You are invited to a conversation regarding the extent to which we seek to be “transformative” in the ways we work and in the careers we seek. The basic idea is that students at MIIS are “trained” to be prepared to work in careers as practitioners in different realms of international development intervention, as well as practitioners in other fields (other fields which may use terms other than practitioner). Progressive practitioner communities, such as action research (AR), support the idea that practitioners should locate themselves as reflexive change agents who engage in participatory processes and take actions and produce knowledge that have meaning and relevance beyond their immediate context—“in support of the flourishing of persons, communities, and the wider ecology” (drawn from AR language). This worldview is intended to be relevant to practitioners in many fields and is not uniquely targeted to those who may work in international development.
Many at MIIS support these ideals of progressive/transformational and reflective practice. At the same time many of us sense there are important tensions between idealized and actual practice, between deploying best practice and innovation, between competencies that earn jobs and competencies that transform the world. Practitioners in the field also sense these gaps, and have unique insights into how students and practitioners can approach their work differently and attempt to maintain a transformative “edge” in their work.
We would like to engage with you (students and others for whom these questions resonate) to better understand these issues and address questions like:
~What is your image of the “professional” you are trying to become?
~What is effective practice in the different fields we in which we may end up working?
~What do current practitioners say are the challenges in living up to their ideals?
~How might that inform the choices we make now while in grad school?
- Sponsored by:
- Graduate School of International Policy and Management