A Connecting-Probing-Reflecting (CPR) space is a workshop or learning activity that fosters carryover of outcomes into participants’ work and lives in the following manner. The CPR space has a topic the participants explore in relation to their own interests, aspirations, and situations. The exploration introduces and makes use of tools and processes, not only for the exploration, but also to develop connections among participants – connections that help participants open up, probe into, and flesh out their contributions to the topic. While pursuing the tangible goals of learning and practicing the tools and processes, developing connections, and making contributions, the experiential goal is that doing so is sufficiently positive that the participants continue afterwards in practicing the tools and processes, sustaining and deepening the connections, putting into practice the contributions to the topic of the CPR space, and drawing support for the latter from the tools, processes, and connections.
The salience of the issue of carryover derives from the CPR space being a space away from immediate demands of scholarly or activist life, a space where participants can support each other’s explorations without having to arrive at a joint contribution to the topic or obliging themselves to collaborate in extending their product after the end of the workshop or learning space. In terms of refractive practice, CPR spaces of the refraction to the practice that a participant brings to the workshop.
Forms of CPR space include Project-Based Learning, online Collaborative Explorations, and multi-day 4Rs Workshops.
The relevant alternative to the CPR space is to bring into a group of people who work together tools and processes that they learn and practice as they generate and implement shared plans for action in the workplace or project. Indeed, there are facilitators who warn that running workshops to teach or introduce tools and processes for group work is unlikely to be to bear fruit, to result in carryover to participants’ work and lives. Is lack of carryover also to be expected for the connections made and for the contributions to the topic – the insight, plans, projects that the participant produces— in the CPR space? Perhaps, yet what makes a CPR space attractive to participants is that they re-engage with themselves as avid learners and get a reminder that it is possible not to continue along previous lines.
(A possible new entry in a revised edition of Taking Yourself Seriously, http://bit.ly/NNN2012)