RE: [xmca] FW: request for proposals-please post

From: Peter Smagorinsky (
Date: Wed Jan 31 2007 - 02:54:34 PST

Just to clarify: This project is the work of Four Arrows (From: dtj2
[mailto:Don.Jacobs@NAU.EDU] ). I simply forwarded his announcement, so
please don't contact me with proposals. Thanks,Peter

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of MULLER MIRZA Nathalie
Sent: Tuesday, January 30, 2007 4:27 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: RE : [xmca] FW: request for proposals-please post

Dear Peter,
This project of book sounds very nice!
In my PhD in psychology and education (University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland)
in Madagascar, I tried to use not only "non classical" methodologies in
order to gather my data but also to integrate some extracts from my diary in
the text itself, sometimes in a poetry form.
Thank to my PhD director also, A.-N. Perret-Clermont, and R. Säljo with whom
I used to discuss a lot, it seems that this format reached its goal of
construction of something like a knowledge...
I send you herewith the powerpoint I presented in the frame of the Earli sig
"writing" in 04 about this topic. Tell me if it can meet your interests...
Please excuse my poor English...
All the best,

Dr Nathalie Muller Mirza
Institut de Psychologie
Université de Neuchâtel
Espace L.-Agassiz 1
2000 Neuchâtel
T: +41.32.718.18.56
F: +41.32.718.18.51

-------- Message d'origine--------
De: de la part de Peter Smagorinsky
Date: mar. 30/01/2007 21:24
À: mca; langandlit; Alecia Jackson; Amy Sanford; Cori Jakubiak; >; Cynthia
Moore; >; Daniel Kirk; elizabeth daigle; Eric Hasty;;
Kristi Bruce Amatucci; Leslie Cook; >; Maria Winfield; Mary Lynn Huie;
Melanie Hundley; Michelle Zoss; Steve Bickmore; Tara Johnson; Tricia Cameron
Objet : [xmca] FW: request for proposals-please post

-----Original Message-----
From: dtj2 [mailto:Don.Jacobs@NAU.EDU]

Re: Seeking contributors for the book, The Authentic Dissertation:
Alternative Ways of Knowing, Research and Representation, under contract
with Routledge
Date: February, 2007

Dear Interested Potential Contributors,

For those of you who have already indicated an interest in and for those
just now learning about our book project, this missive attempts to clarify
better what we are seeking. Since we intend for this book itself to
represent an alternative approach, we preface our guidelines with the
disclaimer that we are not yet sure what form this project will ultimately
take. Also, please note that any decision on our part to ultimately not use
your idea, no matter how wonderful your proposal may be, will have been one
that served the needs and limitations of our final product.

At this point, we are asking for proposals from authors of a master's thesis
or a doctoral dissertation that meets any or all of the following:

. It employed research methodologies that contrast with traditional ones.
. It represented or presented the final produce in a way that contrasts with
the usual formats used for thesis and dissertations.
AND as a result of these alternative ways of research, knowing and
representation of knowledge, . It has made or is making or has the potential
to make a unique contribution to both the particular field of study and to
the goals of social justice, peace, diversity and/or ecological

We may also be interested in stories about how a dissertation that did not
finally meet these criterion MIGHT have if the author would have been
allowed to pursue considered options that were not allowed by the system or
the committee, etc. In such cases the contributor would be called upon to
describe both the process and the possibilities as relates to the above

FORMAT for finished chapters

In an effort to convey a bridge into the unknown possibilities for this
book, we offer a basic structure for the final chapter form. However, we are
open to and encourage presentations that are themselves as "out of the box"
as a book chapter might be. This might refer to using poetry, art or some
other reproducible and meaningful expression. (Our intent is also to include
a web blog system that will allow a living and growing continuation of the
chapter's ideas to occur in the world as well.) The structure we anticipate
using is for each contributor to describe:

1. The personal journey toward deciding upon the topic and the research
approach (and how this related to being within a traditional system.) 2. The
process of doing the work of the "research" itself.
3. The representation of new knowledge that fits the aforementioned criteria
or, if convincing, merely produced new knowledge that reflect the positive
potential of diverse perspectives.
4. How the journey affected your own life (as well as the larger world).

