This methodology has been developed by a group of educators, academics and civil society actors. This is an ongoing process that you are warmly invited to take part in!



Key Assumptions:

More accountable reasoning (is and prompts) more responsible action
Understanding where we are coming from (the social-cultural conditioning of our ways of seeing) and the potential implications of what we are doing is necessary if we want to try to avoid reproducing the mechanisms that might have created the problems we are trying to ‘solve’ in the first place (in which case our intervention might worsen the situation). This is best illustrated in examples where people in the ‘North’ (First World) try to help or export solutions to the ‘South’ without understanding the context or the local and global implications of their interventions.

Learning to unlearn* (is and prompts) a decolonisation of the imagination
Understanding the construction of our lenses allows us to re-construct them, making it possible to ‘think outside the box’ and imagine different ways of being, seeing, relating to others and imagining a collective future (* critical literacy).

Learning to ‘read’ the world through different cultural logics (is and prompts) empathy and solidarity
We aim to create a space where people feel safe to relate and be open to difference: going beyond the anxiety created when we try to change the other to make him/her the same as ourselves. Within this space there is no battle of wills or competition for legitimacy – everyone is acknowledged as a ‘whole’ person regardeless of what they think or say.

Learning to cope with complexity and uncertainty is the first step to learning to live, to be and to do together
We are conditioned to believe that conflict is negative and destructive and that it needs to be controlled and avoided. However, it is difference that creates conflict and without conflict there is only sameness. Without conflict there is no newness, no growth, no change. Being opened to the new is looking at conflict from a radically different perspective: as something natural, constructive and necessary for transformation. The Kashinawa – an indigenous nation in Brazil – illustrate this with the metaphor of the Anaconda: she constantly changes her skin to remain the same. In the same way, we need the ‘new’ (difference) to transform our skins and lenses in order to continue to evolve and to face the challenges of survival.

Going beyond individualism and ethonocentrism towards global (planetary) integrated ‘citizenship’ (as stewardess/hospitality)
Gilligan’s model of integrated planetary citizenship is used (critically) in this initiative to illustrate the agenda of the methodlogy. Gilligan suggests that, apart from our cultural bias, two kinds of logics (or reasoning) are always within us in our struggle for a better life and that, depending on the context that we are interacting with, one is usually predominant:
• a logic of control, judgement and ranking (of the world, of others, of ourselves) that can be related to discourses of rights, justice and autonomy
• a logic of relational thinking that is non-hierarchical (and resists ‘control’) that can be associated with discourses of love, care and responsibility

She also suggests that there are stages of development within these logics: egoistic, ethnocentric, worldcentric and integrated. Each of these stages ‘open up’ to more perspectives and groups and culminate in an ‘integrated’ stage (which is associated to planetary citizenship), where the two logics are balanced and the perspectives of all life forms (even if they cannot be expressed through language) are taken into account in order to guaranty everyone’s right of survival and the survival of the planet itself (as some indigenous non-humanist cultures already do). See the diagram:

This model can be interpreted as putting together complementary and contradictory forces in a dynamic flux: one trying to order and control the world (a centripetal force) and the other trying to contest this ordering (a centrifugal force). Equilibrium is the ideal scenario – but it is never stable (the flux and play/conflict of the forces is what prompts evolution).

A radical form of democracy - the inclusion of every form of life in the agenda of decisions about our collective future - seems to be the goal in Gilligan’s model. This project regards this goal as one possible horizon, but we invite partners and participants to engage in the construction of other possibilities as well!


Teachers in Parana/Brazil - 2005