Pursuing Relational, Collaborative Action
In Chapter 8, we explore in greater depth how to take action to enact PIP Phase 3: Collaborative Action and AI Phase 3: Relational Action. Collaborative action and relational action are both about making choices, asking questions, taking responsibility, making commitments with others in lifescaping the school and community where you are. Recognizing what is should not diminish future forming and lifescaping actions. Choices involve joining with others to collaborate in a process that involves answering key questions generated in the data, and fostering conversations that point toward taking action after the relational connections and engaged inquiry phase. For instance, after reviewing the data in an engaged inquiry about a school-wide concern, two core questions are developed: “What can we do together to improve the number of African-American students meeting the college eligibility index at our school?” and “What actions have been taken or can we take to compose new stories about how our department helps African-American, economically disadvantaged kids, and other under-represented kids succeed?” Core questions and concerns range from academic concerns just mentioned to personal, social, career, school connectedness, etc. The key points are: ﬁrst, deﬁning the lifescape we want to create or the challenge being addressed collectively;s and second, what has been done in the past to address the challenge or lifescape the school community? In terms of the second point, it is important to ﬁnd out what, if anything, has worked in the past, even if it was successful for a short duration or in some small way. Being curious and using mindful wonderment regarding what worked is an important way to respect past efforts and to invite allies or become allies with leaders of those past efforts. Most importantly, what are the students and their families saying about what did and didn’t work in the past and what is and isn’t working now?