Martha Jean Cockell


by Martha Jean Cockell University of British Columbia March 2005

The purpose of this study was to examine the meaning and value of ‘making magic,’ facilitating collaborative processes. In this study the term ‘making magic’ is a metaphor for the peak experiences that happen when facilitating collaborative processes with groups (two or more people) in workplace, community, and/or classroom settings. Four other educational/organizational consultants joined me in this inquiry that was itself a collaborative process that I facilitated in three stages: interviews; collaborative conversation; and data analysis.

Two key areas of literature, appreciative inquiry and transformative education, inform and are informed by this study. I used appreciative inquiry as a research methodology and the models, theories and applications of appreciative inquiry inform our practices of ‘making magic.’ The transformative education literature added a critical lens that is lacking in appreciative inquiry, the notions of the impact of social structural differences on people’s ability to appreciate and be appreciated.