Zuss notes


Inquiry and Interpretation – Questioning the nature and range of research approaches:

What motivates research inquiry, its epistemological and instutional frameworks of support?

Lakatos, Ginzburg, Alvesson & Skolberg (12-27)

How is "objectivity" established?

Grounded theory – (GT) a systematic qualitative research methodology in the social sciences emphasizing generation of theory from data in the process of conducting research. (sort of an apology to the natural scientists, a push for rigor through coding, statistics)
    critique: does not examine assumptions of how knowledge/data is generated (VALUE-FREE?)

Reflexivity – making thought the object of study itself

Empiricism – theory of knowledge emphasizing experience (especially sensory perception) and discounting innate ideas (prior knowledge?)
    dataistic – driven by that which seems to be measurable (EX: testing), inclined to believe in independent reality (outside of realm of human experience), discernable truth

Positivism – one truth, an independent reality, facts, objective knowledge – a method
    in contrast to EXISTENTIALISM, subjectivity, negation of meaning a priori – philosophical stance

Ontology – study of nature of existence, how we conceive of reality and the world’s workings
    Existentialist – modifier of ontology
    Positivist – "
    Marxist – "

Epistemology – study of nature of knowledge, emerges via ontology ("don’t quote me!")

Reasoning Processes
ABDUCTION – folk knowledge??? THINK DETECTIVE WORK – take generally accepted    
    facts and infer most likely explanation through generation of hypothese
INDUCTION – take observed pheonema, trials and experiments, seek emergent patterns,        
    attempt to draw conclusions (BOTTOM-UP approach)
DEDUCTION – take prior theory/pattern and apply to related case (attempt to generalize)
    application of working models developed by predecessors (TOP-DOWN approach)

How research programs/approaches/strategies/paradigms change/shift
Lakatos re: scientific revolutions – theories tend to be self-sustaining, even when attacked,
    ancillary aspects live on (what kind of science are we practicing, and SO…?)
Kuhn (1962) – paradigm shifts aka scientific revolutions 

ALSO GET GOULD BOOK – the mismeasurement of man


Hermeneutics and Education – Gallagher & making the familiar strange

Play is life’s work. Play is agency.

Agency and power: can you have agency when disempowered? Nelson says yes, giving the example of oppositional identity.

Gadamer: there is universality in experience
Habermas: instrumentality of power structures

CUNY as "demilitarized zone between segregated society and dominant society"

canticles of liebwitz – sci fi


Hermeneutics and Education – Gallagher

 both are concerned with: reproduction, authority, conversation, objectivity, distortion, transformation
the term comes from the Greek work hermeneia, which refers to "the systematic exegesis of the poets"
Greeks believed in the educational value of poetry, not writing it, but interpreting it
it is "a theory, a philosophy, a view of reality, a methodology, an approach, a hope, a promise, an ideology… a slogan, a    
    battlecry… a field of study, a discipline" – 3
in its expanded notion of text, H reduces all forms of interpretation to one – problem of textualism – 6l
Gallagher argues that textualism should not form basis of philosophical H
conservative H (Betti and Hirsch) – we can grasp authors’ intentions and objective truth (wishful thinking)
moderate H (Gadamer and Ricoeur) – understanding necessarily colored by subjectivity, denies author privilege (optimistic)
    creative process
radical H (Nietzsche, Heidegger, Derrida and Foucault – deconstructionist, poststructuralist) – original meaning unattainable,
    it is play or dance, all versions are contingent and relative
critical H (Habermas, Apel – critical theory, Marx, Freud, Frankfurt school) – "means of penetrating false consciousness,
    discovering the ideological nature of belief systems, promoting distortion-free communication, liberating consensus" – 11
critical theory = "social and individual emancipation from political power and economic exploitation found in advanced class     systems" including communism as well as capitalism
aporiai = disputed questions
paideia = education

Researching Lived Experience – Van Manen
Hermeneutics and Education

"methodology" = LOGOS of THE WAY (Husserl)
what are the limits of empiricism? how "rational" should we be, what is most productive, what corresponds to our beliefs?
how do we describe transformative pedagody? what does it look like? what is held constant? how do we describe it? how can we know that we    
    practice it? what evidence can we provide? is evidence required?
"what do we have in common" is a phenomenological exercise – how is critical pedadgogy recognizable? defined?
not a series of qualifying questions a la natural sciences, not systematized and categorized……..
our sense of the world is always partial. by its very nature perspective blinds us to part of what is
for example:musician can play a set five nights in a row, each event will be singular and distinctive but qualitative commonality binds events as one

how does meaning come into existence? vs. interpretation which is a conscious process
phenomenology as a critique of epistemology, phenomenology is qualitative and descriptive NOT empirical
is philosophy a discipline removed from lived experience?


