Friday, August 7, 2009

(19) RSS feed - clarifying my thinking

I am exploring RSS feed. This is because Jane replied to a previous posting - about this.

As I understand it, RSS feed allows immediate info when someone posts something in a blog or in a forum etc. within a social networking site.

For example, I think, tentatively that

* on Twitter you get immediate feed from those people/groups you identify

* within Moodle and other LMS it is possible to "subscribe" to forums - this means you get an email every time there is a posting

* if I set up a home page of some kind (like on Google) I can put RSS feeds onto it and see what has happened when I look at it. It would be possible to put an RSS feed from a blog onto that. That would solve Jane's problem.

* blogger allows me to RSS from a blog using "Subscribe to" and provides options including *Google, *Bloglines, *Netvibes *Newsgater, *Yahoo, *Atom. And I can choose whether to subscribe to fresh entries and/or comments. But it seems as though, to do this, I need to be using one of the list above - I think it is actually Yahoo that I have played with - will revisit that someday soon.

* In wetpaint there is a list of 55 places I can share material with. It includes all the above plus Twitter and a heap of things I have not heard of.

* BLoglines was interesting - it let me see a list of my own postings.

However - my problem is that I have not gotten into the habit of using my Google homepage in this way and I do not know if I want to. Might del.ico.us do this job? And if it does, which would I use.

I want ask colleagues about this. (possibly 601? Christina? Nikki?) or Gordon, Derek, Niki?

(18) Investigations in complexity - kindle

This posting is about bringing three ideas together and exploring knowledge construction.

(1) I had a phone conference last week with 8/13 people enrolled in EDUC601. It became clear as I was talking with them that the investigation I am asking them to undertake is substantially different from other investigations (or research activities) that they have been asked to undertake. I want to tease out the difference as it is fundamentally related to the ideas I was developing in my thesis (2003).

(2) The Avonside research project (RULT) project that Lindsey and I are writing up has had feedback to say that we should strengthen our findings. We agree - it takes a lot of careful explanation to move a reader who is embedded in one paradigm to get even a glimmer of understanding about what is being said in another.

Rose sent the following: This question from EE (enviromental educator) Stephen Sterling might help: "How can we design in an open and non-deterministic way. educational systems and institutions that promote healthy emergence?" (2001, p.80)

Non-determinism is the key word here - I want to clarify how it relates to complexity thinking and emergence (I can see it but not articulate it).

What I am exporing here is non-determinism in relation to research processes (it is something to do with open-ended investigation where findings are found, but when we set out we do not know what they will be). We do, however, know the general domain of inquiry.

(1 & 2) The domain for EDEM601 participants is praxis.

(3) Capitalising on random interest - Kindle. As I was working away this morning, feeding material into the EDEM601 website, I heard Kim Hill interview someone who loved Kindle (it was the guy who invented blogs). You can load books into Kindle and read them where-ever - and it looks like a book - light is reflected off the screen and it is very portable, smaller than a paperback - and you can search within the text and hold heaps of books).

I got interested and googled Kindle and learnt that it works on wireless in teh states but in other parts of the world Google does not have wireless - but you can access material through a PC (not an Apple) and download it through USB - US marines in Germany do not miss having wireless. But - they will only send Kindle machine through a US mailing address - so you need a contact.

(1 & 3) The exercise of finding this out happened just at the same time as I was thinking about investigations - this juxtaposition made me think about an ongoing investigation of mine which is to keep up with and use technologies - in particular the web effectively (all the social networking sites and blogs and etc. - I struggle with figuring out what is going on and how to handle all the possibilities).

So I diverted from thinking about 601 investigations to thinking about my own e-investigation. I do not know what is going to come up that is relevant. BUt if something comes up it is worth noting it and following up (if and when I can find the time) It means that, occasionally and retrospectively, I can summarise for myself, where I have got to with my learning about e-technologies.

And, periodically, I chat with colleagues who have expertise about the things I am puzzling over or I share my insights with them. That adds to my knowledge.

(1 & 2 & 3) This is an example for me of non-deterministic investigation. I am interested in e-technologies (the underlying investigaton); I do not know where I might be in my investigation in three month's time. And random things happen - like hearing Kim Hill.

A non-determinist investigation relies on noticing and documenting the random events so that, at the end of the investigation it is possible to summaries what has been learnt.

