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Hummingbird's picture

I don’t feel I can write about my praxis in this forum. Even without naming students or sharing identifying information, the dialogue we have in our focus groups is so personal and vulnerable making that I don’t want to either expose people by reflecting on moments in the groups or make them personally uncomfortable when seeing the way I’ve reflected specifically on a moment in the work (by telling a vignette).

In spite of avoiding or rejecting the idea of writing a vignette on this Praxis, I will reflect on an important moment of connection I had with theory and experience within the Praxis. In our group on Sunday, I used educational theory to help reflect with our participants on the meta-processes happening in the sharing they were doing. After a moment of tension, we reflected together on Ellsworth’s idea that true dialogue is impossible and acknowledged that we were all coming into the room with different assumptions about each other’s identities. We also acknowledged the immense listening and openness required to understand – even partially – the many layers of identity we all came with. At the tea for the Identity Matters 360º yesterday, one of the professors mentioned that she doesn’t see a person as a single identity or whole being, but instead as many layers and intersections. I definitely see this play out in all of the focus groups we’ve held, and I appreciate the way it complexifies our understandings of topics, events, and each other.


jccohen's picture

'true dialogue is impossible'


I appreciate the sensitivity of your Praxis with regard to this forum, and also that you found a way to raise issues here that illuminate that very sensitivity.  One of the interesting suggestions here is that acknolwedging the impossibility of 'true dialogue' is not necessarily a shutting off and actually can signal a way to open up to oneself and others -- through recognizing the immensity and unpredictability of what we all bring/who we (and others) are.  Where might this take us...?