January 9, 2016
Today’s post is a nod to Martin Weller’s A Year in Books, with Pointless Charts (which in itself is a nod to Jane Rawson’s post) with a few small remixes…like a week instead of a year, articles instead of books, and no pointless charts….basically today’s post is nothing like Weller’s except in the fuzzy way that everything manages to bleed into everything else when the internet is mediated by a human brain. What is completely like Weller is that what follows is admittedly self-indulgent and most likely of little interest but as Weller says, “hey, blogging!” : )
What I read:
I wasn’t really sure I’d made a good choice with the whole #5Papers thing thus bided my time by writing some stuff about life + research under the guise of “setting the intention for the week.” Looking back…though I know posting was more of a guilt reliever than anything, I like the idea and think Mondays will be intention days.
What I read:
Caine, V., Estefan, A., & Clandinin, D. J. (2013). A return to methodological commitment: Reflections on narrative inquiry. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 57(6), 574-586.
This was a banner article for me as it deconstructed narrative inquiry in a way that revealed its depth and grounding. Narrative inquiry is about stories but like any methodology…it’s also got a whole host of other supporting elements (i.e. ontology + epistemology) which if ignored makes research shallow. I became curious about narrative inquiry because I thought hearing people’s stories would be a bit like having reality television as my research methodology. I now see that choosing to engage in narrative inquiry is not something you should enter lightly because you’re not just a passive vessel who watches—you’re a co-participant and co-constructor as the story itself weaves through and forms something larger….which you then try to untangle and understand and the whole process begins again.
What I read:
Trahar, Sheila (2009). Beyond the Story Itself: Narrative Inquiry and Autoethnography in Intercultural Research in Higher Education [41 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 10(1), Art. 30, http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0901308
This article expanded on Tuesday’s article as Trahar both summarized the high points of narrative inquiry and described her own use of it in researching international student experience of Higher Ed in the UK. She included many passages from one of her research conversations and was transparent in explaining her process of sense making. Reading this piece helped me flesh out and make sense of out many of the ideas I’d read earlier.
What I read:
Dayter, D. (2014). Self-praise in microblogging. Journal of Pragmatics, 61, 91-102.
Though this may seem like an outlier given my narrative fascination, I found the article because I was looking for an article by Joshua Waletzky. I’d read a reference from Waletzky in Narrative Methods for the Human Sciences, a book recommended to me by Jeffrey Keefer (right now apparently all of my life is lived within about 3 steps of a Jeffrey Keefer node.) Waletzky has done some interesting work on narrative analysis, an important analytical tool for narrative inquiry, and because I am currently infatuated with narrative inquiry, I wanted to dig a little deeper into narrative analysis. While searching I got sidetracked by an article that referenced Waletzky which—because it was in the same journal—led me to the article I actually read. Once more serendipity wins!
Though the article itself was interesting, what really made me think was when I tried doing a little DIY analysis on my own Twitter feed. Turns out analyzing my random 140 character snippets of life is much more complex than I anticipated and definitely don’t neatly file into discrete categories. If I do ultimately travel down this road as a research methodology, I must be okay with lots of ambiguity and fuzzy.
What I read:
Can Meditation Make Designers Faster, Better, Smarter—and Happier?
by Anne Quito
Admittedly this isn’t a proper academic-y journal article but it was the first time I’ve seen the buzzword of “meditation” paired with “graphic design” and with the addition of “design educator” a little ways down the page…I was hooked.
Turns out Santa Fe University of Art and Design views graphic design as contemplative art and has structured its curriculum so that students focus first on being mindful, noticing, and becoming aware and then from that place begin creating design work. It was started by David Grey whose primary pedagogical interest is “…the exploration of mindfulness and contemplation as the ground for one’s creative process.” Grey is a proponent of graphic design as a contemplative art and all designers pursuing “artful awareness” in all parts of their lives.
I love everything about this philosophy and am curious to learn more about the curriculum, the students coming out of it, and the work being produced. In addition, I love learning about other graphic designers who are also working on the pedagogical margins of such a traditional discipline. I foresee this article being another starting point for a new intention in the upcoming weeks.
Looking back over the week, I like this process and am glad I stuck with it. It’s challenging to read and then write rather than just consume words but it’s fun too to meander through articles and references without really knowing what you might encounter. I feel like because I’ve read these pieces in a short time the ideas are beginning to cross pollinate in my head and it’s a bit like the authors (who may or may not actually know each other) are now having new conversations at an imagined party I’ve constructed for them. It will be interesting to see what comes of this but for right now, I’m thankful I get to listen in on so many interesting thoughts.