I've been thinking that someone ought to name the degree and strength of post conventional mindsets that influence our field. That someone may as well be me. First I better define my terms:
Conventional science is what cures cancer and investigates questions such as “how old is the universe?” In its more social scientific cast, it asks questions such as …these are questions that leads to understanding what causes what. Action research addresses an entirely different class of inquiry – e.g., “how do we generate collectively positive outcomes” is a question that may be informed by conventional science but is not going to be answered by it. We might go further and say that the questions of real urgency – how do we act on our understanding of climate change, how to we bring our evolutionarily attuned brains to act wisely in the face of heretofore systemic problems we have never confronted as a species. As much as though we draw on conventional science, there is simply no new fact or research protocol that makes these behaviorally and dynamically complex problems solvable. But the post conventional research mind stops looking to the external world alone to find answers. the post conventional research mind uses the capacity for reflexivity, Janus-like ability to look both at the mind that has created the problem as well as the conditions that form the context for action. The post conventional mind is one that builds on conventional scientific talents (after all most of us were trained with conventional methods) but transcends those to include a greater repertoire of stakeholder engagement. ... more anon.