(Not that my investigation will end, but it does have end points where I summarise learning for myself - in a similar way, 601 people need to round off their investigations in time to hand in their portfolios - even if they continue with them for evermore.

So - this blog entry helps me sort out what a non-deterministic investigation is. Great!

Friday, May 22, 2009

(17) From 2004 - on researching

This entry was written on 30 Aug 2004. I am gradually rationalising my previous attempts at blogging into just one place. It is relevant now because Bridget Somekh has asked me to write about teaching quant research to practicing teachers.

This was the only entry in a blog called "Researching"
---------------------------

"The meaning of life"

No, actually, I am not so deeply concerned about the meaning of life, today.

Rather I want to wonder a bit about what it means to try to make sense of the way in which we (people at large, but particularly teachers and educators and learners and all those who think about how knowledge is constructed ... do I mean philosophers, perhaps) think about and understand knowledge and learning.

I want to do this because I want to think afresh about the ways in which these ideas might help us all (all that big list from the last paragraph) to think about the place of research within education.

I teach research methods (quantitative stuff - an overhang from a past life) and I use other, more reflective tools in my own thinking - it is this tension that I want to play with. It may seem odd - but it is not really a tension for me.

(16) An image into the Blog???

Exhibit 1.6.1 Hofstadter and Escher: in support of multiple worlds and tangled hierarchies - (Hofstadter, 1980: 690)

Hmmm - I have tried three ways to get the tangled hierarchies image into this blog. I could do it by photographing it but there must be a better way.

I did not find a way to save a graphic from Word so that it could be upload as an image.

I tried to use "Publish this file to the web" and it came up with MSN as a place where it could be published but publication failed.

I need to talk with Gordon or Derek or the help desk - but this is not a high priority.

(15) Sandretto on poststructual insights

Susan Sandretto's (2009) article in "Studying Teacher Education" (S-STEP publication) was a delight to read - it sits nicely at the point where I would like to open up discussions within my collective networks, but which is beyond my skill and knowledge to write. Susan calls on authors most of whom I have read at some point and who have shaped my thinking.

Her thesis is that humanism is a default position that cannot be purged* from discourse and that post-structuralism provides a lens* which enables simple humanistic thinking about experience to be interrogated (troubled).

This is the argument I used in my thesis around the lazy 8 illustration of deconstruction.

* Susan did not use these terms.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

(14) Blog vs wiki - wondering

I know they have different functions - and I can see how this blogging helps my thinking - it is a web-log after all - and it allows me to record things for future reference and to think things out online.

But it is cumbersome to go back and find stuff that I want for easy reference - unless I can recall that I posted material already (which I can't) - maybe if I used tags more effectively it might do the trick.

The wiki seems to allow for easier reference and hyperlinking and the development of a knowledge structure.

Perhaps one tool is synchronous (blogging - sequential) and the other more ephemeral (non-sequential but expressing current knowledges and perceptions - non-permanent but existing as a knowledge source).

(13) Learning through conversation - NZJES article

The context is a TLRI partnership between Avonside Girls' High School and the University of Canterbury.

Even as you write you are changing the title - Lindsey's paper highlighted leadership for learning - this one has another focus - it points to the realisation that learning does occur through conversation, and that wallpapering over the cracks inhibits conversation - those are two key findings from this project

Such partnerships can be problematic but in this case the consequences of working through the differences have led to learning on both individual and collective levels.

The research associates (RAs, Lindsey and I) used complexity thinking and insights from post-structural and sociocultural theory to guide our work - but this background theory was not relevant to teachers.

The paper is being written in a way that documents insights about the project at the end of the project - while it describes what happened, much of the learning has evolved from insights of some of the participants and has been shared with everyone - but the findings, the learning, the wisdom that accrues in this article are retrospective reflections on the process and our speculation (Somekh) about the importance of the findings.

Do I need to justify that - or simply explain it - it is a part of complexity thinking that we report on emerging ideas - Is this linked to speculation? (Somehk) on the importance of this as part of the article.

What is not written is that we, also, were part of the investigation - we were not clear about what we would find - we were stepping into uncharted waters.

A teacher said at the end of the project - "if you had told us that at the start we would have understood."

This statement summarises the emergence of knowledge within this project. How would it be if you used it to structure the whole thing?

A teacher said: "what we didn't understand was that we learn through conversation"

This could be a heading for the section on practice-based methodology.

