Open reviewing process

Values and Voice: An intricate braid of teaching and learning, knowers and known

 
Picture of Judith McBride
Values and Voice: An intricate braid of teaching and learning, knowers and known
by Judith McBride - Monday, 27 March 2017, 2:53 AM
 

We, Sabine Charette, Lynda Giguère, Norma Hubbard, Martin Labrie, Diane Mallet, Judith McBride, Laurie McLeod, Sebastien Porco, Denise Schellhase, Kristen Witczak, are members of The Narrative Inquiry Group. 

Ours is a collective of teachers engaged in embedded, self-directed professional conversation/development, illustrating the value of being self-critical within the safety of a learning community, wherein we seek to articulate our values as lived in practice. With interwoven feelings, perceptions, thoughts, and a great deal of care for each other and the enterprise that is education, we create métissages, a braided view of our Selves and emerging living theories.

We welcome conversation.




 


Picture of Moira Laidlaw
Re: Values and Voice: An intricate braid of teaching and learning, knowers and known
by Moira Laidlaw - Monday, 27 March 2017, 2:57 PM
 

Dear Sabine, Lynda, Norma, Martin, Diane, Judith, Laurie, Sebastien, Denise, and Kristen.


I am delighted to be a reviewer of your paper. I have never read anything like it. That is a wholly good thing, by the way, but I realised part-way through reading it that I started off merely analytically as you will see from my margin-comments. Then I realised I had to read it differently from my usual style. And the text simply grew in power and beauty and stature as I gave myself up to it. I ended up entirely convinced by the way you chose to narrate your individual stories so that there is equal prominence for both the one and the many! You have done something I haven’t seen effected so clearly before in an article: you weave your stories together in the way you clearly weaves your insights together when you are in the group. There was, for me, a real symmetry between form and content, and that only ever seems to happen when there is harmony, accord, development and, dare I say it, love. In my language, I would say that you have written counterpoint in which each voice is heard, respected, listened to, and yet the whole is clearly and unobscured and develops into something harmonically beautiful.

There are a few minor details of presentation I’ve alluded to in the annotations on the text – see attachment to this posting - that need looking at. If those small details are dealt with, then I recommend this paper for publication without reservation. It makes a distinctive and valuable contribution to Living Theory.

Best wishes to you all,

 

Moira


Picture of Judith McBride
Re: Values and Voice: An intricate braid of teaching and learning, knowers and known
by Judith McBride - Saturday, 1 April 2017, 6:55 PM
 

Dear Moira,

 

Thank you for taking on the role of reviewer for our article and for your kind words. Merci!

 

There are five of us working on our response today and other members of the group will have to be consulted before responses are posted on the website.

 

You have given us much to think about, particularly in terms of language and culture, as well as the necessity of being explicit about our particular context.

 

The editor sent us a copy of the rubric for focusing EJOLTs review conversation, and we would appreciate clarification on question #6. How are we to understand what is meant by “the normative background of the author and their work”? Are there particular criteria to meet?

 

We look forward to further conversation with the EJOLTs community.

 

Bonne journée!

 

Lynda, Norma, Judy, Laurie (via Skype) and Kristen for the Narrative Inquiry Group.


Picture of Judith McBride
Re: Values and Voice: An intricate braid of teaching and learning, knowers and known
by Judith McBride - Saturday, 1 April 2017, 6:55 PM
 

Dear Moira,

 

Thank you for taking on the role of reviewer for our article and for your kind words. Merci!

 

There are five of us working on our response today and other members of the group will have to be consulted before responses are posted on the website.

 

You have given us much to think about, particularly in terms of language and culture, as well as the necessity of being explicit about our particular context.

 

The editor sent us a copy of the rubric for focusing EJOLTs review conversation, and we would appreciate clarification on question #6. How are we to understand what is meant by “the normative background of the author and their work”? Are there particular criteria to meet?

 

We look forward to further conversation with the EJOLTs community.

 

Bonne journée!

 

Lynda, Norma, Judy, Laurie (via Skype) and Kristen for the Narrative Inquiry Group.


Picture of Moira Laidlaw
Re: Values and Voice: An intricate braid of teaching and learning, knowers and known
by Moira Laidlaw - Sunday, 2 April 2017, 4:21 PM
 

Hi everyone. I would understand that criterion to mean that an author would need to offer the reader sufficient information about their context, background, perhaps work and culture, so that the reader could understand the significance to give to what the author has to say. So, for example, writers coming from a bilingual background, might be expected to offer some rationale for the easy adoption of two languages, whereas most readers might be expected to come from a mono-lingual background. In other words, a writer needs to bear a reader in mind and recognise that s/he may come from a different set of assumptions than the writer.

