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

From: Beth Ferholt (
Date: Wed Jan 31 2007 - 17:01:31 PST

I am also interested: a central question for my dissertation is why I
must use art, particularly film theory and methods, to study
imagination in work with children. I am writing XMCA with this
information so that those of us who are interested can know who we
all are! Beth

On Jan 30, 2007, at 2:41 PM, ignacio dalton wrote:

> hi peter, i will be working during this year related to my Ed. M.
> thesis related to literacy-play interface among preschoolers. May i
> be included or what?
> Yours, Ignacio Dalton
> ----- Original Message ----
> From: Peter Smagorinsky <>
> To: mca <>; langandlit <>;
> Alecia Jackson <>; Amy Sanford
> <>; Cori Jakubiak <>
> Sent: Tuesday, January 30, 2007 5:24:56 PM
> Subject: [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
> (London)
> 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
> sustainability.
> 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
> criteria.
> 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.
> Chapters:
> 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
> literature.)
> 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
> assumptions:
> 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
> (2000,p.
> 95)
> 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
> "métissage,"
> 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
> Dyck)
> 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
> authors.
> 10. Oral communication has value equal to or greater than written
> discourse,
> offering advantages relating to audience, purpose, immediacy and
> spontaneity.
> (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.
> (Bowers)
> 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
> include:
> * 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
> groups
> * remembering authentic history, including the continuing history of
> oppression
> * 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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