Thursday, 1 July 2010

How do interactions with others change 'how we do things'?

As I've said before, early stages of this blog are useful for playing around with the questions that I need to shape up. If you remember, I'm interested in how people working in multi professional children's services (like Sure Start Children's Centres, Family Centres or other community projects) change as a result of working with other people from different professional backgrounds. So far, I've noted my interest in pragmatist thinking, which emphasises the importance of interactions (to over simplify things).

Today, I'm thinking about how those interactions actually translate into changed practice. I suspect it's a complex and nuanced process, dependant on lots of variables. It better be, or it'll be a short PhD thesis. Seriously though, we all 'rub up' against all sorts of people every day who think and act in a whole range of ways that are 'different' to us. However, every conversation or interaction does not instantly affect us deeply, causing us to reevaluate our reason for being and doing. We filter, we match experiences up against pre existing beliefs, we use perspectives to determine what's significant. All of that is fascinating, and reflects my own view that we're not simply reacting (animal like) to our circumstances, in the traditional behaviourist style of Skinner, Watson et al

It's the interaction of self with other 'social objects' including people, ideas, symbols and so on that may well be fascinating. I know my own experience, and the experience of dozens of professionals in the children's services sector I lecture and mentor is that the process or experience of working with others can be very powerful, unsettling, inspiring name it.