I hope that helps. If it doesn't, please write back.

Best wishes, Moira

Picture of Judith McBride
Re: Values and Voice: An intricate braid of teaching and learning, knowers and known
by Judith McBride - Monday, 3 April 2017, 2:56 AM
 

Dear Moira,

Thank you. I think this will be very helpful. I'll share it with the others and we will be replying to your comments shortly. I'd add that when we met on Saturday that we all agreed that this is an interesting opportunity to learn, excavating taken-for-granted meanings and going beyond.

Regards, Judy 

Picture of Moira Laidlaw
Re: Values and Voice: An intricate braid of teaching and learning, knowers and known
by Moira Laidlaw - Monday, 3 April 2017, 12:56 PM
 

Hiya. That's one of the things I most love about Living Theory - the opportunities for learning. Do get back to me about anything I've written, or indeed anything to do with the paper at all. It's good to be in dialogue.

Warmest regards, Moira

Picture of Judith McBride
Re: Values and Voice: An intricate braid of teaching and learning, knowers and known
by Judith McBride - Sunday, 9 April 2017, 8:38 PM
 

After Our Revision-Meeting 

It wasn’t a writing meeting today, but it still contained the elements of one: good friends, good food, good talk, and we did read our writings. We had the usual round of laughter – this is dash, not a hyphen – and we left feeling a little je ne sais quoi, because this is Québec.

Yet, seriously, I went home and downloaded my files off our narrative page and re-read many of our pieces, and perhaps, more importantly, the comments that came after we posted. I was in awe. We are doing something so powerful, it extends beyond our words at times. I am not sure it can be truly appreciated by others as they read about us. There is something about the commitment of putting our thoughts on paper (or digital paper), along with the sharing our thoughts, and the discussions that follow (some discussions linger for days) that is so powerful, that only by experiencing it can one comprehend it.

When reading our files, I felt I was tracing our history, our journey to where we are now. It has been a satisfying and enriching journey, one that we are still on; a journey I am glad I am sharing with such incredible caring people. How did we find each other? There is an ebb and flow within our group. We can’t always meet as a group, as the demands of life keep some of us away at times, however we remain linked by our writing.

Merci mes amies.

Norma


Picture of Judith McBride
Re: Values and Voice: An intricate braid of teaching and learning, knowers and known
by Judith McBride - Sunday, 9 April 2017, 8:45 PM
 

EJOLTs: Values and Voice

Response to comment ML 18

The first thing we would propose is that translations of French text be appended with footnotes. A transcript of the French audio would be treated in the same manner.

 FOOTNOTE: These texts are presented in their original forms. The Narrative Inquiry Group’s members are multicultural and multilingual and work in diverse educational contexts, reflecting the plurality of life in Québec, Canada. Translations are available in the Appendices A and B.

Lynda, Norma, Laurie, Judy, Kristen


Picture of Moira Laidlaw
Re: Values and Voice: An intricate braid of teaching and learning, knowers and known
by Moira Laidlaw - Saturday, 15 April 2017, 7:10 PM
 

Hi Judy and everyone. I think your suggestion about offering the translations as an appendix sounds just right, and would endorse the idea 100%. In that way you would be showing the appropriate respect for the different language-backgrounds of the authors and wouldn't then interrupt the flow of the main text itself.

With the translations as an appendix to the paper in place, I would see nothing then to prevent me endorsing it for publication.

Warmest regards to you all,

Moira

Picture of Judith McBride
Re: Values and Voice: An intricate braid of teaching and learning, knowers and known
by Judith McBride - Sunday, 21 May 2017, 2:49 PM
 

Dear Moira,

Thank you for your endorsement. We have appended translations and a transcription of a video in both languages. At present we are working on suggestions from other reviewers, but are delayed by the busyness of school at this time of year...hoping to be re-posting soon.

We are grateful for your thoughtful and encouraging comments.

Judy, for the Narrative Inquiry Group


Picture of Eleanor Lohr
Re: Values and Voice: An intricate braid of teaching and learning, knowers and known
by Eleanor Lohr - Saturday, 8 April 2017, 9:27 PM
 

Dear Judy and fellow learners,

I wrote this review before reading Moira’s feedback, and it seems I might have taken a more ‘cut and dried’ approach.  Nevertheless I do hope you find my remarks helpful....they are sent with love and the hope that your paper will inspire others to find ways of learning together as you have done.

