Published papers

Integrating ‘the personal, the political, the professional, and the practice’ that gives meaning and purpose to my life and work

 
Picture of Marie Huxtable
Integrating ‘the personal, the political, the professional, and the practice’ that gives meaning and purpose to my life and work
by Marie Huxtable - Tuesday, 18 October 2016, 11:27 AM
 

Many thanks to my reviewers for embarking on this journey with me towards having a paper that meets the criteria for publishing in EJOLTs. Looking forward to working with you

Abstract

Changes in policy and practice in 2012 demanded by central government meant my field of practice has changed but my concerns have not. My concerns were and are that: practice, theory and research often appear to lose connection with the educational purpose of education; theory and practice appear to be developed independently, and without explanation or evaluation related to educational values; educational practitioners appear to practice in discrete worlds, each vying to exert their hegemony over the totalising development of educational theory, practice and provision. In this paper I show how, by continuing to research as a Living Theory researcher (Whitehead, 1989), I am addressing those concerns, improving what I am doing to realise my values in action and integrating personal, professional and political practice that gives meaning and purpose to my work and life. I describe and explain the development of my multidimensional and relationally dynamic understanding of collaboration, which is an expression of embodied meanings of ‘i am because we are’ together with ‘we are because i am’, represented as i~we~i.


Marie

Picture of Moira Laidlaw
Re: Integrating ‘the personal, the political, the professional, and the practice’ that gives meaning and purpose to my life and work
by Moira Laidlaw - Wednesday, 19 October 2016, 12:30 PM
 

Hi Marie. I am delighted to act as a reviewer for this exciting paper. And it is exciting, because I think it's doing something we haven't yet seen so explicitly in an article for EJOLTS before. However, I am not sure about this, so it's something we need to discuss. Read on!

I have been through your text with my usual forensic approach in terms of style and so on, but haven't made many qualitative comments, which I want to do here. And by the way, one of the things I really value about this paper is the clarity of the language you use in order to communicate very difficult ideas. It's a pleasure to read from beginning to end. Thank you.

I have two points to make, which I pose more from a sense of wishing for a dialogue with you rather than any changes I feel you have to make in order for me to agree to the paper's publication. The two areas are concerned with the intended audience and the aims of the paper as I perceive them. I believe the two are linked and I will write about them together.

Audience and Aims. Your paper, as you state, was originally designed for readers in CARN (the Collaborative Action Research Network), and when I read through the paper the first time, I felt that audience was still discernible. It felt as if you were writing a paper not only about your own practice, but the ideas and values underpinning Living Theory itself because you might have wanted to convince the audience at CARN (perhaps) about its distinctive validity. Then I read the paper again, and saw the possibility of something more profound. And that's connected with the possible aims of the paper as I am now reading it.

Readers of EJOLTS probably don't need to be convinced of the validity of a Living Theory approach to a deepening understanding of one's life as an educational professional within social contexts. And yet there was a sense of the author as teacher about earlier (in particular) sections of the paper. Yet what I am now seeing is a paper that, were it to be slightly altered in focus and emphasis, could show how you have improved the living out of your values as you seem - to me at any rate - to have refined your theoretical understanding of the parameters of what Living Theory is - in terms of your best thinking to date (McNiff, 1992). And this is what I am seeing you presenting to the EJOLTS audience. 

In the Editoria Board, for example, we have spent many hours over the last few months discussing precisely what it means to ask what this thing, Living (Educational) Theory, is (Mellett et al. 1999). I know that recent discussions have made me question what I can say with any finality about Living Theory. However, when I read your paper I sensed there are statements you're making that other Living Theorists might very well concur with, and as such this itself could make a very useful vehicle for discussion within EJOLTS and beyond about Living Theory as both a paradigm in its own right, and as a social movement.

The aim that comes most strongly out of the paper for me, therefore, isn't one that you state as yours and I most certainly don't want to hegemonise any aspect of this review process by saying that your aim SHOULD BE about showing us both your practice and theory in terms of your developing insights into Living Theory. I am wondering, though, if you can see what I see, now that I've stated it, or am I shooting at the moon here? If you don't - and that's fine - then I would question the clarity of the audience for this paper, and that would be my only comment about changes in the paper I would recommend you making. 

I hope this makes some sort of sense, Marie. If it doesn't, then do let's have a dialogue about it. I may be entirely off the point here and speaking to an agenda that is actually only mine.

Love from, Moira

Picture of Moira Laidlaw
Re: Integrating ‘the personal, the political, the professional, and the practice’ that gives meaning and purpose to my life and work
by Moira Laidlaw - Wednesday, 19 October 2016, 12:30 PM
 

Hi Marie. I am delighted to act as a reviewer for this exciting paper. And it is exciting, because I think it's doing something we haven't yet seen so explicitly in an article for EJOLTS before. However, I am not sure about this, so it's something we need to discuss. Read on!

