How does human life work, and how do humans think about it? Is there any coherence between the process of living and the process of researching lives? The relations between human becoming and the context are the theme of this conference. The paper develops some reflection about processes of knowledge that are triggered by putting human life at the center of educational research and practice. The author relies on her experience of adult education and research in different fields (HE, vocational education, family education) where auto/biography is taken as a way to recognize, value and sustain individual and collective learning. Adults become researchers of their own life, and this is meant to bring about transformation (Mezirow) in the interplay of human relations. ‘Change' and 'learning’ are commonly viewed as activated from outside (input/output logic) and mainly cognitive processes ("change ideas to change action"). The word ‘transformation' helps to overcome these dualistic perspectives. Human systems are living system, hence autonomous while enacting their own world and interpreting it. Human becoming (von Foerster) transforms itself in the happening of living (Maturana, Varela), in structural coupling with the environment. When this reciprocity stops, transformation itself stops. Gregory Bateson's epistemological reflection links learning both to the “nature” of human becoming (as a part of evolution) and to the concrete context of interactions taking place in the “here-and-now” of communication. Humans are then systems, i.e. “conservative loops” (Bateson), as well as societies and ecosystems. We may perturb them, try to trigger – never determine – new processes and forms. The common view of education as a counter-position between environmental conditions and a conscious actor is a “cybernetic complementarity” (Keeney) or “hegelian couple” (Varela), where apparently opposite concepts indeed (may) compose. The theory of complexity is used here to make a stance towards composition and the involvement of the observer in the process of knowledge. To honor complexity means to recognize the systemic nature of selfhood. Bateson challenges common psychological definitions, based on the individual self, as partial descriptions of the complexity of (human) life, where change is always married to stability, the "inside" to the "outside", and many events happen away from conscious processes. The problem of consciousness challenges auto/biographers, as what we know about ourselves is at best a “small arch of a larger circuitry”. Reflexivity about the construction of life stories is then obligatory.
Formenti, L. (2011). How do we honor the systemic nature of selfhood: epistemological reflections about the making of auto/biography. In Human agency and biographical transformations: adult education and life paths. Geneve.
|Citazione:||Formenti, L. (2011). How do we honor the systemic nature of selfhood: epistemological reflections about the making of auto/biography. In Human agency and biographical transformations: adult education and life paths. Geneve.|
|Carattere della pubblicazione:||Scientifica|
|Presenza di un coautore afferente ad Istituzioni straniere:||No|
|Titolo:||How do we honor the systemic nature of selfhood: epistemological reflections about the making of auto/biography|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2011|
|Nome del convegno:||Human agency and biographical transformations: adult education and life paths|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||02 - Intervento a convegno|