chapter
8 Pages

Introduction

In the article “From mirroring to world-making: Research as future forming,” Ken Gergen (2015) offered the understanding that action research can be a practice designed to explore and create possible futures that are more life-enhancing. By shifting research from merely mirroring what is thought to be into an active effort to create a world that can be, Gergen conceptualized an action-oriented process where research is used by local practitioners to work within communities and organizations to construct the world where they want to live and grow. In Chapter 1, we refer to this process as lifescaping. Lifescaping is action directed toward cultivating learning power and well-being in schools, organizations, and communities. Terms such as “future forming” and “lifescaping” move research away from being a descriptive summary of what and how the world is toward research being a creative and continuous process of becoming and making the world we desire. Lifescaping is about enacting and performing what Wittgenstein (1953) called new forms of life. The shift to using terms such as “future forming” and “lifescaping” is both radical and vital.