My experience of the open reviewing process
Dear Editorial Team, Reviewers, Adminstrators and all interested readers. I've been assocated with EJOLTS since its inception and I've seen it grow in stature and purpose from its beginnings in 2008 to the present. One of the things I've always wanted to do as a Living Theorist was to encourage democratic forms of learning and as a member of the team at EJOLTS I - with others - sought to find ways to encourage people to publish their living-theory accounts.
I've already published twice in this journal and today my third paper was recommended for publication by my three peer-reviewers. This is the academic paper I'm proudest of having written in my life, and part of the reason for that is the learning experience I've enjoyed because of the way in which the reviewers have entered into dialogue with me about my paper. Much of my work has been concerned with democratising learning because since my early days as a doctoral student I became aware of the links to be made between democratising a process of learning and increasing its educational potential.
My paper has the title: 'How I am trying to lead the best possible life: towards a more helpful framing of my practice.' In it I explore how my new living standard of judgement, conscientisation, is informing an appropriate deepening and broadening of the scope of what I do in the name of humanity.
My official reviewers, Dr. Liz Wolvaardt, Dr. Robyn Pound and Dr. Pip Bruce Ferguson, as well as two reviewers who simply chose to respond to my paper - Anke Jauch and Dr. Ben Cunningham - offered me an open space to explore some of the issues so it became a series of welcome challenges, rather than feeling like a negative critique of things they didn't like. By engaging fully with the values as well the text itself, they each reminded me that they were taking care over the way they approached the task. Sometimes in a review process (but not at EJOLTS) I have felt reduced to a name or a number. My values and my particular way of seeing the world have not been seen as crucial to getting at the truth of the experiences that emerge into the meanings that inform my life.
Taking care of the author as a real person seems to me to be the best human response to a system. As my paper is all about the value of seeing and being seen, and being valued in seeing and being seen, then to have reviewers who've all done that with me, has been an unalloyed pleasure.
I have had to think more carefully than I've done for years. I've had to look again at the value of democratising the educational process. I'm beginning to revitalise my sense of democracy as a living standard of judgement in my work. I know this is because of the open-minded and considerate reviews and the processes throughout. I also know that my heightened awareness is intimately linked to my insights about conscientisation that includes the capacity to empathise with myself and others.
I'm aware I'm pointing at things rather than being very specific at this point because I'm uncertain of how to move forward with my intuitions. I simply wanted to flag up that the open review process I've been involved in has lived up to and beyond the values I recognised in it at the beginning of my time with EJOLTS.
I attach the final version of my paper here before it's been ratified by the editorial committee, in case anyone would like to read it. I hope it will be published in December, 2015.
All the best, Moira
Dear Moira - your responses to the open-reviewing process of EJOLTS highlight, for me, the educational nature of this reviewing process. Part of this process seems to be the openness to move a conversation into intentions for the future. For example, when you say:
"I also know that my heightened awareness is intimately linked to my insights about conscientisation that includes the capacity to empathise with myself and others.
I'm aware I'm pointing at things rather than being very specific at this point because I'm uncertain of how to move forward with my intuitions."
I feel invited into a conversation that might be helpful to you in moving forward with your intuitions, especially when you mention your insights about conscientisation that includes the capacity to empathise with yourself and others. I'm wondering if the idea of 'cultural empathy' might become part of this capacity as you continue to live as fully as you can your value of conscientisation?
Many thanks. Love from, Moira x