Published papers

Love and critique in guiding student teachers

Picture of Moira Laidlaw
Love and critique in guiding student teachers
by Moira Laidlaw - Thursday, 6 December 2007, 11:14 PM

Sigrid Gjotterud, from the Nowegian University of Life Sciences is submitting her paper for our review process. She has chosen Dr. Pip Bruce-Ferguson to be her first reviewer and the Editorial Board is now deciding on a second reviewer.

When we have decided who from the editorial committee will review the paper, we will agree a time-frame for the review to be posted here at the site and I will let Sigrid know what is happening.

Of course, others from the editorial committee and review panel are free to comment on the paper as well.

I am delighted to see this reviewing process taking off at EJOLTS and thank Sigrid, for sending her paper to us.

Now, back to my own paper for its second submission!

Best wishes to you all,


Picture of Pip Bruce Ferguson
Re: Love and critique in guiding student teachers
by Pip Bruce Ferguson - Wednesday, 12 December 2007, 11:43 PM

Hi Sigrid

I have used my usual process of providing feedback by using 'track changes' in your text.  I hope you will find this easy to follow.  I'd suggest you get someone in Norway whose first language is English to look at it with you also.  (Some of my Kiwi expressions may not be clear to you!)

I will very much look forward to how you refine this paper, which I very much enjoyed.

Kind regards


Picture of Sigrid Gjøtterud
Re: Love and critique in guiding student teachers
by Sigrid Gjøtterud - Friday, 14 December 2007, 1:05 PM

Hi Pip

Thank you for your encouraging feedback - I very much look foreward to revising the paper after this! You enlightened the question of what it really is to live in contradiction with ones values. I need to think about that. Again - thank you!

Best regards


Picture of Moira Laidlaw
Re: Love and critique in guiding student teachers
by Moira Laidlaw - Tuesday, 15 January 2008, 12:55 PM

Hello Sigrit, I am delighted to offer a response to your paper. I hope it is useful. I think one of the great advantages of an open review is its transparency. I hope you will respond to this in any way you see fit. Whether or not you take on the comments that I make is entirely up to you. I would hope if you don’t take them on, then we can have a dialogue about it that others may also want to join.

My first thought is that your topic about love might benefit from the inclusion of something to do with Eleanor Lohr’s Ph.D. (2007): â€Love at Work’ ( but I see no reference to it. I believe your own arguments would be strengthened by allusions to other living theories that are exploring similar ground.

I think your description of the concert and the music and the reasons for going really impacted on me strongly. I am, myself, more open to music than to any other form of art, and indeed, music means more to me than any other form of recreation or indeed learning. I found your description of the impact, most moving, because I have also experienced physical reactions to music – those can be good or bad: it depends on the music. I like the way you evoke a sense of what it means to respect someone through your example. It’s very powerful and unusual in such a paper, but I like it unconditionally.

You ask whether you are in an I-Thou relationship in your actions? This needs a little explaining. The I-You relationship would constitute for many readers, particularly those who do not have a theistic faith, sufficient closeness for a warm relationship. I think you need to explain for me why this is necessarily an I-Thou relationship.

I am so enjoying this paper so far (on p.3 now) because of your openness. I wonder if this openness is what you bring into your relationships with students. If so, then I can see why you might want to call this experience love. I shall read on and find out!

When you write: I do not regard love and critique as opposites, or dialectical entities, rather I consider the constructive critique to be included in love as love seeks to see the other and influence the others learning and development into â€coming into the world’, and in this process constructive critique may be useful (p.3)

I wonder if you need to say more about love. It’s not a simple condition. The Greeks, for example, had many different kinds of love, which they perceived being aspects of the human condition. Scott Peck (2003), for example, cites love as being not a feeling but a state of mind in which one acts in the direction of one’s own or the other’s spiritual development regardless of personal feelings towards that person. Is that what you mean? I think you need to be very precise about this because it’s a key point in your paper. And it’s also fairly new as a way of thinking about how to act with students. There is the whole argument about professionality and being involved and what that means for working with students and other, less powerful people in prescribed roles and processes. I’d be interested precisely what you mean by â€love’.

I think where you show us wrestling with the questions, the dilemmas, the contradictions of your practice vis-à-vis your students, is excellent. These words really have for me the ring of authenticity. I remember struggling with such issues myself when I was a teacher-trainer at Bath University in the early nineties. I was worried, like you, about doing the right thing, but not wanting to impose, but on the other hand recognising that there were certain values and processes, which rally needed to happen for the student-teacher in order, it seemed to me, to result in student-teachers who could become autonomous and collaborative. A seeming paradox, but then it often comes down to that, doesn’t it?

I would like to have a little more detail about the students’ apparent satisfaction expressed at the top of page four: The background for this decision revealed that our students expressed satisfaction with the guidance they were receiving, they became confident essay-writers and everything seemed great. I would like to know what â€great’ means. I am sort of sorry for this comment. I remember teaching in a Bath school and being extremely fussy about the language the girls used in their essays or even in speech. If they said something was â€good’, I would cajole them into telling me precisely what â€good’ meant, because it could mean so many different things to different people. They got used to my style after a while (Laidlaw, 2000) but found it irksome! It got to the point when the word â€good’ or â€bad’ or â€great’ or whatever, were heard, the kids would go into a chorus of: what do you mean by …?’ I imagine it was very annoying for the poor girl who had simply been trying to tell a story… However, I think there’s a serious point in all this. I think the way we describe qualities and values is crucial to our fullest communication with others, if we are going to use words – and I am seeing more and more why the use of multi-media forms of representation are highly significant at bringing us closer to the values and qualities we are working with. However, if we are using words, then we have to be scrupulous about them. We need to ensure that we understand and that others understand the same about whatever it is we are discussing. Whoops. I’m sounding like the teacher in the classroom again. Sorry.