Eleanor Lohr


Picture of Judith McBride
Re: Values and Voice: An intricate braid of teaching and learning, knowers and known
by Judith McBride - Sunday, 9 April 2017, 3:10 PM
 

Dear Eleanor,

Thank you for posting your thought-provoking review. I shall forward it to the others, and when next we meet, we will have much to consider.

Judy (on behalf of The Narrative Inquiry Group)

Robyn Pound
Re: Values and Voice: An intricate braid of teaching and learning, knowers and known
by Robyn Pound - Monday, 10 April 2017, 10:36 PM
 

Dear Judy, Sabine, Lynda, Norma, Martin, Kristen, Laurie, Diane, Sebastien, Denise, 

I wrote these pieces before noticing Moira and Eleanor's comments.

I love your paper for its novel and extremely useful methodology that solves the dilemma of writing together democratically, by giving equal weight to all knowledge contributions, and creating a rich united account that keeps individuals in view.  I found it believable and familiar, for the values involved, strength, passion, creativity, commitment, disappointments and frustrations. Brilliant.  

Individually 

We do not have the strength needed to create the braid  

To produce the sash 

But, strong ropes are braided from individual, weaker threads.”  love it. 


The videos are perfect for making it clear what you did and for following each individual in your contributions to the whole. The added bonus is in being able to see you all in action with the qualities of interaction implied by the methodology, and the naturally observable emotions. I am definitely going to see if the Skype and face to face research groups I belong to find braiding in this way a possible solution to our writing conundrum.


I also like how you included literature in the braids, melding in different influences in the creation of your method for your research purposes. I see the range of literature used more as exemplars for the emergence of the methodology than being critically reviewed. I shall try to explain why I see this as problematic in the case of Living Theory methodology and EJOLTS.  I am using the EJOLTS rubric for reviewing Values and Voices for the journal.   Your paper is primarily a Narrative Inquiry but the text also refers to action research and to Living Theory research.


I see each author is clear about the values you hold and most of you say that you have held these values all of your careers. Some of you refer to recognising yourselves trying to realise your values in practice while also recognising times when it is not possible. This is the problem to be solved. Values not possible/denied in real-life reality don’t appear to be used to explore the problem further in this paper.  Similarly I don’t see them used for evaluation or explanation of why things happen or as focus for the next round of research. I think this arises because the values do not appear to be actively seen in this research, as standards of judgement for accounting for your actions and checking that you actually do as you claim. Living contradictions (values denied in practice) is a central tenet of Living Theory methodology but appears to be missing here.  When values are central to research-in-practice they inevitably change in the course of the exploration about why contradictions occur (Moira Laidlaw,1996). Change is a central feature of action research and it is hard to identify it in this paper.


It may be that you didn’t intend using living theory in this way. Your intention was to map individual and shared experiences and influence others’ practice including those interested in teacher development in the highest positions.  I love the mapping and writing and find the themes, passions and struggles all very familiar and valid. But I don’t see much action in the research or much evidence of how the actions from the research has changed anything in classrooms or other places.  This is where I see a lost opportunity but not a problem for publishing this paper. I will try to explain how you could name it as a future research intention.


I was emotionally moved by the end of the paper when the team seemed so down-hearted by colleagues absent from the conference, people in power not seeing value in what you are doing and a feeling of hopelessness about it.   (I’ve been there)   It seems to me that if you all set about collecting evidence of how you use your values in your practice, you could show you that you make a difference and have a way to explain of why your values are important to effective educational practice. You could go further by using your values as standards for evaluating/ checking/validating/ demonstrating that you actually do as you claim. This could be the next phase of your research to restore hope and help find tangible persuasive evidence of your efficacy in presenting your knowledge beyond the group.  This is the evidence relevant to EJOLTS that is missing in the paper at present I believe.   I hope this makes sense. I am happy to hear your thoughts.

Robyn Pound




Picture of Judith McBride
Re: Values and Voice: An intricate braid of teaching and learning, knowers and known
by Judith McBride - Thursday, 13 April 2017, 5:09 PM
 

Dear Robyn,

Thank you for your encouraging review. I shall share it will the others and we will reply when next we meet.

Judy, for The Narrative Inquiry Group

Picture of Sonia Hutchison
Re: Values and Voice: An intricate braid of teaching and learning, knowers and known
by Sonia Hutchison - Sunday, 16 April 2017, 11:48 AM
 

Dear Sabine, Lynda, Norma, Martin, Diane, Judith, Laurie, Sebastien, Denise, and Kristen,

Thank you for sharing your paper. Jack Whitehead has been telling me about it for weeks and waiting for it to be put up publicly, so it is a great excitement to read it. I have also been writing a joint paper which I have put up for review and had been struggling as to how to ensure our voices are both unique and joined together and of equal value. I find it interesting that in some ways we used a similar process but in some ways it was different. With so many authors yours is a braid whereas with two authors ours is more able to be jointly written as agreeing with two voices is a little easier than 10. I found myself imagining the text in different colours to make the words into the braid on the page. I am not suggesting you do this as it would make it difficult to read but I would be fascinated to know if it is possible to have an alternative version to show how each voice is braided in. 