Researching Lived Experience

CARTESIAN (Descartes): genesis of positivisitic approach… there is objective, measurable, empirical truth – negates subjectivity
– premised on ontological split between the world of the mind and the world of the body
– aims to reach a place where we can know what is real and what is not (the possibility of FAITH)
– negation of sense-data, denial of other people, set aside context and disposition
– break world down, math-style, into component parts
– value-free "view from above"

PHENOMENOLOGISTS speak of horizontal and peripheral perspectives, both experientially and perceptually
– the idea that the givenness of one’s world may be a mirage, may not be shared across people or across your own life
– attempts to eliminate suppositions, verges on ahistoricism – the view from above, the view from nowhere
understanding of the thing, get to the core but still recognize the phenomenon
identify the qualities & characteristics that exist within an example, with an aim at defining the phenomenon
– DESCRIPTIVE endeavor at root; once we describe a phenomenon, then we can STUDY it

  • "pedagogy is not identical to observable action; rather, it resides in that which makes the action pedagogic in the first place" 146 (we see the emphasis on the INTENT, MOTIVATION, PURPOSE v. ACTION itself)

– premised on questioning the givens… but Jeremy raises the issue that the subject/object divide is a given of sorts
– similarly… Laura raises the question: do these various qualitative approaches function as closed systems (like quantitative & scientific method)
– mathematics, science can certainly hide behind the edifice of


A Thrice-Told Tale: Feminism, Postmodernism and Ethnographic Responsibility

locus of authority (given language issues), limits of knowing another culture
what do different genres expose and obscure? to what end? how might genre-based writing be used
how does one’s perspective and sense of obligation change with a changed identity (wife of anthropologist to anthropologist herseself)
moral responsibility of accessible v. exclusive ways of writing

what are the moral implications of building one’s academic career off another’s experience – parasitic? necessary evil?
to what extent should the researcher involve subjects in the writing process – co-authorship, approval, trust?

what is the relationship of ethnography to anthropology? – ethnography is an approach used in field of anthropology

Post-Colonialist & Feminist Theory (WOLF)

the politics of representation…
post-________ has no chronological implication

discourse analysis refers to the power of language and its limits – COLLABORATIVE, INTEGRATIVE, REPRESENTATIVE
    discourse is talk v. Discourse is structures existing outside the mind – GEE
        discursive refers to such things as: sexual politics, nature/nurture (how did nature get shaped through language?) anything mediated by language
            non-discursive: sense data/stimuli (like Rachel giving birth)
pedagogy, classroom as highly discursive environments
discourse analysis is a useful tool for interpreting language (interview context, oral history, etc)

phatic – making contact
denotation – dictionary definitions, timeless meanings, outside of time/place, cartesian approach (disembodied)
connotation – changing and flexible meanings, as in slang (lived, acted)
poetic/aesthetic – styled, self-referential, language that draws attention to itself, self-conscious, fusion of form and content

monological – taking language derived from intermediary (research assistant)
polyphony – many voices (related to Bahktin)
polysemic –

The Struggle for Pedagogies: Critical and Feminist Discourses as Regimes of Truth (Jennifer Gore)

critical pedagogy
feminist pedagogy
what makes critical work distinctive?
all knowledge is partial

power is not given, people are not empowered, rather power is exercised, acted out, and it exists only in the context of oppositional forces

pastoral power – you become your own priest

Critical Theory

final paper assignment: plan for proposed research… what theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches will guide my work… then either a review of the literature or actual original research

first generation: The New School (pre-war entire community of thinkers)
second generation: habermas, apple
third generation:

so i wonder, how are men of color and women of color received differently as scholars? i am in agreement that incorporation of disparate perspectives is highly desirable, but what is the role of most of us in the room? is our access to "indigenous" forms of knowledge limited by 


Post-Modernism (PM), Post-Structuralism (and critical theory, feminism, discourse analysis)

– in what ways/to what extent is PM/PS useful for our research goals?
– in what ways is it generative? in what ways are they non-starters?

            post-modernism as a mood, fragmented – kitch?
            admission of failure of progressive social movements to resist

post-structuralism a stance, in that language is framing our reality (language not as reflection, but is constructive itself)
an ability to break through structur
– like phenomenology, PS calls for us to challenge that with which we most identify

                                            BUT… WHAT IS MEANT BY MODERN???

