1st Edition

Education for Wicked Problems and the Reconciliation of Opposites A theory of bi-relational development

By Raoul J. Adam Copyright 2016
    296 Pages
    by Routledge

    296 Pages
    by Routledge

    The recognition and reconciliation of ‘opposites’ lies at the heart of our most personal and global problems and is arguably one of the most neglected developmental tasks of Western education. Such problems are ‘wicked’ in the sense that they involve real-life decisions that have to be made in rapidly changing contexts involving irreducible tensions and paradoxes. By exploring our human tendency to bifurcate the universe, Education for Wicked Problems & the Reconciliation of Opposites proposes a way to recognise and (re)solve some of our most wicked problems.

    Applying an original theory of bi-relational development to wicked problems, Adam proposes that our everyday ways of knowing and being can be powerfully located and understood in terms of the creation, emergence, opposition, convergence, collapse and trans-position of dyadic constituents such as nature/culture, conservative/liberal and spirit/matter. He uses this approach to frame key debates in and across domains of knowledge and to offer new perspectives on three of the most profound and related problems of the twenty-first century: globalisation, sustainability and secularisation.

    This book is a comprehensive study of dyads and dyadic relationships and provides a multidisciplinary and original approach to human development in the face of wicked problems. It will be of great interest to students and academics in education and psychosocial development as well as professionals across a range of fields looking for new ways to recognise and (re)solve the wicked problems that characterise their professions.

    Part 1. Theory. 1. Wicked Problems and the Reconciliation of Opposites.  2. Wicked Problems and the Recognition of Opposites.  3. The Origins and Classification of Dyads.  4. A Theoretical Background to Bi-relational Development.  5. A Theory of Bi-relational Development (BirD).  Part II. Illustrations.  6. Illustrations of Bi-relational Development in Life Narratives.  7. Bi-relational Development and Wicked Socio-Cultural Problems.  8. Bi-relational Development and Wicked Socio-Ecological Problems.  9. Bi-relational Development and Wicked Socio-Religious Problems.  Part III. Applications.  10. General Applications of Bi-relational Development in Education.  11. Narrative Explorations of Bi-relational Development in Education.  12. Conclusion and Final Reflections on Bi-relational Development.




    Raoul J. Adam is an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the College of Arts, Society and Education at James Cook University, Australia. He gained a PhD in Cultural-Cognitive Development from the University of Queensland in 2008 and has since lectured and researched on the cognitive-epistemic dimension of complex social problems. His lecturing was recognised by a National Citation for Teaching and Learning in 2010 and his research was supported by a fellowship with The Cairns Institute in 2014. Education for Wicked Problems & the Reconciliation of Opposites is his first book.