I have been through your text with my usual forensic approach in terms of style and so on, but haven't made many qualitative comments, which I want to do here. And by the way, one of the things I really value about this paper is the clarity of the language you use in order to communicate very difficult ideas. It's a pleasure to read from beginning to end. Thank you.

I have two points to make, which I pose more from a sense of wishing for a dialogue with you rather than any changes I feel you have to make in order for me to agree to the paper's publication. The two areas are concerned with the intended audience and the aims of the paper as I perceive them. I believe the two are linked and I will write about them together.

Audience and Aims. Your paper, as you state, was originally designed for readers in CARN (the Collaborative Action Research Network), and when I read through the paper the first time, I felt that audience was still discernible. It felt as if you were writing a paper not only about your own practice, but the ideas and values underpinning Living Theory itself because you might have wanted to convince the audience at CARN (perhaps) about its distinctive validity. Then I read the paper again, and saw the possibility of something more profound. And that's connected with the possible aims of the paper as I am now reading it.

Readers of EJOLTS probably don't need to be convinced of the validity of a Living Theory approach to a deepening understanding of one's life as an educational professional within social contexts. And yet there was a sense of the author as teacher about earlier (in particular) sections of the paper. Yet what I am now seeing is a paper that, were it to be slightly altered in focus and emphasis, could show how you have improved the living out of your values as you seem - to me at any rate - to have refined your theoretical understanding of the parameters of what Living Theory is - in terms of your best thinking to date (McNiff, 1992). And this is what I am seeing you presenting to the EJOLTS audience. 

In the Editoria Board, for example, we have spent many hours over the last few months discussing precisely what it means to ask what this thing, Living (Educational) Theory, is (Mellett et al. 1999). I know that recent discussions have made me question what I can say with any finality about Living Theory. However, when I read your paper I sensed there are statements you're making that other Living Theorists might very well concur with, and as such this itself could make a very useful vehicle for discussion within EJOLTS and beyond about Living Theory as both a paradigm in its own right, and as a social movement.

The aim that comes most strongly out of the paper for me, therefore, isn't one that you state as yours and I most certainly don't want to hegemonise any aspect of this review process by saying that your aim SHOULD BE about showing us both your practice and theory in terms of your developing insights into Living Theory. I am wondering, though, if you can see what I see, now that I've stated it, or am I shooting at the moon here? If you don't - and that's fine - then I would question the clarity of the audience for this paper, and that would be my only comment about changes in the paper I would recommend you making. 

I hope this makes some sort of sense, Marie. If it doesn't, then do let's have a dialogue about it. I may be entirely off the point here and speaking to an agenda that is actually only mine.

Love from, Moira

Picture of Marie Huxtable
Re: Integrating ‘the personal, the political, the professional, and the practice’ that gives meaning and purpose to my life and work
by Marie Huxtable - Wednesday, 19 October 2016, 10:25 PM
 

Hi Moira

Many thanks for opening this dialogue as well as giving me lots to think about how to improve the paper. I need to give a bit of slow thinking time - but not too slow as I am aware of the clock ticking

Marie

Picture of Jacqueline Delong
Re: Integrating ‘the personal, the political, the professional, and the practice’ that gives meaning and purpose to my life and work
by Jacqueline Delong - Wednesday, 19 October 2016, 6:51 PM
 

Hi, Marie. I have attached my comments for the first 12 pages as I am aware of the time line to get this ready for the December issue.

First, humility is a wonderful trait... except when the purpose of the article is to share the nature of your influence. By focusing on others, we are missing you, Marie, and the influence that you are having as you live your values. 

Second, the writing meanders and we badly need signposts and direction so that if this is the argument, “With this data we can get closer to understanding and communicating a multidimensional and relationally dynamic understanding of collaboration, which is an expression of embodied meanings of ‘i am because we are’ together with ‘we are because i am’, represented as i~we~i.” , then we need help to follow it. This intention needs to be at the beginning and then tracked through your examples. What is still entirely missing is you, your influence, your role, your values in action. Did I say that already?

The visuals in the BRLSI need to be more reader-friendly. I suggest a visual and some script from 1 or 2 in the text of the paper so I can see the data that provides evidence to support your claims. Oh, yes, and your claims, as well!

I hope that my comments are helpful as that is my intention. Let me know if I can be of further assistance. Part II to come!


Love, Jackie


 

 

 



Picture of Marie Huxtable
Re: Integrating ‘the personal, the political, the professional, and the practice’ that gives meaning and purpose to my life and work
by Marie Huxtable - Wednesday, 19 October 2016, 10:22 PM
 

Hi Jackie

Many thanks for such a careful and swift response. I need to chew this, and what is to come, over carefully before returning to the draft and see how I might respond both to what you say and what Moira and Stephen say to improve the paper.

Marie 

Picture of Jacqueline Delong
Re: Integrating ‘the personal, the political, the professional, and the practice’ that gives meaning and purpose to my life and work
by Jacqueline Delong - Thursday, 20 October 2016, 4:22 PM
 

Hi, Marie. I found more of you in the second half of the paper and this is good. There is also more connection to the theme of collaboration.