Book/Chapter Synopsis (From original proposal but it may change)

The book will be about 17 chapters; 300 pages, with no tables or
illustrations. I can have it completed within 14 -20 months after signing
the contract.
The introduction describes the purpose and philosophical underpinnings for
this book.
Chapter one will offer a compact literature review to lend credence to the
importance of the examples, suggestions and guidelines that following in
subsequent chapters. (See notes that follow for examples of existing
Chapter two through seven will describe dissertations and dissertation
research "methods" that rely upon the different ways of knowing, including:
Gardner's "multiple intelligences," knowing through art; knowing through
wilderness; knowing through ritual; knowing through silence; received
knowing, subjective knowing, procedural knowing, constructed knowing (see
also Goldberger, Tarule, Clinchy and Belenky, (1996) Knowledge, Difference
and Power; Reconfiguring Teaching and Knowing in the College Classroom (p.
25-57), Basic Books) Chapters seven through seventeen will describe
dissertations that incorporate drama and theatrics; focus on the fine arts;
emphasize multi-or other cultural worldviews; use primarily poetry; make use
of film or documentary work; use dance; are written in non-english
languages; use autobiographical narratives; use novels, use rituals; involve
the natural world; use community; relate to alternative states of
consciousness. (Included in these chapters will be critical look at
"grounded theory" as a research methodology. etc.
Each of our chapters and dissertation models reflect the following

1. There are forms of knowledge that are not derived from books (Goody,
1982, p. 201).
2. Students' perspectives have value and students who question the
professional practices of the dominant culture will make the most vital
contributions to its improvement.( Sanchez, 1997, para. 11) 3. All knowledge
has a social-political context. Diversity of expression will more accurately
reflect the complexities of social life" (p. 26) and, by extension, overcome
the colonizing tendencies of the dominant discourse by creating new cultural
paradigms of the peoples who share a common social space (Giltro 2002, 26).
4. Typical university dissertations tend to colonize Indigenous People by
forcing them to master Western academic discourse conventions (Brown
5. It is valuable to work toward "hybridization," or the co-expression of
"two or more different linguistic consciousnesses, often widely separated in
time and social space" (Bakhtin (1981p. 429). Hybridization leads to
the complementary co-existence of different voices in one place, where ideas
make sense in dialogue with opposing ideas. (Zuss, 1997; Chambers, Donald,
Hasebe-Ludt, 2002; Donald, 2003).
6. Typical university level academic writing has "symbolized the loss of
languages, cultures and people groups." (Linda-Ruth Dyck) 7. History clearly
indicates that imposing a foreign discourse on First Nations peoples not
only has failed to empower them within the new language, but also has also
destroyed their voices in their own languages. (Linda-Ruth
8. Academic writing is best understood in light of meaningful social and
political factors (Bakhtin 1981).
9. "Writing, like reading, can be about changing "who we are" and "how
things are" but such a move cannot come about if we insist on repeating the
same stories of what it means to "do" a writing assignment." (Kevin
Shusmernaro) Thus, original voice is more important than citing previous
10. Oral communication has value equal to or greater than written discourse,
offering advantages relating to audience, purpose, immediacy and
(Lakeof, 1982, p.238-240)
11. Some practice or teaching of core universal virtues, such as courage,
generosity, patience, fortitude, honesty and humility, can and should be
woven into dissertations (Jacobs and Jacobs-Spencer) 12. Ecological
priorities are vital to academic research in all fields.
13. Art, music and story-telling are powerful devices for all aspects of
learning, teaching and researching. (Cajeti) 14. There are many approaches
for dissertations that too seldom are used to explore and express cultural
wisdom, including claiming, testimonies, celebrating survival, emembering,
intervening, revitalizing, connecting, negotiating, discovering, sharing,
democratizing, networking, protecting and creating.(Tuhiwai Smith 2002) 15.
Participatory Action Research is good because it "attempts to empower
disenfranchised people by building on the strengths of all those involved,
necessitating community involvement from problem definition through research
design and data interpretation" (p. 212) Bellanger (2003) 16. Research
methodologies that treat research as time-proven relationships are as valid
as scheduled scientific investigations. Thus partnerships between community
and researcher "combine to produce a history that, due to the unique blend
of methods and community-based information, could not otherwise be
assembled" (Bellanger 2001,p. 2).
17. Languages other than English are vital dimensions of diversity and for
thinking in ways that can solve vital problems.
18. The student is the ultimate decision make, not the faculty.

