Developing a framework for worldviews
We’ve all done something we knew we shouldn’t do.
We’ve all wanted to do something differently, but ended up sticking to the same old way.
Why have we done these things?
Why is it so hard to align what we think, believe or feel, with what we do?
This is the question that serves as the foundation for PhD research recently completed by ISF’s Emilia de la Sienra, which received the highest commendations from examiners.
Emilia’s research examines the concept of worldview, which she defines as “a complex and hierarchical constellation of meaning from which the wide range of human conduct emerges.” This constellation of meaning begins to develop just a few weeks after conception, through the collection of sensory experiences – sounds, smells, the passing of time.
The multiple senses send information to our brain, which translates information into concepts, interpretations, perceptions and meaning systems, from each and all of our life’s experiences.
Why are worldviews important?
They define who we are in the world.
They also define what we believe in, what we value, how we feel and how we act – but most of the time, we build our worldview without being aware of it.
Emilia’s PhD research grapples with the formation and expression of worldviews, and the struggles associated with recognising one’s worldview.
First, Emilia developed the Transdisciplinary Framework of Worldviews and Behaviours (TFWB) to explain how worldviews are mentally formed, and how the formation of these worldviews manifests in the wide range of conduct displayed through the expression of the human body.
Then, after conducting a qualitative study of a representative sample of Sydney’s population, the research reveals the common struggle of people to recognise the contents of their own worldview, how their worldview determines their actions, and what triggers patterns of emotion, thought and action.
In order to access the insights available through examining their worldview, one has to increase their sense of self-awareness, through practicing sustained self-observation, among other introspective tools.
Emilia’s research also offers the Worldviews-based Learning Framework (WBLF) to encourage openness to worldviews as a learning approach, aiming to the potential transformation of the unsustainable modern tendencies.
Through developing approaches to learning that improve self-recognition of how we sense and apprehend the world, and how those views influence the ways in which people think, feel and act, we can then boost introspection. Through identifying your own worldview through self-observation and critical self-reflection, people are also more open to the worldview of others.
Emilia’s research proposes centring 21st century learning and education efforts on the concept of worldviews, and its potential to achieve transformation towards more sustainable ways of being, becoming and behaving in the world.