For the Monday Group and an invitation to colleagues:
5.00-7.00 1WN 3.8, Monday 5/12/05
After we've caught up with our news for the week, we could think about activities for the New Year and what we would like to be looking back on, as accomplishments, this time next year.
News from the week includes Margarida's multi-sensorial lecture. If we are to find appropriate ways of communicating our inclusional understandings won't we need to integrate Margarida's insights about multi-sensorial communications into our accounts? We have the video-tape of John expressing his embodied understandings of astrological symbols in relation to values of humanity and we could work on multi-media accounts using the new video-paper builder software from http://vpb.concord.org/
The University of Bath Alumni Magazine with the article on Moira's work in China and the photographs from the visit of Dean Tian and Mr. Gao last July has now been posted. I'll bring along some copies for us to browse through. A treat to see Moira's work recognised in this way.
Alon writes: "As an answer to the question, 'How do I lead a more secured, meaningful, productive and gratifying existence in and with the world for myself', the thesis presents a heuristic approach to constructing a living theory of a human existence." Alon looking forward very much to sharing more of your ideas.
Marian – it would be really good to catch up on your news. I'm wondering about us submitting a proposal for a keynote seminar at BERA 06 – proposals are due in January.
Je Kan has made a breakthrough in his use of multi-media accounts for his research and you can see his latest work at http://www.living-action-research.org/
Maggie has submitted proposals for funding to Minerva and to support her research career. The AERA proposal Maggie, Joan and Jack submitted for the April 2006 Conference in San Francisco on Experiencing and evidencing educational influences in learning through self-study using ICT in schools and universities, has been accepted. Maggie's website at http://webpages.dcu.ie/~farrenm/ continues to be a treat to visit.
Jean is back from her visits to New Zealand and South Africa and is now in Ireland working with doctoral researchers at Limerick University before coming back to the UK tomorrow. The proofs of Action Research: Living Theory have arrived and Sage hope to have this published by next April. All You Need to Know About Action Research, is due for publication by Sage in the next couple of months. Jean and Jack have accepted an invitation to visit The University of the Free State in February 2006 to talk about their research and they also hope to visit Stellenbosch University and the University of the Western Cape.
Jackie is in Cuba, with Bill, and they are getting married on the 7th December - Cake and drinks to celebrate on Monday with a song from Cheryl on CD.
Do let's integrate last week's contribution from Belle into our on-going conversations (thanks to Marie for bringing Belle into the conversation). The TASC Wheel at the end of the article at:
is proving to be a most stimulating heuristic device for teachers, locally, nationally and internationally. The TASC approach (Thinking Actively in a Social Context) was developed through action research worldwide, but its major development took place in the third world context of KwaZulu, Natal, South Africa. (Belle edits Gifted Education International and is President of The National Association for Able Children).
There are a couple of events this coming Tuesday that could help to spread the educational influence of inclusional understandings and we could start to think about some of their implications in this Monday evening's conversation.
The first is the graduation of Cathy Aymer for her doctoral thesis on 'Seeking Knowledge for Black Cultural Renewal' From the Abstract below I think you will appreciate the significance of Cathy's thesis for the evolution of postcolonial social formations and the contribution we might make. I'll have a chat with Cathy on Tuesday to see when she might be able to share ideas from her thesis in a Monday evening conversation in the New Year.
The second event is the British Council Seminar on the Training and Development of School Teachers: new approaches, from the 4-9 December in Bath. Joan is organising this event for the British Council. On Tuesday evening, James, Simon, Karen and Jack are talking with the participants on 'Teachers' Professional Development Through Research'. The participants are senior educational leaders and managers from Austria, Georgia, Germany, India, Jamaica, Libya, Mauritius, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Trinidad, Uganda, Albania, India, Iraq, Malaysia, Oman, Trinidad. See http://www.jackwhitehead.com/monday/jwbritishcouncil.htm
If you have any insights about how inclusionality might be communicated to leaders and managers in the context of teachers' professional development through research, in these countries, do please share on Monday (or e-mail). Alan – we could also chat about this at the inclusionality round table on Monday lunchtime.
Looking forward to Monday evening. If you have any news you'd like to share do please e-mail it in. Here's Cathy's Abstract:
Seeking Knowledge for Black Cultural Renewal
Abstract of Doctoral Thesis, University of Bath, October 2005.
This thesis describes a journey of inquiry, in which I explore the experiences of black professionals who work within social welfare organisations. This exploration includes the concept of black cultural renewal and pays attention to the development of theory that encompasses both power, knowledge and social justice.
This thesis draws on action research methods to explore questions of bring, thinking and action. I inquiry into my personal history and professional experiences and how I move through the different phases of my life, into my 'coming to know' as a black woman and how I find my own cultural renewal and awakening. My theoretical positionings and underpinnings are presented and discussed. They reflect my concern for an in-depth exploration of meaning and identity. They also reflect my desire to operate within the spirit of the relational. In addition I monitor and reflect on the inquiry process itself, and the development of my awareness in practice as a social work educator and challenge myself as a black woman working within a white organisation.
Through co-operative inquiry groups, I inquire with others into the experiences of black practitioners, educationalists, and managers and observe certain common patterns of responses and reflections and certain thematic issues emerge. I explore the ways in which I have tried to deal with these and other aspects of my work, and recognise that problems and doubts which remain. I examine my own warrant to do the work that I do and make the claims to knowing that I do.
The inquiry confirms my view that cultural renewal constitutes a useable and useful reference point for my work, and at the same time demonstrates the complexity and importance of applying it within the context of the academy. I reflect on my own experience of action inquiry and conclude that perhaps the greatest challenge for me is to find my own voice and my own authority in the midst of the different currents and pressures inevitable in my work. I therefore am in a position to reaffirm my commitment to developing my practice, to be convinced by the findings that my research is useful. I attest to the difficulty of this practice, and am inspired by the courage and wisdom of all participants in this project.