Disruption of what/where we came in with/from can, with attention to support, result in something enduring & extending beyond us

The diagram shows a kind of scaffolding, where arrows from one theme to another indicate that the first makes the second more likely to happen. The hovering pieces of text summarize the themes they embrace, but the themes and summary text leave unspecified what actions a scaffolder or scaffoldee would take to realize these processes or states (see below).


The themes emerged from a group “future-ideal-retrospective” activity in 2010 addressing “the challenge of bringing into interaction not only a wider range of researchers, but a wider range of social agents, and to the challenge of keeping them working through differences and tensions until plans and practices are developed in which all the participants are invested” (see http://ptaylor.wikispaces.umb.edu/ISHS10_Taylor).

This diagram was created as part of an exchange on suitable images for scaffolding that is taking place during a collaborative exploration on “Scaffolding creative learning” (http://cct.wikispaces.com/CE4).

I can imagine aligning specific actions with these themes and emphasizing, in a studio or workshop situation, the actions that address the lower themes first. Once those themes had been digested (=processed until they are part of who the participant is), actions would address more the higher-up themes. But that doesn’t mean the lower themes had been taken away (as scaffolding is often meant to be). Indeed, remembering what it was like when the themes were fresh and challenging would be a help in new situations that, for example, re-stimulate fearfulness or require knowledge we don’t have…


About Peter J. Taylor
Peter Taylor is a Professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston where he teaches and directs undergraduate and graduate programs on critical thinking, reflective practice, and science-in-society. His research and writing focuses on the complexity of environmental and health sciences in their social context, incl. Unruly Complexity: Ecology, Interpretation, Engagement (U. Chicago Press, 2005) and Nature-nurture? No (2014, http://bit.ly/NNN2014). On reflective practice, see Taking Yourself Seriously: Processes of Research & Engagement (with J. Szteiter, 2012, http://bit.ly/TYS2012).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: