Why should we attend to Relational Space?
Attending to Relational Space supports our purpose to transform lives and create a place of true belonging. Attending to relational space can help:
What is relational space?
The relational space is the space that contains the experience and the relationality between the people in the experience. Transformational learning happens when we bring awareness to this space. Courses or meetings are normally focused on content. Transformative learning/meeting spaces also focus on bringing an awareness to the space which includes the people, what is present for each person, and to hold that in the collective awareness as a source of deep learning and transformation.
In any space, there are actors and constructs that are in relationship with each other. In our classrooms, the constructs might include aspects of the physical setting, the curriculum, the technology, and the actors might include students, teachers, and support staff such as advisors, counselors, navigators, policymakers, etc. The relational space is the interaction within and between these constructs and actors.
Relationships between 'actors' exist on multiple levels. Holding space in an intentional way can help support increased awareness and healing on these different levels.
1. Personal-level - my relationship to/with myself
2. Interpersonal-level - my relationship with other people around me
3. Group-level - my relationship within a group, as a member of a group and between groups
3. System-level - my relationship to the larger system (socially constructed - impacted by worldview, history, power) and the natural ecosystem.
Relationships also exist between the actors and the constructs. Being intentional and reflecting on these relationships can contribute to the above levels of awareness. Example constructs include:
There are also many variables that impact the nature of these relationships and outcomes. For example:
How can I attend to Relational Space?
In this LibGuide you will find the tools you need to become more intentional in creating a container for your learners or team beginning with Holding Space.
Where should I start?
Setting up your learning circle:
1. Create an agreement and intention (try the GroupWorks Cards or other cards that suggest ways of being together in groups)
2. Use a circle practice
3. Attend to the relationships in the circle to build trust and safety
4. Prioritize this and don't let other things bump it out of your calendar.