Program and Course Descriptions


A Course of Study that Transforms our Daily Practices

This program introduces ideas and practices at the forefront of Collaborative and Dialogic Practices and integrates professional experience into class discussions. The courses focus on:

  • The social construction of realities
  • Collaborative practices in the workplace and society
  • Relevant research practices

The courses prepare participants to work with faculty members in conducting original research relevant to their professional development.

The MA in Collaborative and Dialogic Practices consists of 4 semesters of study that cover theory, practices, and application to professional work.

Semester 1:

  • Modernity and Postmodernity – 6 credit hours
  • Theoretical and Philosophical Bases of CDP – 13 credit hours

Semester 2:

  • Collaborative and Dialogic Practices – 7 credit hours
  • Research Methodology – 3 credit hours
  • Relational Ethics – 3 credit hours
  • Optional I, Independent Studies– 7 credit hours

Semester 3:

  • Thesis Seminar – 4 credit hours
  • Supervised Practice – 5 credit hours
  • Integrative Seminar I – 3 credit hours
  • Optional II, Independent Studies – 7 credit hours

Semester 4:

  • Thesis Seminar – 11 credit hours
  • Supervised Practice – 5 credit hours
  • Integrative Seminar II – 3 credit hours

Total program credits = 77 Credit Hours

Course Categories

The courses are divided into four different categories:

  1. The Underpinnings of CDPs
    • Modernity and Postmodernity
    • Theoretical and Philosophical Bases of CDPs
  2. Origins and Applications of CDPs
    • Collaborative and Dialogic Practices
    • Integrative Seminar I & II
    • Independent Study I & II
  3. Professional Practices
    • Supervised Practices I & II
  4. Research
    • Research Methodology
    • Thesis Seminar I & II

Modernity and Postmodernity

This course explores the paradigm shifts from modernity to postmodernity in science, the global society, and communications. Understanding the differences between modernity and postmodernity, we will try to identify how such differences are constructed in our daily lives.

Philosophical and Theoretical Bases of CDPs

To understand CDPs as a philosophical stance, we will review the different philosophical and theoretical frameworks that sustain CDPs, especially from a socio-constructionist perspective. We will engage in an examination of the relationship between the different perspectives especially as it relates to language and knowledge construction.

Collaborative and Dialogic Practices

This course begins with a historical review of Family Therapy from which CDPs have emerged and explore core collaborative concepts from several established programs. Then we will examine the work of Tom Andersen with reflective teams and John Shotter and the concept of Social Poetics. The course ends with the reading and reflection on Harlene Anderson’s work and CDPs as a philosophical stance.

Relational Ethics

Traditionally when we think about ethics, we think about a series of norms, codes of conduct, guidelines that instruct us how to conduct our professional behavior in order not to be disqualified. However, what happens when we work from a CDP stance? In this course we will examine how we develop ethical behaviors that are relational.

Research Methodology

To prepare for the thesis project – the culmination of the degree program – this course will introduce a range of useful research practices. The introductory discussion will draw attention to issues in formulating a research question, linking theory and data, the place of values in research, ethical responsibility, and the usefulness of our research in the co-creation of a desirable future. The strengths and shortcomings of various research practices will be discussed. Special attention, however, will be given to the use of Dialogic Social Inquiry as a way to engage in a relational research practice.

Independent Study I & II

Depending on students’ interests and professional focus, the students will develop independent study projects focused on therapy, coaching, organizational consultancy, or education. We will also explore issues of intersectionality and how to work with it from a CDP perspective.

Supervised Practices I & II

Supervision in this context, is a dialogical process in which supervisor and supervisees generate practices and strategies of looking at and transforming professional practices in order to develop knowledge generation and coordinated actions. Supervision from this perspective is an invitation to listen to different voices and perspectives as we transform ourselves and our practices in collaborative relationships.

Integrative Seminar I & II

As its name indicates, these seminars are spaces created to integrate the knowledge we have generated during our time together and take some time to reflect upon the impact that CDP’s are having in different contexts. To accomplish these goals, we will invite a series of practitioners/authors to enter into conversations with us and explore different concepts and ways of understanding collaborative practices.

Thesis Seminar I & II

Working with an academic advisor, the candidate will formulate a research project. This project should not only reflect the candidate’s interests but should be applicable to his or her daily professional practice. The advisor will accompany the student throughout the process of facilitating an inquiry from a collaborative and dialogical perspective all the way from formulating the research question through the thesis defense.

Our Philosophy of Education

At the Kanankil and Taos Institutes, collaborative learning is conceived as an interactive process. Knowledge is constructed and communicated through language (language refers to the communication of meanings to another including verbal language, nonverbal, words, sounds, gestures, and other symbols). Learning is seen as a co-evolutionary process in which professors and students are engaged in a dialogic process in which knowledge is co-constructed with others through relational acts. The professors, by listening to each student perspective, go beyond agreeing or condoning what they propose. It is an active process involving connections, communication, and interaction. Our program seeks to deepen the theory and practice of collaborative practices, both through course content and the way we teach. We seek full student engagement through online learning tools that encourage dialogue and reflexivity. We expect students to initiate, self-organize, collaborate, and share insights with one another.