers findings that run counter to the traditional view of aging. Existing views tend to be negative and like to point out that the life span developmental curve is not wonderful for older people. Positive aging research and practice puts attention on the value of being optimistic, enjoying the potentials of older age and growing capacities over time.
This is the introductory episode of season 5 which focuses on social innovations across many domains. We are collaborating with the Taos Institute and supporting a significant publication, The Sage Handbook of Social Constructionist Practice. My guests in this introductory episode are two of the four editors. Our conversation addresses three points: the work of Taos Institute, what social construction is, and the intention of the book.