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DAY 4: Clarity (for right now)

January 15, 2014

lisa hammershaimb

So, I had that interview I was all prepped for yesterday and it was well…interesting. (No worries…I mean “interesting” in a totally academic-related sense and I won’t be going all dear-diary in this posting and get overly emotionally reflective and in touch with my inner twelve year offense to those who are twelve….)

This morning in my usual coffee/quiet time/blog+twitter catch up time I came across a posting that George Siemens, my doctoral supervisor, had recently written in reference to a meeting that he’d had with two other of my cohort members whom he also supervises. In the posting he referenced a meeting that recently happened and the things that struck him particularly in regards to epistemology, ontology, vulnerability in learning, and the social, identity, and emotional factors that influence learners while they are “in progress.” (It was a bit crazy reading his article because previous to reading his blog I’d just spent a lot of time trying to figure out what epistemology really means and even put a definition on this blog to sort of codify it for myself…I’d say we’re tracking.)

Actually, you should really just go read the blog here because it’s short and fabulous…it’ll open in a new window and it is worth your time. But come back, okay?

Genius, eh? So, I read this article and instantly knew the entire context of what had prompted it and began to seriously think about what George had brought up particularly in regards to being cognizant of the emotional needs of the learner, creating a space where it is safe to be vulnerable, and not trying to push the learning process to an accelerated pace because it does take time for you to not just learn the “facts” but also to come into yourself in the process.

These ideas coupled with a lot of what I’d been mulling over since last night and my first seminar of 802 burst into a flurry of mental activity surrounding time, self efficacy, vulnerability, safe spaces, and creative process. It’s all very raw and mostly in sentence fragments with poor penmanship and inordinate amounts of exclamation points so I won’t share any concrete ideas related to research questions here (yet) but I am kind of fascinated with how we can turn our online spaces into safe places for personal transformation and also how we can use curriculum to move students from a “must-find-the-correct-answer-at-any-cost” paradigm to a pragmatic, truth-is-relative-to-context (which is ever changing) paradigm.

Which brings me back to my interview…which went astounding well. I answered questions like a champ and felt articulate and told stories and did all the things that they tell you to do when interviewing and yet the one thing that kept coming back to me was…do you really believe in this???

…Really, Lisa?? Is this vision and philosophy of education really aligned with your own and do you really think that you are the best fit for this new opportunity? Or is someone who is more vested in the program…more vested in the school a better fit?

And I honestly don’t know the correct answer. I know I want the best for my students and I know that today, after verbally articulating a lot about who I am as both a design and an educator, I feel way way more grounded in what I believe, but beyond that and whether this is the correct new path for me…we shall indeed see.

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