In addition to the above assumptions, our alternative dissertation
guidelines enlist Eric Hampton's twelve standards for incorporating
indigenous priorities into scholarship (Hampton, 1988, p. 19) that we have
modified slightly and

* appreciation for spiritual relationships
* understanding that the goal of education is to help others
* realizing the value of diversity
* honoring culturally determined ways of thinking, communicating and living
* measuring the value of tradition and continuity
* giving respect to all of life
* recognizing mutually empowering relationships between individuals and
* remembering authentic history, including the continuing history of
* persisting in the commitment for social and ecological justice
* recognizing the strength of Indigenous worldviews
* understanding the dynamics and consequences of oppression.
* considering the importance of sense of place, land and territory
* working toward creative personal and social transformation as needed
* considering Moran's work regarding situated learning and inter-subjective
research models will also help guide the explanations, rationale and
analysis of the selected dissertation topics.

Notes from Patrick Slattery's Speech (Patrick has agreed to write the
introduction for this text) The assumptions of the emerging postmodern
curriculum discourses include the
following: a Whiteheadian cosmology that views educational research and
practice as an emerging process of understanding the complexity of the
interrelationship between parts and whole with an emphasis on the
contribution of the individual within a holistic framework rather than an
emphasis on the transmission of isolated elements of inert information
(Whitehead, 1929; Oliver and Gershman, 1989); an etymological understanding
of curriculum as currere-an active verb-as proposed by Pinar and Grumet
(1976); a critique of traditional curriculum models that foreground goals,
objectives, scope and sequence charts, and prescriptive evaluation
instruments with an emphasis on curriculum as an object or a noun; a respect
for the vital significance of the null and hidden dimensions of the
curriculum as proposed by diverse critical and aesthetic scholars (Eisner,
1994; Giroux, 1992); a commitment to spiritual and moral dimensions of
curriculum research (Noddings, 1992; Purpel, 1989; Slattery, 1995); a
phenomenological approach to research as the investigation of the lived
world experience of teachers and students (Aoki, 1992; Greene, 1995); an
incredulity toward metanarratives, rational enlightenment thinking, and
other efforts to create unified explanations of reality (Lyotard, 1989);
support for poststructural philosophies that deconstruct sedimented
perceptors and linear bifurcations, both of which have contributed to the
absurd dream of a complete, unique, and closed explanatory system fueled by
binary oppositions (Usher and Edwards, 1994); a belief that the creation of
a holistic, just, and ecologically sustainable educational culture is not
only possible but essential to the survival of human life (Griffin, 1988;
Kesson, 1993); a fundamental option for the poor and marginalized in schools
and society as part of a larger movement toward radical democracy in an
anti-racist and post-colonial world (Freire, 1985; Kincheloe, 1993; Lather,
1991; McCarthy, 1990; McLaren, 1989); a strong sense of the central role of
imagination and aesthetics that leads to the conclusion that ultimately we
must see ourselves and our students as works of art (Greene, 1995;
Nietzsche, 1968); a sense of urgency about environmental, economic, and
social issues that necessitates the inclusion of ecological sustainability,
multiculturalism, and cooperative practices in the construction of research
methodologies and curricular practices (Daly and Cobb, 1989); a strong
belief in the prophetic dimension of teaching and learning that requires
bold initiatives to address social, political, economic, spiritual, racial,
and gender issues in the schooling process (Kozol, 1991, Books and Slattery,
1997); and, finally, in concert with William Pinar (Pinar, et al., 1995),
the centrality of autobiography and psychoanalysis in the educational and
research process where curriculum development does not make sense outside of
a reflective context of curriculum understanding. I believe that postmodern
philosophies-especially when interfacing with complexity theory, critical
theory, poststructural psychology, phenomenological aesthetics, and
proleptic eschatology-are emerging as a viable and exciting alternative form
of representation in educational research that move well beyond progressive
education and social reconstruction. These new forms, as I will demonstrate
below, are dramatically impacting not only doctoral level research but also
teacher training programs, masters level courses, and elementary and
secondary classroom practices. The postmodern discourse is complex and
contentious. However, as it continues to capture the imagination of a larger
segment of the educational research community, postmodern theories must be
investigated by all serious scholars.

When some of my colleagues suggest that in order to have a well-rounded
education my graduate students should complete a traditional research
practicum in addition to their arts-based postmodern project, I respond by
challenging them to require their students to work with me to complete an
arts-based component to their statistical studies. I am being facetious, of
course. However, this confounds critics who cannot accept the value of
alternative forms of representation as acceptable forms of research in their
own right. Critics assume that a written artifact in the prescribed style
and format of the traditional practicum methodologies is the only acceptable
culminating requirement for graduate students.

"Today's Understanding is Tomorrow's Reality"

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