There continue to be issues of transitions and sequencing which I have identified in the attached document. 

Please let me know how I can help.


Love, Jackie

Picture of Stephen Bigger
Re: Integrating ‘the personal, the political, the professional, and the practice’ that gives meaning and purpose to my life and work
by Stephen Bigger - Tuesday, 25 October 2016, 1:30 PM
 

I have enjoyed reading and wrestling with your paper and in particular the relationship between research in education and qualitative enquiry. I have especially wrestled with how research can be rigorous, both in terms of research process and how research is or is not relevant to experience, life and professional development. I like the verbal phrase 'living educational theory' and how I do indeed live theory. Fuller comments are attached.  Best wishes. I look forward to the new iteration.  Stephen

Picture of Marie Huxtable
Re: Integrating ‘the personal, the political, the professional, and the practice’ that gives meaning and purpose to my life and work
by Marie Huxtable - Monday, 31 October 2016, 8:49 PM
 

Many thanks to all my reviewers. Attached the latest iteration. Some of your responses I have integrated and some have led me to change the paper quite considerably. I look forward to hearing whether you feel it now meets the criteria for publication or whether further work is needed in which case I would appreciate pointing to which criteria I am not meeting and what I might do to improve. (I will make sure the urls work in the final version)

Picture of Moira Laidlaw
Re: Integrating ‘the personal, the political, the professional, and the practice’ that gives meaning and purpose to my life and work
by Moira Laidlaw - Tuesday, 1 November 2016, 7:00 AM
 

Hi Marie. I have re-read your revised paper and truly love it. It is a great read because it speaks - to me - very directly. I love the way you show what you have done and reflected on and how the theory and practice are melded. I love the way you reveal your insights into Living Theory and your own living-theory and how the two are connected. I think this paper makes a great contribution to Living Theory because it explicates some of the parameters of the paradigm, whilst at the same time - as it must of course - shows you walking the talk and accounting for what that means to you in your own practice.

I recommend this for publication without reservation.

Best wishes, Moira

Picture of Jacqueline Delong
Re: Integrating ‘the personal, the political, the professional, and the practice’ that gives meaning and purpose to my life and work
by Jacqueline Delong - Tuesday, 1 November 2016, 4:14 PM
 

Hi, Marie. There were already great ideas in the first iteration but this is a much improved paper. You have improved the flow, the connections and the evidence for claims to know. I think a little work on the ending would strengthen the article. 

I have attached some notes on structural items for your consideration. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.

Well done, Marie.

Love, Jackie

Picture of Stephen Bigger
Re: Integrating ‘the personal, the political, the professional, and the practice’ that gives meaning and purpose to my life and work
by Stephen Bigger - Wednesday, 9 November 2016, 2:37 PM
 

Just to confirm my earlier private notes with action points, incorporated in the attached annotated copy. I think this is a sound and worthy paper which now flows clearly. I have found wrestling, through your paper, with issues of rigour, trustworthiness and generalisability has been helpful, thinking about how other people's reactions to an autobiographical account can help a person clarify their voice. Just a bit of tidying up and it is ready for publication.

Picture of Marie Huxtable
Re: Integrating ‘the personal, the political, the professional, and the practice’ that gives meaning and purpose to my life and work
by Marie Huxtable - Tuesday, 15 November 2016, 6:20 PM
 

Hi all

Attached the latest iteration. I hope I have responded to all the points you have all raised and that it meets the criteria for publication. I will sort the links and videos when it goes through the final process when (if) it is accepted for publication. Is there anything else I need to do in order that you might be able to recommend it for publication? 

Many thanks for all you help

Marie

Picture of Jacqueline Delong
Re: Integrating ‘the personal, the political, the professional, and the practice’ that gives meaning and purpose to my life and work
by Jacqueline Delong - Wednesday, 16 November 2016, 8:58 PM
 

Hi, Marie. Extremely well done. The article reads clearly, makes a clear argument and flows well. It is a significant contribution to EJOLTS and Living Theory publications.

I have attached a document with a few technical items that need addressing.

It is with pleasure that I recommend this article for publication.


Love, Jackie

Picture of Stephen Bigger
Re: Integrating ‘the personal, the political, the professional, and the practice’ that gives meaning and purpose to my life and work
by Stephen Bigger - Friday, 18 November 2016, 10:12 PM
 

Happy to recommend for publication. A clear argument runs throughout contributing to the question what is Living Theory, and the application to a particular case. Makes a positive contribution. Well done.

One detail, I would prefer Collingwood 1939 at the start.

Picture of Marie Huxtable
Re: Integrating ‘the personal, the political, the professional, and the practice’ that gives meaning and purpose to my life and work
by Marie Huxtable - Tuesday, 22 November 2016, 1:25 PM
 

Many thanks to my wonderful reviewers and Robyn Pound for their responses and help. I am really pleased that all are recommending publication. The last iteration that will go to the Editorial Board for their consideration is attached here.