I had my first formal supervision meeting a couple of weeks ago, and then got sucked into a maelstrom of new students. I just about found the time to print flyers and posters and send some feelers out for participants, which I’m really pleased about as I really needed to get recruitment underway. I know that once I’ve actually got conversations booked in then things will start ticking over.
The supervision meeting was motivating; short and energetic, with a good blend of challenge and constructive suggestion. it was great to re-engage with everything after my brief foray into tabloid journalism over the Christmas break, which I’m hoping will pay off my overdraft so I have one less thing to worry about this year.
We went over my research question and proposal, and I shared a new version of my schedule, which I know is rather ambitious, but I like a challenge and it does allow for a couple of months’ slippage somewhere along the line:
I got some more reading suggestions from the team; I’ve since ordered Jon Nixon’s Interpretive Pedagogies, which I flicked through the other day – it looks good. I also downloaded a paper on Paul Ricoeur’s concept of Testimony (one of Ian’s suggestions).
I’m going to reinstate the reading schedule I used in years 1 & 2 to plan my reading and ensure I don’t slip behind. While I’m going to continue attending the London PESGB seminars regularly (I need a bit of fun in my life), I did a little reality check and decided not to continue with the London School of Philosophy classes on Kant and Religion & Politics; I can use those hours more strategically given my ambitious schedule, and there are particular areas of reading I want to prioritise. I’ve already done a lot of reading on the aims and purpose of higher education but the books have continued to fall through my letterbox. The main foundation of the first iteration of my literature review will – I think – relate conversation as a phenomenon with the emergent nature of the university phenomenon itself. My aim is to link up conversation and dialogue with learning, education and change.
My plan of action to move forward with the literature review includes for starters:
- Reviewing past reading & notes on the idea of the university and speed-reading the texts on the shelf that I didn’t get to before – Jon Nixon, also Bill Readings, Chris Newfield, Barnett’s Future University.
- Arranging conversations with John White and Ron Barnett on the aims of higher education.
- Finish Haidt’s Righteous Mind and relate to Sacks’ Dignity of Difference – the two texts complement one another well.
- Speed-read Gadamer in Conversation and relate to prior reading.
So, I’ll be spending more time on the Number 55 bus with my earplugs…
I’m also going to get together with Paul Wickens from Brookes, who just happens to be an expert in Conversation Analysis – quite the stroke of luck! My plan is to have a short ‘test’ conversation with a friend about the aims of higher education, have a first go at transcribing with CA markup and then going through it with Paul. I realised my feasibility study transcript won’t be of much use in practicing CA as we were so agreeable with one another, while I have a philosophy of education friend in mind who can and will argue about anything. So that’s my CA training sorted.