I think that writing has clarified for me that the focus of this article is on bringing out the point that complexity thinking has enabled us to assemble some traces of the collective learning that is emerging within the thinking of the participants and the collective knowledge of the communities affected. These traces are evidenced by shared agreements around the writing in this document. The participants have learnt individually (in the usual sense of the word) and also collectively (in that our understandings are part of dynamic, changing educational structures and networks).

stop - you are ranting.

(12) On writing for NZJES

I am struggling with writing, but more optimistic than ever before.

The context: We are right at the end of the RULT project and I have care of the article for NZJES. We are using an innovative approach to writing where ideas have been assembled by Elizabeth, based on writing from the project, including an early draft from Lindsey and me, conversations with two of the staff, and a couple of planning sessions where the shape of the article was mapped out.

In the last 10 days the draft article has been out for consultation and I have just incorporate suggestions into the main article. It is now 8500 words and needs to be 5000. So ... major cutting is needed.

And the cutting, therefore needs to be on a conceptual level. I need to rethink the article so that I can ensure that what is retained is the central message of the article and to realise that other important material will need to be cut.

So, shall try talking to you, my blog, about all this - what goes and what stays, and what important stuff might be lost in the process - (but really, what is important in all of this? - don't fuss too much - just write a good article that tells exactly one story and not too much else.) Mmmm - so the blog can talk back to me ... in italics - that's nice!

(11) A TLRI application

Last week I posted away and application for TLRI funding to weave together pairs of people who can lead and support a network of practice-based researchers into exploring an issue of shared interest.

A first example could be linking the Practitioner Specialist group around their interests in investigating the relationships and learning among associate teachers, student teachers and college lecturers. Sue McBain and I are applying for Ako funding for this one.

A second example could related to issues concerned with diversity and the pedagogies of teaching in inclusive ways and how lectures enable people to grapple with issues which are seen as racist. We could apply for ASTE funding for this one.

This is an exciting possible development and I want to rave about it (and how it was developed through partnerships) ... but not tonight.

(10) On praxis

I am utterly stalled by the multitude of ideas I want to talk about here, and by the urgency of the writing to finish off the Avonside project. But at least I have called here again ... and will be back shortly.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

(9) Rorty's "interesting philosophy"

Praxis-oriented research in whatever guise (as research, reflection, inquiry, exploration, experimentation) involves a shift beyond the forms of research that seek objectivity from the researcher. This is points to a celebration of forms of research that locate researchers in a subjective spaces where they are deeply implicated in the actions and theories that are the focus of research. My thesis argues that these forms of research require a different vocabulary from more objective forms of inquiry.

This scrambling for recognition and space to grow does not reject the value of other forms of research which seek objective forms of knowledge. However there is competition for power in the forms of funding and status - so the waters are murky - there is political resistance to fresh forms of research.

To further complicate matters, the tools of investigation (quantitative and qualitative methods of data gathering and analysis) are important tools in subjective forms of research.

So, I guess from this that my thesis is about describing things in new ways so that new ways of thinking are fostered.

The method I foster is described by Richard Rorty (an American pragmatist) who suggest that new ways of thinking happen when you "describe lots and lots of things in new ways, until you have created a pattern of linguistic behaviour which will tempt the rising generation to adopt it, thereby causing them to look for appropriate new forms of non-linguistic behaviour, for example, the adoption of new scientific equipment or new social institutions." Exhibit 1.2.1 is from my thesis.

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Exhibit 1.2.1 Rorty’s “interesting philosophy”
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On the view of philosophy which I am offering, philosophers should not be asked for arguments against, for example, the correspondence theory of truth or the idea of the “intrinsic nature of reality.” The trouble with arguments against the use of a familiar and time-honoured vocabulary is that they are expected to be phrased in that very vocabulary. … Interesting philosophy is rarely an examination of the pros and cons of a thesis. Usually it is, implicitly or explicitly, a contest between an entrenched vocabulary which has become a nuisance and a half-formed new vocabulary which vaguely offers new things.

The latter “method” of philosophy is the same as the “method” of utopian politics or revolutionary science (as opposed to parliamentary politics or normal science). The method is to describe lots and lots of things in new ways, until you have created a pattern of linguistic behaviour which will tempt the rising generation to adopt it, thereby causing them to look for appropriate new forms of non-linguistic behaviour, for example, the adoption of new scientific equipment or new social institutions. This sort of philosophy does not work piece by piece, analysing concept after concept, or testing thesis after thesis. Rather it works holistically and pragmatically. It says things like “try thinking of it this way” - or more specifically, “try to ignore the apparently futile traditional questions by substituting the following new and possibly interesting questions.” (Rorty, 1989: 8-9, italics added)
----------------

I wonder how the method Rorty describes (which is a philosophical approach) sits alongside my use of method in the earlier paragraph (quant and qual methods of gathering and analysing data) ...

