The 32 Degrees is the methodological approach developed by ContemPlace. It is a product of a several years of research into the fields of philosophy, economics, education, neuroscience, and history. The purpose of this approach is to allow learners to conceptualize complex ideas more broadly and to find more meaning in their environments. From different vantages, the contours of a difficult social problem are revealed, allowing learners to apprehend it for all its dimensions.
The 32 Degrees is foundational to the second step in this process, empowerment. The 32 Degrees breaks down into a set of eight learning perspectives, which further expand into four objectives each. The strength of this approach is in its flexibility to conceptualize a vast array of social problems, such as mass incarceration, gun violence, racial injustice, immigration, and many others. The eight learning perspectives are as follows:
Data can serve as a seventh sense to the world where we can see the world around us in ways that we never imagined. It can reveal inequalities and injustices in our society, but it can also conceal if blind spots exist. Learning how to usefully perceive, collect, and apply data is becoming increasingly important in this modern age
We make sense of the world around us through narratives. These narratives can be empowering, but oftentimes they serve as barriers to progress. Take the “American Dream” as an example. For many, it instills a sense of pride in nationhood and self-determination, but it has also been used to obscure injustices to marginalized groups in the United States by addressing blame to the individual rather than structures for underachievement
An understanding of markets and economic systems as human designs of energy flow allows us to reconceptualize value in society. It is important for users to recognize that all economic decisions have opportunity costs and that they can result in both positive and negative externalities. Understanding the total consequences of an economic decision requires us to think more broadly than capital accumulation
Adaptation to change has been an ever-present struggle in human history. If the individual wishes to be resilient and to prepare for the future, they must consistently prepare for change. Part of this is recognizing uncertainty. Uncertainty is a useful state of mind, as it promotes inquiry and confrontation with the unknown
Thinking about consequences across time and space. Understanding the impacts of our actions and inactions can foster a sense of responsibility for the future. This involves envisioning consequences that they will not see or interact with, but which may contribute to the survival, or extinction, of humanity
Interaction with the same idea from different angles can produce various results. The best solution is often a synthesis of these approaches