Tuesday, September 5

Why can't scholars and practitioners just get along?

Call me old fashioned, but I have just sat through a talk on what skills to bring to the table by a mediator/academic who, according to a flowery CV, "mostly teaches"; ergo - who mostly does not mediate.

Am I right or am I right?... if you're gonna talk about this stuff for money, it seems to me that you gotta do this stuff for money.

Chris Honeyman takes a look at the whole misconnect between academics and practitioners in his Theory to Practice Project - Here there be Monsters;

'Do your parties ever exhibit reactive devaluation? Has loss aversion ever impeded one of your agreements? If these basic conflict resolution concepts sound familiar, give yourself a pat on the back.

But if you have never heard of them, don't worry - you're not alone and you're not at fault. The fault lies with the relationship - or more accurately, the lack of relationships - between the people who study conflict resolution and the people who practice it....

Why do scholars and practitioners continue to ignore each other? Why haven't scholars and practitioners gotten along?

It seems there out some good reasons and some not so good'....[read more]


Tammy Lenski said...

You're right, Geoff, as usual. At least, I think you're right because I see things the same way! :) Where I teach, at Woodbury, we're all expected to be practitioners who teach, not teachers who occasionally practice. We maintain our full-time practices and then teach every 8 weeks or so in our low residency program. I can't, frankly, imagine having credibillity as a teacher in this field were I not out there doing this stuff all the time--one informs the other.

Anonymous said...

I've certainly seen practitioners who are willfully (some might argue blissfully) unaware of research and scholarship within the field of conflict resolution. But, as part of the practice-oriented ethos within the field, I've known very few conflict resolution folk in academia who don't also have a vibrant and active conflict resolution practice.

I've taught as a prof in one undergraduate and two graduate programs in conflict resolution. Among the faculty in those three departments, I can only thing of one individual who didn't regularly engage in practice and conflict intervention work.