Friday, April 3, 2009

(8) "Techie" and other key labels

These are the main labels I am using or plan to use as labels for postings. I will also use specific labels for postings that deal with particular issues (these will usually be defined in my glossary wiki rather than here).
  • Techie - I have already defined it as refering to both e-technical stuff and things to do with the conventions I am using in this blog.
  • Thesis - this refers both to (a) my PhD thesis as it was published in 2003 and (b) the ideas that flow into and from the work of the thesis. I see the thesis as a living document (oral, mental, and text - as in within this blog). The thesis is the backbone (the spine, the warp, the magnet) that provides continuity, focus and tempts me to return to discussing the ideas around the central themes of collective praxis, teacher education, complexity, pragmatism and practice. .
  • Personal - even though the thesis is philosophic, academic, professional, I cannot separate it from the personal because I see the world and my ideas holistically. I am my ideas and my ideas are personal as well as collective. I am not going to use this space to be wildly personal but my person and my networks are part of my being.
  • Conversations - some entries will be parts of ongoing conversations with one or more other people.
  • Links - some entries will simply introduce other spaces.

(7) Praxis-based research and teacher inquiry into praxis

Here is a short-term, instrumental distinction between these two terms and the way I will use them (and it might change - but then all ideas might change).

Praxis-based research

  • the researcher is a practitioner (a professional within the area of practice, in this case, teaching)
  • the researcher understands praxis as being a blend of practice and theory (action and word in Freire's terms) with a focus on social justice / social good
AND
  • the researcher publishes or shares the emerging findings with her/his peers so that conversations are ongoing and pragmatic (seeking to understand consequences of actions) and the researcher seeks critique (rather than simply acclamation) of praxis (actions and theorising).
Teacher inquiry into praxis (This is identical to the above except for the red words)
  • the teacher is a practitioner (a professional within the area of practice, in this case, teaching)
  • the teacher understands praxis as being a blend of practice and theory (action and word in Freire's terms) with a focus on social justice / social good
AND
  • the teacher may (or may not) publish or share the emerging findings with her/his peers so that conversations are ongoing and pragmatic (seeking to understand consequences of actions) and the researcher seeks critique (rather than simply acclamation) of praxis (actions and theorising).
The consequences of these definitions are to do with who can call themselves researchers and who might publish in refereed journals. The consequences are to do with ...
  1. Teachers in higher education being able to see themselves as researchers and see that there is research value in investigating their own praxis. (Currently this insight is not well understood among some teacher educators who did not previously see themselves as researchers yet they had been engaged in praxis-based inquiry (i.e. teacher inquiry into praxis). In order to publish they do not need to engage in new forms of work in order to gather data - they are already engaged in the investigation - the challenge is to publish their understandings, their learning as they grapple with current educational issues, and their approaches and ways of exploring/researching their ideas.
  2. Teachers in areas other than higher education being able to see the potential for moving into higher education because they are engaged, not only in teaching within their sectors, but also that researching in their specialism is natural for them - they might see themselves as praxis-based researchers who do debate their own learning through research with their peers and with their colleagues in the tertiary sector (as part of gaining higher quals or being involved in research projects such as TLRI or ECE COI)
  3. Teachers in areas other than higher education being able to generate knowledge, directly, about teaching in their areas without becoming involved directly in higher education - i.e. to publish in refereed journals.
So, whether these things are called inquiry or research, I am keen to foster the notion that teachers are able to explore the impact of their own teaching in ways that foster their thinking about the social impact of their ways of working - and I am keen to foster ways of enhancing this kind of collaborative conversation - something that encourages all professional practice to be under the scrutiny of collective self-study.

(6) Dictionaries: complexity and pragmatism

What is the meaning of a word? Any word? Take, for example, the word "research."

In order to find the meaning of a word one needs to explore how the word is used. This is, after all, how dictionaries* come to be created - the authors identify how a word is used in lots and lots of cases ... and then define the it using similar words.

