Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Notes Towards Day 18 (Thurs, Nov. 3): On Working With Others


I. Coursekeeping (til 11:35)
We are pursuing our inquiry on education and class on two tracks:
on-campus and w/ Parkway students. Let's break it down!

By 5 p.m. this Friday night,
revise paper #8 (reading "space"
@ Bryn Mawr) into paper #9, and e-mail to Anne or Jody.

We have 3
important, upcoming out-of-class events-->
* our on-campus workshop
(Rhoads Dining Hall, 2-3:15, Fri, Nov. 11)
* our on-campus interviews (which you'll be conducting Fri, Nov. 11- Mon, Nov.14), &
* our upcoming visit from Parkway (classtime--and lunch right after--Tues, Nov. 15).

Taking these in reverse order:

3) to prepare for our visit from Parkway,

* In a few minutes, I am hosting a panel of folks who have done work @ the school
* you should post again in our "diablog" w/ Parkway students @
(always @ the top of the course forum)

some of you also got responses to your earlier posts-->
Utitofon got an "Thank you for understanding where i'm coming from,"
and Freckles39 picked up on that...
please also continue those threads!

how to find these: log in, go to the forum, and
look on the left for "recent comments" and/or "my unread."

2) On Tuesday, we will begin to prepare for our second out-of-classroom event, in which
each of you will interview three other people on campus about issues of class and education.

To get ready, please read, for Tuesday, three essays in our
password-protected file /~adalke/esemf11/ ):

two of them are only 6-pp. long:

Alison Cook-Sather. "I Am Not Afraid to Listen': Prospective Teachers Learning from Students." Theory Into Practice 48 (2009): 176-183

Kathleen Cushman. "SAT Bronx:  A  Collaborative Inquiry Into the Insider Knowledge of Urban Youth. Theory Into Practice 48 (2009): 184-190 (in our password-protected file: /~adalke/esemf11/ ).

and there's one longer one, that is explicitly about methodology--
Michael Patton. Chapter 5: Depth Interviewing. How to Use Qualitative Methods in Evaluation. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 1987. 108-143 (in our password-protected file: /~adalke/esemf11/ ) --WHERE YOU CAN STOP ON PAGE 126!

As you look @ all these essays, try to apply the directed, interactive reading strategy we
described on Tuesday, focusing on how-and-what you can learn from talking with people.
How can you use what they are saying, to begin thinking about the interviews you will conduct?

We'll be joined on Tuesday
by Jennifer Redmond, CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow and Project Director
of the Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women's Education in Canaday's Special
Collections, who will talk w/ us about how to gather "oral history."

After her presentation on Tuesday (and perhaps? again on Thursday),
drawing on these texts and Jen's presentation, we'll work together to prepare
ourselves for the task of interviewing others on campus.

1) Finally, to prepare for the first of our 3 out-of-classrom experiences,
our on-campus workshop @ 2 p.m. next Friday, Nov. 11:

* Jomaira & Sarah will present what they,
Jody and Anne have come up w/ so far:

a script w/ an opening exercise,"mapping class on this campus,"
and a closing event, "looking forward":

We imagine opening by asking all participants to get
into the spaces
where we do our work, then asking them:
* where do you feel most yourself?
* how does this campus make you comfortable?
* what makes you feel that you belong?
* what space would you like to enter, that feels closed to you?

We imagine closing by thinking forward:
* what space would you like here, that would make you more comfortable?
* what things could we do as individuals and as an institution to move forward w/ these ideas?

* we'd like to hear some of your responses now:
given what we've learned here so far, in our classes together,
what do you think we should do in this workshop we are hosting for
others about  issues of class and education on campus? (til 11:45).

To help us prepare for the workshop, you need to do two more things:
* on Sunday night, along w/ posting in our diablog w/ Parkway students,
please post your further thoughts about the workshop:
feel free to put out your own ideas, and/or to respond to others;
this is really where conversation happens!
(reminding ourselves that we said we want to talk more w/ one another on-line!)

* by Tuesday, invite 2 people, and get their commitments to come,
so that we can see what the group looks like (and make any necessary
adjustments: we want faculty, staff and students attending...).
Think about inviting people who occupy different spaces on campus.

So, summing up/check list:

5 p.m. Friday: post paper #9.
5 p.m. Sunday: post twice:
once in diablog w/ Parkway students, and
once in forum about workshop planning.

By classtime on Tuesday: invite 2 people to Friday's workshop;
and read three short essays on oral history-gathering.

Whew! Questions?

So, as we begin preparing for the visit from Parkway (@ 11:50):

II. Our Parkway "panel": Jomaira, Sarah, Jody, Alice, Sam, Samyuktha--
with Anne moderating/channeling Walker Percy and Eve Tuck!

* introduce yourself: what has been your involvement in Parkway?
what's one thing you'd like us to know about the school?

Walker Percy's key idea/value is the sovereignty of the knower:
he insists that each of us beware handing our experience & knowledge over to the experts,
to avoid mistaking the specimen for the individual,
the abstract, theoretical, "preformed symbolic complex" for the real thing.

We thought up this panel NOT as a panel of "experts" who "know" Parkway,
and can give you the thing itself, but as educators, learning themselves
about what it means to do research w/ other people. Percy doesn't talk about this;
his sovereign knower is a pretty lonely guy, not working in community....

* So, second question for (1/2!) the panel: what thoughts do you have
about yourself as a knower/learner/researcher in this community?

My third question (for the other 1/2 of the panel!)
is prompted by the work of Eve Tuck, whom we read
for today, and who says that the great divide in the social sciences
"appears to me to be this: do you do research on people, or with people? ...
choose to consider curriculum in community, not on communities....?"

Tuck argues that we should avoid "damage-centered research," and try
instead to "capture desire," "understanding the complexity, contradiction,
and self-determination of lived lives," reaching "for contrasting realitities."

Does her essay resonate for your work @ Parkway?
Can you tell us how/in what ways/not?

What questions do others in the room have for the panel?

III. Remembering that second thread in our inquiry: peeling off
(by 12:15) to apply Tuck to learning about our own community.
We will be using the campus workshop and interviews to "understand
the complexity, contradiction, and self-determination of lived lives" on campus,
to reach for contrasting realities (="Ralph Abernathy"'s post: "people contradict their selfs alot")!

Let's talk about this some more, picking up the unfinished conversation
on Tuesday about what different spaces on campus feel-and-look like.

We talked a lot about class, and a little bit about race, on campus.
What ways do race and class come together here?
How are they conflated and how not?

How can we talk about ourselves, not as a "damage-centered" community?
How  to "capture desire," the "complexity of our lives"?

Why do we tell "damage-centered" stories, rather that "desiring" ones?
(Because they are simpler....?
Because it's easier to feel that we are problem-solving that way...?)

Can we each think of a more complex story?
(Why is Batten House run down?)
(Why do some professors live in big houses??)