Exploring the relevance of Relational Cultural Theory to forming a sustainable “studio”

Relational Cultural Theory (RCT) holds that human growth and development occurs in relationships. The cultural emphasis on a separate self, maturing or individuating,[1] devalues the efforts of people, especially women, who foster connectedness. RCT-informed therapy emphasizes self-in-relationship, even as it acknowledges that people disconnect strategically in response to dominance by the powerful.

To explore the relevance of RCT to forming a sustainable studio (see also here) we need: a) to translate the therapeutic principles and practices to situations and interactions in which being whole more than healing is the focus; and b) to explore the benefits and costs of putting support for studio participants’ separate projects (in their separate situations) ahead of building relationships among the group members. Read more of this post


A set of principles for developing creativity

revised 23 Dec. 2013

1.  Creativity as processes-in-context

An individual’s creativity happens and is recognized in some context.  Indeed, shaping the relevant context provides additional opportunities for an individual’s creativity.  An individual’s context-shaping efforts, in turn, influence the creative pursuits of others.  Such ongoing “intersecting processes” are depicted schematically here: Read more of this post

Learning involves taking initiative in and through relationships (the movie)

I made this scratch animation as home work for an MIT-based MOOC on Learning Creative Learning, http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/pjt111/3127303

Making Space for Taking Initiative In and Through Relationships, converted into a 3D-springy thing


The zig-zag lines are like springs.  To emphasize any one of the 6 nodes is to get some pull-back from the other 5, and perhaps, like a spring, some oscillation.  For elaboration, see http://www.faculty.umb.edu/pjt/MakingSpace.html

Teaching/Learning: Making space for taking initiative in and through relationships

I want students to see dialogue around written work as an important part of defining and refining research direction and questions. However, the system they are familiar with is: produce a product, receive a grade, check that assignment off the to-do list, and move on to the next one. They have to expose their submissions to the instructor, but most of them are uncomfortable about subjecting it to dialogue. The challenge, then, has been to get students into the swing of an unfamiliar system as quickly as possible so they can begin to experience its benefits. Read more of this post

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