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Constructive Scaffolding or a Procrustean Bed? Exploring the Influence of a Facilitated, Structured Group Process in a Climate Action Group

Journal article
Authors Pia Andersson
H Ringnér
J Inglis
Published in Systemic Practice and Action Research
Volume 31
Issue 3
Pages 327–345
ISSN 1094-429X
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Sociology and Work Science
Pages 327–345
Language en
Keywords Action research, Adult development theory, Climate action, Complexity Evaluation framework, Facilitation Participatory processes, Public engagement, Scaffolding, Transition movement
Subject categories Other Social Sciences, Learning


In this paper we present a case of a structured, facilitated group process with a climate action group engaged in a local Transition initiative. We explore how the interacting contexts between action researchers and the group acted as a constraint for the trajectory of the group process, by looking at the mismatches between the group’s and the researchers’ purposes and differences in expectations about methods of engagement. A methodological framework was used for evaluating the outcomes. The primary aim of this article was to investigate and point out dynamics that may be a hindrance to the effectiveness of a facilitated local climate initiative, with the view to inform facilitation practices and improve future action research processes.

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