Category Archives: reflective practice

“Intersecting Processes: Spaces still available at May 2017 New England Workshop on Science and Social Change

Location: Old Fire Station, Woods Hole MA, USA
New Dates May 2017, 8am Sat 27 – 2.30pm TUES 30

In this FOUR-day workshop participants will create spaces, interactions, and support in formulating plans to extend our own projects of inquiry and engagement around “intersecting processes.” More info

Alternation between complexities of situation studied and the situation of the studier: A series of writing projects

Let me share the ambitious writing plan I formulated during a workshop last October, given the need I see to feel generative not only reactive when making one’s work and life in the turbulent politics of the USA today. Continue reading

Close reading, PBL, and tensions

Probe—Create Change—Reflect

A tension that has arisen often in conversations between my co-instructor and I and myself as we prepared for an upcoming course in life science, gender, and race, texts… – by tension I don’t mean something that is a disagreement or even something that has to be resolved, indeed perhaps the essence of co-teaching is that there are tensions to be played out in real time. The tension is that she understands that we cannot assign hundreds of pages to be read each week and still follow the project-based learning (PBL) process, yet she knows how much her scholarship and her teaching revolves around very close reading of texts.

Close reading makes me think about tensions in my own work. I know how much I get by puzzling out the structure of arguments. Sometimes this is drawn from examining the scene setting at the start of an article and the…

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Learning from experience in the past and elsewhere to prepare one’s community for epidemics that may or may not happen

This “Design sketch” is to initiate a series of Collaborative Explorations (CEs) in one’s community on a range of angles on epidemics and community responses. It arose for Case 3 for the session, “Gathering into Community,” of Design for Living Complexities,  Continue reading

Historical scans and Situational Analysis

Here are some quick reflections and questions about Situational Analysis (SA), a qualitative research approach based on grounded theory (Clarke 2005).

Central to SA are maps of the complexity of considerations, social worlds, relationships, and positions. The goal is to capture the situation as it is experienced and relevant to the people working and living in it. A key tension is how much theory informs the way the researcher identifies and conceptualizes what goes into the maps in contrast to how much theory and concepts emerge from the analysis. Continue reading

Who inquires into the basis for inquiry?

[This book] reminds us that the quest for knowledge demands uncompromising skepticism and abundant humility alongside the insatiable curiosity that has always characterized the human heart. M. Engel 2016

Scientists often make grand claims about their profession like this one.   Which scientists show skepticism about such claims,  humility about what goes into being able to pursue science, and curiosity about how to understand the human social dynamics—something not captured well by a romantic invocation of the heart that all humans (or anyone laying claim to being fully human)—that shape what inquiries get pursued and accepted?

Teaching statistical literacy

I produced this sketch of a course to stimulate discussion of how to address the challenge for professional or interdisciplinary doctoral programs, which always require statistics and or quantitative methods courses, in teaching those subjects in a way that accommodates the range of prior preparation that students bring into their programs  (See previous post). Comments welcome, including “must cover” topics. Continue reading