I personally would also like a little more detail on the process - do you all write and then share your writings and then choose lines from all of your writings or are you all looking at your individual writing and choosing lines to braid in?

Thank you for sharing and for offering another way of writing together.

Sonia


Picture of Judith McBride
Re: Values and Voice: An intricate braid of teaching and learning, knowers and known
by Judith McBride - Friday, 28 April 2017, 3:46 PM
 

Dear Sonia,

Thank you for your comments on our EJOLTS submission.

We accept the idea of métissage as put forward by Hasebe-Ludt, Chambers and Leggo (2009), as a "...practical tool or strategy ...a site for writing and surviving in the interval between different cultures and languages ...a way of blurring and merging genres, texts and identities ..." (pp. 8-9).

Our unique voices are offered in the individual reflections on values. The lines of the braids are drawn from the individual pieces (pretty much) verbatim, and represent the merged and blurred voices. The lines selected may be offered by the author or by the listener. The products, the métissages, do not represent lost voices, rather newly found voices of hope, possibility and direction.

The idea of producing texts in color is an interesting one and appeals to our arts-based inclination. I wonder how editors and publishers would respond!

Again, many thanks.

Judy, on behalf of the Narrative Inquiry Group


Picture of Marie Huxtable
Re: Values and Voice: An intricate braid of teaching and learning, knowers and known
by Marie Huxtable - Friday, 28 April 2017, 8:30 PM
 

Hi Judy


You said:

The idea of producing texts in color is an interesting one and appeals to our arts-based inclination. I wonder how editors and publishers would respond!

Why not try it and find out? :)


Marie



Picture of Judith McBride
Re: Values and Voice: An intricate braid of teaching and learning, knowers and known
by Judith McBride - Saturday, 29 April 2017, 4:05 PM
 

Hi Marie,

We like the idea of seeing the braid come together like the ceinture flechée, however, we are not ready experiment at this point. We have chosen a more academic rather than, arts-based voice for this paper. But we see the value in exploring this idea in order to understand the implications for our learning, the reader's space, unique and common voices. A future consideration will be interesting, but to change now would mean changing the methodology that we set out to explain in this paper.

Many thanks,

Judy, Martin, Seb, Kristen, Norma and Lynda

Picture of Marie Huxtable
Re: Values and Voice: An intricate braid of teaching and learning, knowers and known
by Marie Huxtable - Sunday, 30 April 2017, 8:59 AM
 

Hi all

Interesting - I am thinking a lot about voices and the nature of the knowledge developed and which are developed through Living Theory research. I have been thinking one of the voices is 'academic and scholarly'. What you have said makes me think of what constitutes a 'traditional' academic voice as one of many academic voices, others of which are either not used or have a hard time getting heard - such as an 'arts-based' academic voice. Hmmmm... the relationship between thought and word, development of knowledge and language, the work of de Sousa Santos work that Jack has been talking about for the 1st Global Assembly for Knowledge Democracy, Pete Mallett's idea of pan epistemogenesis... You have given me a lot to think about. 

In the meantime I am looking forward to the next iteration of your current paper for EJOLTs.

Enjoying the smile your note has given me and passing it on

Marie


Picture of Eleanor Lohr
Re: Values and Voice: An intricate braid of teaching and learning, knowers and known
by Eleanor Lohr - Monday, 29 May 2017, 2:02 PM
 

Dear Judy, Norma and fellow inquirers,

I so appreciate your commitment to each other, and to the loving processes that bind you together.  I believe that it creates many possibilities for both personal and professional development, and that it would be wonderful if others could benefit in this way by being part of such an Inquiry Group.

Norma described the group's almost ineffable relational experience by saying, 'we remain linked by our writing' indicating that the written narrative affirms the experience. However the writing does not yet explain how the experience becomes the educational practice. 

If you asked the questions, 'Why do we want to share this experience outside this group?' and 'What makes us think that joining a Narrative Inquiry group like ours would be a valuable methodology for other teachers?' this might help to provide explanations that would make a successful case for grant funding.  It might also begin the conversation about how this methodology could be described as 'living educational research'.

wishing you well, Eleanor