A lovely day in Oxford…

Oxford-1I had such a nice time today at our fourth Saturday workshop. Not only was the sun shining, and I’d had a smooth trip up from London on the Oxford Tube (all the trains being screwed with the floods and all); the sessions were fun, thought-provoking and inspiring. I particularly enjoyed David Aldridge’s session; his perspective on things feels very fresh.

I’m excited about starting a new unit. In Researching the Real World Part 2 we’ll be looking at how research methods are developed from epistemologies and ontologies; learning – through deconstructing the methods of others – how to develop our own research design. The unit assignment is to develop and critique a research proposal addressing a problem or issue in the workplace – which is interesting because one of the discussions we had was on Heidegger’s critique of the ‘technological hermeneutic’ – the discourse around calculative thinking and the engineering of solutions to problems. For Heidegger, the teacher’s role is more to do with attending to what is going on in the classroom and being responsive to it. The difference between these two doesn’t seem clear-cut. On reflection – although I like the sound of the second approach and want to believe in it – I thought the difference might simply be linguistic. What does this openness and receptivity look like? I’m keen to read more about this and intend to check out the following – although the online access for this one only goes back to 2002:

Donnelly (1999) Schooling Heidegger: on being in teaching. Teaching and Teaching Education. 15 (8), pp 933–949

Heidegger had some interesting views about ‘levelling’ as well – I thought this might be relevant to the reading and thinking I did back in November about disability, WP/Inclusivity, Bhaskar, etc. He certainly seems like a complex (and in many ways contradictory) character (but perhaps no more than the rest of us…?).

So… we have a task to do for RRW2 in the discussion forums. I’m really pleased David’s making us use these and it sounds like a fun activity. We have to post up between 300-500 words of pathic writing. I’m not entirely sure I understand what that is yet – David suggested it might simply be “an anecdote about something that weirded you out.” Whatever it is, it is supposed to lean towards the poetic, and – I guess – convey emotion, whether that is suffering, passion, weirded-outness, etc.. I think I’ll start – as suggested – by looking at David’s three examples and seeing if anything resonates. Not sure whether the resonance should come from the stories themselves or the means of telling them, but watch this space I guess…!

Aside from this task, there are some readings to look at from Van Manen (2007) and Munday (2012)… and the promise/threat of more to come. David also mentioned Padraig Hogan and David Lewin – I had a quick look at their stuff on Google Books and to be honest it looked a bit theological for my taste – but that’s David’s area and I’m willing to have my mind opened 😉 I’d like to check out some of Hannah Arendt’s writings if there’s something relatively short available.

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