Perspective. Too often it's just the 250 words you can allot before describing yoru study, or worse the views of someone paying your tuition bills.
Yet when we think of design and building off of theory much of thw world is trying to replicate what we once meant by having a theoretical perspective drive your design.
I have tried to reclaim this aspect of my research over the past year.
Teacher Education Research Study Group
I had originally planned on working with the TERSG study group on work on culturally proactive pedagogy. Joy Meyers, Carin Appleget, Courtney Hokulaniokekai Shimek, Breanya Hogue. Awesome people I had let down.
Last year at LRA it was my first time trying not running a study group in five years. It felt liberating. Actaully it was my first year not being a section program chair or e-editor in in three years.
I looked forward to trying something new. The Teacher Education Research Study Group soudned great.I walked in not knowing a thing and I loved their design. Each year they nrainstorm a study , compelte study and present the next year. Rinse, wash, repeat. Brilliant.
I also thought trying to move my research into teacher ed would help me survive life at a comprehensive university. A 4-4 load, with three credits release for being graduate coordinator, and trying to organize an #OpenScience research agenda...I thought basing my research in my day to day of teacher prep would help me breath.
The pressures on faculty are immense. We handle 30 applicants a semester. Advise 30-40 students a semseter. Hit enrollment targets, develop a plan and set targets for minority teacher recruitment. Collect data for CAEP, figure out the EdTPA roll-out, interview perspective students, sit on graduate council....who am I telling you know the story...
I loved the work we did with Teacher Education Research Study Group. We designed a series of lessons around culturally proactive pedagogy in our methods classes. Worked on iterating on design, reflecting on our own bias. Solid good work the it's meant to be.
I did some of my best teaching that semester. I wanted to model proactive. As an online class discovered new ways to track patterns that provided wonderful insight. Maybe even get a metholdogy paper out of this as well! After the semester I went to pick up the IRB forms dropped off to the office.
One student completed the form.
I had nothing. All the work, for naught. Which then makes you feel guilty for trying to make professional gains doing something that is so fundementally right.
I tried to stick with the group. I had made new friends. Slowly the pressures of the campus and a loss of perspective and I faded away. Letting my team down.
The research never truly drove me. I loved the search for new methods for data analysis of online classes but diversity in children's literature just wasn't my passion. Which also leads to guilt. Here I want to talk tech and students face a world of hate and opression.
I needed a new plan.
At my plan crumbled I was also making no secret that I think most of the education research, publication, and assessment industry is a sham at worse and a waste of resources as best.
I have always tried to advocate for greater open scholarship. Pushed hard. Got bruised harder and made no gains.
It's called power for a reason.
So I started searching and playing in open spaces. I have always fooled with tech. Never really a coder or developer, a tinkerer.Part of the reason I studied at the New Literacies Research Lab. I believe the way we read, write, and participate has fundementaly shifted and we as educators faield to respond.
Given my affinity for hanging online and my desire for open scholarship I was drawn to the IndieWeb community. In fact my first IndieWeb post came at LRA when I argued against the rights we sign away to publishers.
So I chose to switch gears and continue the work I began last year when I presented a study on #ds106 and Rhizomatic Learning.
Philosophies of Your Own Domain
Something different happens in spaces people own online. The agentive writing, the continuos exchange of knowledge, and the struggle to understand all unfold as people fold their identities.
I began by trying to draw on Vygotsky's idea of perezhivaniya.After designing a research project around this philsophy I shared the work with the Extrended Mind Culture and Activity ListServ.
They pointed me towards Dewey. I missed the the "essence" that often will not translate to English. I have always been drwn to Dewey. Especially after long conversations with Chip Bruce and Rick Beach. So I tweaked my design around theories of democracy and education.
Yet this makes me think about perspectives and international literacy research. Is Dewey, his pragmatism, as American as Apple Pie and frought with same cultural bias? Can you build toward an ideal without a focus on the critical?
These will be thoughts I will continue to explore. Well it's after midnight. Missing everyone at #lra18 but Skip James been keeping me company. Enough rambling. Gonna call it a night. Enjoy vital sessions.