For the Monday group and an invitation to colleagues:
5.00-7.00 1WN 3.8 Monday 31 October.
News from last week includes Karen's successful transfer seminar to her Ph.D. programme following her multi-media presentation and discussion of: Why I do what I do: How can I come to understand my educational influence in students' learning through the cross-generation mentoring of student researchers? Congratulations Karen – a treat to hear your presentation.
Alon is writing up his doctoral thesis on his enquiry 'How do I consistently and methodically lead a more meaningful, productive and gratifying existence in and with the world for myself?' Do please look at Alon's one page Abstract at:
. The Abstract seems very clear to me and points to the originality of Alon's
thesis in offering a living theory of a human being's existence.
Jane, looking forward very much to seeing you and to catching up with your writings next Friday.
Yaqub and Jack presented to the Higher Education Forum seminar on Engaging with Student Cultural Diversity in the Curriculum – What works?, at the Graduate Centre, London Metropolitan University, Wednesday 26th October 2005. Their presentation was on Teacher self-study for exploring effective practices of inclusion.
You can access this at http://www.jackwhitehead.com/monday/jwpmHE.htm
Karen, Simon, Jack and James have accepted an invitation to present a session on Teachers' Professional Development through Research on the 6th December to the British Council Seminar in Bath on Training and Development of School Teachers: new approaches. Jean is in New Zealand for her presentations on Action Research. It is looking likely that invitations will be coming through to give presentations on AR at Nelson Mandela and Stellenbosch Universities and the University of the Western Cape, towards the end of February 06.
Moira has written to say that she is most impressed with the advances her colleagues have made with their action research in China's Experimental Centre for Educational Action Research in Foreign Languages Teaching – in Moira's own words from the meeting this week;
"I can't really express the dynamism of the meeting. It was electrifying. We went way over time and people turned off their mobile phones (unheard of in China!) to prevent interruption. People were so passionate I was deeply moved. I wish you had been there, Jack. I think you would have seen real dialogue in action, real engagement, real passion. Wow!"
Maggie's Ph.D. examination is likely to be towards the end of January (Monday 23rd looks the likely date) and the examiners should be appointed in the next three weeks. Maggie has submitted a pre-proposal application to the EU Socrates/Minerva programme on ICT in education and if the invitation to submit a full proposal comes through Maggie is intending to involve Jack and Branko. This week and next week Irris, Ken, Stefan and Shelley are taking their AR forward in their work with Sami Aswan at Bethlehem University and in the Bereaved Parents Circle and Ken will be back in mid-November to share his experiences.
Eden is now in the final phase of writing for his Ph.D. – deadline 1st March 2006 and working on his enquiry:
"How am I living and learning as a proud and successful Black man who embraces ideas from African cosmology while influencing individuals and social formations in ways that effectively help generate new identities of inclusion, equality and justice?" (Eden hopes to join us on Monday to contribute to the conversation with his doctoral enquiry)
Alan is continuing his writings on neighbourhood in inclusionality and you can access Alan's one page summary at:
I am mulling over the possibility of offering something to the group by way of "astrological experience" as a way of furthering my enquiry into my practice and creating a structure for academic presentation. One thing I have considered is teaching the group certain aspects of astrology like the twelve signs of the zodiac or the spatial dynamics of a birth chart through metaphor using movement and visualisation techniques. Alternatively, I could work with the birth chart of a group member, the birth chart for the original inception of the Monday evening group (ie. the moment of its first ever meeting) or even of the astrological moment of the specific meeting itself and use that as material to work with to see what could be drawn from working experientially with it. Ideally, I would need some floor space to work with. Maybe we could move the tables back? Working in this way with astrology creates a fascinating and potentially very creative tension between the 'imposition' of a traditionally meaningful symbol and the possibilities that arise in how that symbol might be participated with. For example, the astrological signature for Saturn can stand for authority, fear, coldness; yet it also manifests as integrity, boundary, permissive path. Each symbol reveals both limitation and possibility, and experiential enquiry into the expression of those symbols in the life of a person, or community, in my experience, can be a source of healing and transformation.
(Perhaps we could organize this on the 7th November – John – I've got the Varela, Thompson and Rosch book 'The Embodied Mind' –I like Hubert Dreyfus' paper on The Current Relevance of Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Embodiment at http://126.96.36.199/search?q=cache:MVwwMKaPA9MJ:ejap.louisiana.edu/EJAP/1996.spring/dreyfus.1996.spring.html+embodiment+merleau-ponty&hl=en&client=firefox-a )
The Act, Reflect, Revise Conference supported by Jackie in Ontario with an action research workshop is taking place on the 10-11th November – draft keynote on Creating Living Theories Of Educational Influence For A Productive Life at: http://www.jackwhitehead.com/monday/arrkey05dr1.htm
Graham has sent in a draft of his doctoral enquiry on "From Engineer to Transformational Change Agent: An inquiry into the epistemology of how traditional 'Tools and Theory' can be used and evolved in enhancing Organisational effectiveness in the natural resources sector, and how to value and evaluate change" ( Graham – I'll respond by Monday). Je kan - do let's have an update on your writings for next Monday. The piece I saw last week shows shows your thesis clearly emerging through your writings.
Any other news to add to our most productive week do e-mail it in.
Looking forward to Monday's conversation.