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Working with other people on their summoning up of a more meaningful life for themselves using the applied dialectical method

Creating an applied dialectical and dialogical educational method of

interacting with individuals educationally




This social philosophy experiment is designed to empirically test and develop an applied dialogical and dialectical method of engaging educationally, dialogically and dialogically with different individuals in South Africa and working with them on qualitatively transforming their lives, personal empowerment and experiences of self-fulfillment, a meaningful and productive life and wellbeing in what they seek to achieve for themselves professionally and personally.  The intention of developing this method is to put together an educational and ontological method that is specifically adapted to the unique individual needs of the other person that he or she can use to empower him or her and his/her life and career.  It is directly catered and tailored for him or her to fulfill his or her ambitions and needs in the most suitable and workable way for him or her in his/her professional practices and lives.  The intention of this project is also to examine my own values, ambitions and intentions, as I work out this value-laden empirical method of qualitatively transforming individuals’ wellbeing and fulfillment as an empirical work on its own extent and merit and right.


The Theorized Applied Dialectical Method


The theoretical intention and essence of an applied dialectical method has been established (Serper, 2010, 2014a, 2014b).  The method draws on using and fusing emerging contradictions and moving from critical reflection on one’s needs, values and work to dialogue with other individuals on the needs, values and ambitions of the dialogical other and the shared needs and ambitions of the dialogical partners during the enquiry, how do I lead a more meaningful life?  The method utilizes the dialectical tension that this dialectical practice causes to qualitatively transform knowledge, quality of life, participative democracy and democratic and humanizing education, and enable the creation of a more meaningful and fulfilling life for the co-participants. 


Project’s Aim


The aim of this project is to test and problematize empirically the components and theoretical intention and essence of the theorized applied dialectical method as it is tried out with a small number (six) of different individuals of different backgrounds. The feedbacks of the co-participants on the work we are doing together using the applied dialectical method will be examined.  My own reflections and self-reflections on the work will also be examined, discussed with the co-participants and commented on by them.





I shall be working one-on-one with six different individuals of different backgrounds, interests, ambitions and needs.  I shall be reflecting and exploring my personal values as I am doing this educational work. I shall be experimenting with different interaction, dialectical and dialogical approaches and methods of working with those individuals. 


I shall be using discursive analysis of examining the meanings of the critical feedback of the co-participants we are working together on using the applied dialectical method in our interaction within the practical enquiry of the co-participants into the question, how do I live a more meaningful life?  We shall identify together a very focused area in the co-participant’s professional life that the co-participant seeks to work in and on in order to summon up a greater meaning and fulfillment in his or her life and future.  We then formulate an applied dialectically enquiry and action plan together as for how to optimally work together in order to do this. We then interact together one-on-one on how to use the applied dialectical method in the optimal manner for the co-participant in his or her self-fulfilling and empowering manner.


I will be receiving constant feedbacks from the individuals I am working with on how our educational engagement, using the applied dialectical method, was for them and if it allowed a greater qualitative transformation in their self-fulfillment endeavours for them than just self-reflection on their own and unstructured talking to other people, including myself.  I shall be sending my own personal free-fall reflective writings on my experiences of our working together in applying the applied dialectical method in and for their self-fulfilling endeavor to the individuals I am working with and receive critical feedback on my critical reflections.  I shall be asking for the personal free fall reflections of the individuals I am working with on the work we are doing and our educational interaction and relationship.  I shall analyse the discursive meanings of the critical feedback in light of my intention above.  I shall be using discursive and phenomenological means to analyse the critical feedback of the co-participants.  I shall respond to the critical feedback of the co-participants and analyse my responses discursively and phenomenologically and in terms of the responses they generated.  I shall be working out an action plan of how to improve my educational relationships and interactions with human beings and myself.  I shall work out how to improve my theorized applied dialectical method based on this discursive and phenomenological analysis of the critical feedback of the co-participants and my own responses to these critical feedback and my engagement with them.



 I shall be creating a case study for each of my one-on-one educational work with different South African individuals (co-participants) of different backgrounds.  I shall be interacting with different individuals on a specific intention that is unique to the individual co-participant and which could be of interest and benefit to them as individuals.


The commonality among the case studies is my intention of establishing the most suitable way to work with all the co-participants as unique individuals and creating the most constructive space and way for him or her to apply the applied dialectical method and summoning up a more meaningful and fulfilling life and professional career for himself or herself.  A way that is optimal for them and that could work for them, not me, them. Different interacting approaches will be explored.  For example electronic mail conversations, telephone conversations, official meetings in my office, free conversations over drinks in bars and restaurants, over alcohol, over coffee, in the evening, in the afternoon, over lunch at lunch time., in the morning, or at night, conversing freely and seeing what happens.  Furthermore, conversations will be recorded and analysed discursively and phenomenologically, and critical feedback will be discursively and phenomenologically analysed for meanings and themes.


I shall work with individuals from a very different ethnic, and socio-economic background and different ages and of both genders and compare and contrast the work in accordance with the different background and personal values, aspirations and ambitions and the way each participant sees the meanings and implications of his or her more meaningful and fulfilling life for himself or herself.



The case studies will be published individually as papers.  They will also be compared and contrasted for common themes and differences among the individuals of different background with the analysis of the communality and differences among the six case studies explored in peer review papers and in a book on the applied dialectical method.



Regular face-to-face meetings for an hour or two will be held at least once a week with each co-participant. 

Regular electronic conversations will be conducted at least once a day.  One electronic mail per day at least. 

Critical reflections on the part of the co-participants on the work will be produced at least once a week by each co-participant.




Serper, A. (2010). An analytical critique, deconstruction, and dialectical transformation and

development of the living educational theory approach. OPUS. Bath.

University of Bath, UK.


Serper, A. (2014a). Reflective narrative enquiry on evoking critical reflection and dialogue for change in South Africa. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the South African Comparative and History of Education Society International Conference, Port Elizabeth, South Africa.


Serper, A (2014b). Democratic Education Practices in South Africa: A Critical Reflection on a Dialogic Perspective.  In Byczkiewicz, V. Democracy and Education: Collectted Perspectives. Los Angeles. TrebolPress.


Posted by Alon Serper on 01 August 2014 09:58:02

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