Relationship between the 4Rs and Probe-Connect-Create Change-Reflect III

The 4Rs of cultivating collaborators maps on to the four interconnected aspects of learning (previously discussed here and here) could be seen as follows:

Connections among students or workshop participants are needed to build Respect,and vice versa.   It is a Risk to Probe what had been taken as established and to entertain alternatives.  Reflection is key to new insights emerging—Revelation.  Creating Change (in one’s concepts, practices, and products) involves Re-engagement with oneself and others as change agents.

Given that each of the four aspects of learning are fueled by each other, this suggests that the same is the case for the 4Rs.  Conversely, given that building from Respect through Risk, Revelation to to Re-engagement has a logic to it (a vertical unity in Schwendener’s terms), it might be wise to emphasize the Connecting part of learning before expecting much Probing; ditto Probing before much Reflection, and Reflection before much Creation of Change.


About Peter J. Taylor
Peter Taylor teaches and directs programs on critical thinking, reflective practice, and science-in-society at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He studies the complexity of environmental and health sciences in their social context as well as innovation in teaching, group process, and interdisciplinary collaboration (see He is especially interested in conversations with others who are, in diverse ways, "troubled by heterogeneity" (

5 Responses to Relationship between the 4Rs and Probe-Connect-Create Change-Reflect III

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