Praxial Human Development: Updating The Spirit of Swanson’s Foundations of HRD

Even though Swanson’s Foundations of Human Resource Development is but a few years old, its first edition published in 2008, is forged firmly on a top-down view of the world in which organizations make the world spin. forged the original cognitive revolution, but have since fallen from influence. Early cognitive theories based on mental processing metaphors, associated with Cartesian dualism, have been set aside for connectivity and neural networking views.

Second and Third generation cognitive theories are influencing paradigm shifts in a number of applied disciplines, with substantial influences on Organizational, and Human Resource Development. While some may consider these changes to be fads, the influences cannot be denied, from Peter Senge’s, fifth Discipline, to Daniel Goleman’s Focus to their collaboration on Education, embodied cognition within the ‘relational domain’ is influencing psychology, economics, systems theories, and ethical positions, the seat and legs of Swanson’s stool.

Praxial Human Development combines participation, sense-making, Mindfulness, and relational domains. Self-regulation and self-organizing are more influential than just pattern hunting, or problem-solving.

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