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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?

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epistemology defined

January 15, 2014

lisa hammershaimb

Etymology: Greek, combined form of knowledge + discoursing

Definition: The theory or science of the method or grounds of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods, validity, and scope, and the distinction between justified belief and opinion.

So…it’s the nature of knowledge and your personal epistemology is your personal beliefs about how you acquire knowledge, how you communicate knowledge, and knowledge’s nature–whether it is hard and tangible or subjective and fluid.

(from the Oxford English Dictionary)

DAY 3: Interviews…

January 14, 2014

lisa hammershaimb

Tomorrow I have an interview for the Senior Associate Dean of Graphic Design position with my school. Thus tonight’s five hundred words of grammatical excellence will take a detour from my own readings and be devoted to gathering my thoughts around that most grand event—with a generous dose of gratuitous, education utopian fluff thrown in for good measure.

So, yes indeed to catch up everyone…I am currently one of three Associate Deans with the undergraduate graphic design online department of a technical college in the States. It’s a job that is totally in keeping with what makes me excited to be alive (namely creating new things + seeing people come into their own areas of perceived giftedness.)  I’ve been in this post for about a year and a half and in addition to teaching I train new adjuncts, mentor anywhere from 120-150 students, and write/revise curriculum to better align with the trajectory we as a department see for our students.

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DAY 2: Rhizomatic Learning

January 13, 2014

lisa hammershaimb

Hello Rhizomatic Learning Community. My name is Lisa. I am a graphic designer and design educator. I am unfamiliar with rhizomatic learning but I am familiar with rhizomes as a food group. Most recently I fell in love with ginger, juiced with pears, cranberries, and persimmon. Turns out, ginger burns just enough to heighten the sweetness of the other flavors. Totally addicting.

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DAY 1: my academic life, in 500 words

January 12, 2014

lisa hammershaimb

The second class of my doctoral-student career begins this Tuesday. It is 802: Advanced Research in Education and I feel pretty equal parts thrilled and terrified. Last year at this time being accepted into the program felt right about as probable as speaking at a conference or running an ultra marathon or performing piano in front of many many people. Oh wait…I did all those things too last year! Indeed a lot can happen in a year’s time and this past year has once more proven that…but back to the present. 802 begins the “serious stuff” of the EdD program–study turns from program orientation to the nuts and bolts of research, framework, paradigms, and methods and by early summer the hope is that we will no longer be wayward researchers, searching for our Nirvana but will have dissertation Mecca set in our sights and begin mapping out the course we will take to arrive. (Sorry…terrible religious cross pollination. In trying to make metaphors I think I may have only succeeded in being a bit offensive. Oops.)

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You are the Expert…

January 5, 2014

lisa hammershaimb

“Participatory design practitioners share the view that every participant is an expert in how they live their lives and that design ideas arise in collaboration with participants from diverse backgrounds.”

…wisdom gleaned from this article about embarking on a participatory design project in collaboration with an under-served people group. While I like the idea of participatory research, once I read the article, it seems that in theory it’s ideal but in practice…not so much. The article was full of things that hadn’t worked out and anecdotes of trials and challenges.

Perhaps people not knowing they are “experts” in how they live their lives mucks things up, thus they look to the academic in the room to model expert behavior which only further complicates things? Perhaps before you embark on participatory research you need to provide participants with some self efficacy training? Or you yourself must be incarnated into the community so that you’re not perceived as the all-knowing outsider, come down to “save the world?” Interesting stuff indeed and something that I think will be timely for my own research.

Hussain, S., Sanders, E. B.-N., & Steinert, M. (2012). Participatory design with marginalized people in developing countries: Challenges and opportunities experienced in a field study in Cambodia. International Journal of Design, 6(2), 91-109.

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