– academics (even European thinkers in 60s and 70s) would not call themselves PM – b/c it gives credence to modernity


Ionesco? Joyce? e e cummings?                                READ DERRIDA & article on critical ethnography

Look into
The Post-Modern Condition by ?
Stanley Fish


digital ethnography defined… or at least it’s a start

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Technology Interns

My List: A Collection on “tech interns” (web2.0,school2.0,iTP) | Diigo

Kumashiro – seduction

Kevin Kumashiro – Director, Center for Anti-Oppressive Education

went to a talk tonight.

the right has been so successful in part because their narratives make sense – for example, there may, in fact be enough money being spent on education, OVERALL… but WASTE prevents disrupts our efforts to provide quality education
fear of terrorism

65% spending on in-classroom expenses enjoys wide public support

major players
Tim Mooney – R consolutant favoring tax cuts
Patrick Burn – privatization

George Lakoff – Don’t Think of an Elephant

people vote their values; they don’t vote on the issues

notion of the “achievement gap” is a politically useful construction for the right
we also need to be more strategic…. A MOVEMENT AWAY FROM CIVIL RIGHTS DISCOURSE
because the civil rights movement is premised on an assimiliationist ideal

Carol Anderson – Eyes off the Prize
2002 Yale Review – Covering? title?
Derrick Bell – Eyes at the the Bottom of the Well
Silent Covenant

PoetrySpace: we will not be silenced!

Edublogs.org is great as an interactive class website. Students in my poetry class post their work to our class blog, read each others’ work and offer feedback. See them shed their exoskeletons & wax earnest. You’d never guess to see these tough li’l nuggets on the street. Maybe take a looksee… they swoon for comments!

We are a long long way off from anything even remotely resembling CoolCatTeacher’s rad Horizon Project, but one of these days… It is, after all, a post-Diigo life. Count me a convert, CoolCat.

do you buy it?

Given that:

  • social constructions of gender, race, class, sexuality are salient enough to impact the subjective experience of young teachers
  • the direction & extent to which they do is an unknown
  • school films throughout the last half century have been drawn to a hero narrative, in which an idealistic teacher, often a young white female teacher, embark on a tumultous, emotionally charged journey, similar to a coming-of-age story
  • these audiovisual texts may affect stakeholders’ mindframes: teachers, students, general public, parents, admins
  • there is a tradition stretching back a half century of these types of school films
  • teachers’ work is found narrowly challenging but ultimately rewarding and worth the effort
  • films do draw from basic truths of lived experience, uplifting and consumer friendly
  • authority challenged within the currently existing safe yet oppressive framework
  • great white hope teacher-marytr narrative serves interests of existing power structure (read: white middle-class values)
  • hegemonic portrayals of teaching life mislead, charismatic martyr types romanticize and belittle teaching life
  • scapegoat lesser teachers and avoid actual, structural critique, invoke culture of blame
  • potential to bias public to locate actualized change in savior figures decontextualized
  • one important component of becoming a teacher is the affective componenet, the identity development
  • retention, esp of second stage teachers, positively linked to sense of personal and professional congruence
  • retention is negatively impacted by unrealistic expectations, the gap between the imagined and the real
  • teacher ed reliance on methods and jargon are insufficient, do not address teachers’ subjective experience
  • critical identity construction and carving a space proceed from grappling with hegemony
  • unity of spheres, personal and professional, is healthy for individual, desirable for sociey, efficacious for policy

school 2.0

Major finds in the school 2.0 department. One example:

SourceForge.net is an dense compilation of open source software. High brow and high quality. Argumentative is an intuitive and powerful tool for argument mapping. Clean and familiar interface.

Here’s a simple example:


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