C
omplexity thinking helps us to understand the process by which words gather their meaning, socially: as people talk and write and live, words are used naturally. Gradually, over time, fresh connotations arise, fresh words emerge to describe fresh experiences and artifacts. Dictionaries constantly need to be updated and new words added. Words, then, are constantly "rubbing shoulders" with other words as they are used, naturally, socially - patterns of use and meaning emerge and are constantly being adjusted or adapted. This process of constant adjustment and adapted fits the conditions for emergence (lots of similar interacting objects, no external control, yet patterns emerge) within self-organising systems. Emergence and self-organisation are notions that help us understand complexity thinking.

This means that, in order to understand the meaning of the word "research" we need to recognise that the meanings we hear around us are not necessarily emerging from the same contexts or settings. The way a school geography teacher uses the word when she asks children to research agriculture in China (do geography teachers still ask things like that?) is very different from the way the word is used within a university where staff have dual roles related to research and teaching. We all have different understandings of terms; our discussions about meanings are part of the emergence of fresh understandings, and fresh definitions of the words.

I use the term "pragmatic thinking" to refer to philosophical thinking (is there any other kind, I wonder, wryly to myself) that calls on American pragmatism. The word "pragmatic" is used differently in common language when we refer to "making a pragmatic decision," meaning that the decision is not ideal, but that allows us to carry on with other urgent matters. (Is that a fair description of common use?). I think of this as short-term pragmatism - long-term pragmatism is much more considered, political, and reflective about the possible consequences of one's actions. (Rorty uses a different pair of words to make a similar distinction.)

"Pragmatic thinking" reminds me that we learn from experience - that knowledge is constructed by observing what happens (a) naturally when we simply watch things and (b) when we intervene or act, or do something (when we act, or explore, or experiment) and notice or watch what happens. Science grows in that way: science tests out its theories
(a) by observing the natural world and (b) by obseving and investigating the consequences of its interventions.

Pragmatic thinking reminds me that the ideas that guide what we do (our beliefs and assumptions) have an impact on our actions (what we say and do), and that our actions have an impact on our future and the future of those people and things around us. Our ideas are shaped by the conversations we take part in, and our beliefs are related to the cultures in which we live and that all use of language is, in part, impacting on our beliefs and language, and therefore on the future of the world. Admittedly, the impact of any action is, arguably miniscule - so tiny that it has no impact at all ... but in toto ... the impact of our collective actions can be and is very great - our collective actions could be though of as our cultural context - we live within the pattern of what it is, culturally, okay to do and be. (Incidentally, at catastropic
moments the impact of an individual action can be massive, permanent, and far-reaching - and we may not be aware of it.)

Why is this relevant to understandings of the meanings of words like research or inquiry or investigation? Partly it is because understandings of pragmatism remind me of the political implications of making particular selections of words. The word research is loaded in the current climate where PBRF and the need for university academic staff to publish is giving it a particular status, and where I am promoting "practice-based research" as a means whereby teachers are able to both focus on their own practice and generate new knowledge that has social value. Or, in the case of school and ECE teachers what are the likely long-term consequences of referring to this as "practice-based inquiry"?

I guess that, when I am discussing the meaning of terms with friends (as I do with you, Takahe), I am thinking about the future, political consequences of particular uses. At least,that is what I am doing in the case of words that seem to me to have powerful influences on the understandings of people I work with in my teaching and research. Playing with meanings and defending some interpretations is, therefore, a part of a political debate that is part of my thesis as a whole.

---------------------------------

* NSOED
(the New Shorter Oxford Dictionary of the English Language) is an important book for me (or rather, it is an important pair of books). I enjoy reading the different ways words have been used in publications. My thesis talks about dictionaries and encyclopedia, and reminds me/us that they are all written by people (people with expertise, admittedly) and that other people may have different understandings, or have had different experiences of how any particular word is used.

(5) Organising a blog - emerging knowledge and "techie" stuff

The way this blog will be organised is emerging slowly, and will continue to emerge. This is an example of how new knowledge is created - it emerges as a result of exploring and wondering, watching what is happening and researching (investigating) how other blogs work and what kinds of things I think are worthy of the effort of being typed up.

Within this blog I am using "techie" as a term that refers to technical stuff (to do with e-spaces, sites etc. as well as the technical workings of both software and hardware). But I am also extending the term to describe the conventions I am developing for working within this site. I want to identify about half a dozen (seven at most) labels, one of which will be attached to each blog entry (I could add more and different labels but each entry will have one of the key labels. This is because, in the past when I have experimented with using blogs I have kept generating labels (or tags) so that they got out of hand.

