Mariam Attia

Through working with teachers and researchers on areas of personal and professional growth, I have come to realize that often people don’t need others to tell them what to do, but rather need a space to reflect on experiences, articulate thoughts, and identify for themselves the personal and professional paths they wish to travel.

I am interested in human capacity building and believe in the value of non-judgmental communication for furthering self and mutual growth. I was introduced to Cooperative Development in 2007, when I was auditing one of Julian’s modules The Education of Language Teachers at the University of Manchester. At that time, I was completing my PhD in the area of teacher cognition and technology use, and was particularly drawn to the approach’s underlying principles of respect, sincerity, and empathy. The value of Cooperative Development was further consolidated when I used the approach myself to further my thinking about career progression.

I think what may get in my way of realizing the potential of non-judgmental discourse is the communicative environment in which we live, where argument, critique, discussion and evaluation prevail. While these forms of discourse can be very useful, non-judgemental communication offers unique opportunities for finding ways forward. Such opportunities remain under-used and, to many people, totally unknown. I hope that together we use this space to explore the potential of Cooperative Development and cultivate an environment of non-judgmental communication for self- and mutual growth.

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