This rule will place some requirement to classify around what topics I talk about without constraining me.
It is an example of a liberating constraint (a notion from complexity thinking - it is the idea that certain constraints can actually foster creativity).

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Glee - I've found out how to add pages to a wiki

Yahoo - what a name! I have found I can add one-pagers and other formatted documents to a wiki space so am delighted to be able to rationalise my thinking around what spaces I actually need to do the job of linking all my thesis related material together.

My next step is to find out how I link from here into urls. The expected link is not apparent. This is, by the way, a temporary post - I will delete it all when I put in a posting about the structure of my network of spaces. Here is Takahe's blog

Monday, March 30, 2009

4. On time and date of publication

For the record, I am publishing this from New Zealand where it is early evening on 31 March - sometime about 6.30pm. It appears as though it is being written from the Western Seaboard of USA, I think.

Yes - to translate the apparent time of posting to the actual time you need to add one day and subtract four hours.

3. hem35 - why this name?

I use hem35 for many reasons.

Firstly, it is my user name at the University of Canterbury where I work. The 35 suggests there were at least 34 other people with the initials HEM prior to my joining the university when the Christchurch College of Education merged with the university at the start of 2007. Before that I had been called mayoe but I much prefer hem35. (I might write, another day, about various aspects of the mergers in general, and this one in particular.)

I love my initials: hem. It could be sort-of-a-part of an apologetic cough - start with the cough and then add the hem. More romantically: the H reminds me of my mother, Helen and the special place she played in my life, as a role model and much much more; and the M reminds my of my late husband, Kevern, because Mayo is my married name. And I am Elaine, the E, sitting between them - thus HEM reminds me that I am supported (still) by two incredibly special people who died last century, in 1969 and 1996 respectively.

And thirdly, not many people know this, but I coded these initials into my thesis. H became Helene, E became Ernest, and M became Meanui. These three entities were able to speak with different voices within what I wrote so that I did not need to maintain the single voice of an author. While they did not speak much, this structure allowed me to speak in different tongues. The ploy served me well, but more of that later (possibly, if it becomes important).

2. My use of colour in blog writing ...

On the use of colour:
  • green - these are terms that will appear in my glossary of terms that will be a wiki which will be linked from this site. One of the problems with my story is that there are many words I use in particular ways that are not in common use (except in specialist conversations) yet the ideas are not difficult. My glosses wiki is designed to give a simple explanation of how I use the term followed by some discussion about its use (possibly from texts and possibly conversations that are about to emerge in e-space).
  • rust coloured - these are insights that have emerged for me during the writing. What I want from this exercise is to be able to document my writing in ways that open it up to ongoing conversation. As I do this I am learning. The rust colour highlights those little insights of the moment that accumulate, over time, into learning.
  • blue - these are (potentially, in the future) links to e-spaces. I plan to link into various spaces I have already set up (other blogs or wiki spaces) and some I have yet to build (a website where I can make formatted documents accessible).
  • Purple - these are ideas that I could expand on in later blog entries. If people ask me about them, then I will reply. Otherwise, they might or might not emerge later as I get into the habit of musing on whatever whenever.

1. Starting out ... why this blog?

I called my PhD thesis Towards Collective Praxis: Complexity, Pragmatism and Practice. I graduated five years ago, but the thesis continues: I live it daily; I strive for collective praxis; I value complexity thinking; I see pragmatism as an underpinning philosophical/epistemological stance that allows me the flexibility I love; and I use practice to refer to both the practices of teaching, and more broadly, to habits of living, learning, and being.

I think of the thesis as a living thesis: the written document was simply the statement of that thesis at some point in 2003.

This blog aims to weave together a multitude of the threads and strands of thinking that impact on my work as a teacher, an educator, a researcher, a thinker, a philosophiser and, at times, an activist who is trying to promote ongoing conversation as a way of fostering social justice.

What I aim to do is to write about current happenings in ways that allow me, gradually, to revisit many of the ideas I have explored over the years. Some of my colleagues are interested in the ideas I share. This is an attempt to bring together enough of my thinking to make a coherent story. I hope the story will emerge in conversation with others, either f2f or through this blog or its links. I want to create an ongoing conversation with many participants.

So, welcome, dear reader, and hopefully, writer ... I hope you might join me.