By the time we’ve got to page five with the diagram (I am hopeless with diagrams, but found yours interesting) – it expresses a great deal of information in a small space, I feel you are setting up your research base well, apart from what appears to be a presumption of what â€love’ and â€critique’ mean precisely to you. I am inferring they are immanent within a process of development, but I am not sure and I would like to be sure. By letting me know I feel this would radically augment what already is becoming a fascinating read. I am so enjoying this. I have my cup of coffee hot and steaming by my side with cream (no sugar) and Bach playing loud on my laptop. I feel like a pig in muck (as they say in this area of the country! – I told you it was a little crude up here!) I wonder as well that you don’t have any proof, or allude to any proof of the students’ feelings. You state this is how it was, but I would like to see how the students expressed that because, again, it’s about precision of expression and narrative. You are really interesting me as a narrator, but sometimes I feel that you’re not giving me enough of a picture for my imagination to fill in the gaps. I believe to a degree with Collingwood (1922) who in his autobiography wrote that we gain from a text what we ourselves bring to it. And I am happy to have my reading of a text guided by you, but if you want me to follow your path and not my own, then you need to be more specific. At least for me. That may not be a general opinion. It’ll be interesting to see what other people think.

You ask this guiding question, the one that clearly infuses the whole paper: how may the notions of love and critique be tools for improvement of our guiding-practice, without as yet, as far as I can see, giving me a sense of these â€tools’. And a quibble about language here. And this isn’t a patronising comment from an English-as-first-language speaker, because your command of English is absolutely not a barrier to understanding and my comments are not made in that way. No, it’s simply that you use the word â€tool’ for love and critique. I know what you mean – at least, my imagination fills in the gaps! – but I find myself rather repelled by the word â€tool’. My understanding of love – and this is why precision in your paper is fundamental – is that it can never be a tool, which is something that only has â€use-value’, like an object. It is finite. Love transcends, to my mind, any sense of use-value. One cannot â€use’ love, one can only be infused by it and be used by it. My understanding of love is that it is a process of becoming. It can be a feeling, but this isn’t, (I believe), its most powerful emanation. I believe in its highest incarnation it is the aspect of human existence that spurs us to goodness and wholeness and integrity and harmony. It isn’t a tool. I know I may seem to be badgering you on this point in your paper, but words mean something! They are not simply tools either, but emanations of spirit and character. They are alive – I believe. When we use language in such a way – i.e. to describe something like love as a mere â€tool’ then we denigrate the thing itself. It hurts my mind to read such a descriptor. I have always felt like this about language, but it is only my opinion. However, if you ignore the more spiritual aspect of my response here, I still think there is a semantic quibble. Love is not a tool!

Perhaps critique can be a tool, but I am not sure of its precise meaning (again, sorry!) Critique guided by love may be a tool, but love itself? O.K., Moira, enough now. Move on!

On p.6 I love this distinction: Ăstergaard (2006) used the expression: “the loving and critical eye” whereas for me it was about the loving and critical encounter (Buber) That’s a point superbly made. I do empathise with that, Sigrit. I remember well with my postgraduate students the distinction I made through evolving a critical friendship with my students and encouraging them to forge such relationships with their own students (see This meant I needed to be very clear about how I approached any form of evaluation of my students’ actions. I agree with you that this is a very important step in the process of teacher-education with student-teachers.

p.6 you write: It is about going over the feedback text to see if I have affirmed the student by showing I have tried to really understand his or hers aims, I am wondering as well whether this is sufficient: challenging the student in a wanted way. I think you’ve hit on a really important aspect of what it means to be an educator. I can only answer this question: What does it mean for me to be an educator? in my own way and through my own values. I am a little worried when I read the above. What would happen if a student-teacher did something that was really not only antithetical to your values, but something really many socially-recognised norms of â€educational’ behaviour? What, for example, would you do if a student-teacher, or any teacher come to that, hit a child? I had just such a situation once when observing a student-teacher on teaching-practice. I have also seen it as an habitual response in China from a teacher to a student who gets, shall we say, an answer wrong. I once saw a woman-teacher striking a child in a corridor full of his peers for getting in her way. Another time I saw a teacher hit a child to the ground because he could not answer her question and she thought he was being rude. He wasn’t in my opinion. And, also in my opinion, such a situation is not simply an opinion, it is a value, a rock on which I develop my practice. Violence is always wrong. In answering the question above: What does it mean to be to be an educator? I have to answer by saying that it means something quite specific. I have a notion of education, of what it is that I serve. And I see myself as serving the needs of education for a better world. Education, to me, is that which augments human development (see Laidlaw, 2001). So when you write, a little glibly it seems, about affirming a student, I challenge you to affirm a student who hits a pupil, or ridicules one, or uses his/her power to exploit a child. Again, it’s a question of rigour and focus. Not everything, surely, is affirmable, and education means something.

And now my coffee’s gone cold. Damn! O.K., press on.

When you write: The love in the encounter is to do with respect . It is about “not reducing the other to the content of my experience” according to Buber, I can only shout YES! I so agree with that comment and feel that if this is what you are doing, then I would simply love to see you in action. However, I don’t see the evidence for this. Where are examples of this with your students, dialogues, video-evidence, and so on. I am hearing your voice, talking about endorsing your students’ voices, but where are they? If they are going to happen later, say so, otherwise I am left hanging and not understanding quite what you mean.

You write on page 8: When students are not having a good progress and my teacherly self says: what does â€good’ mean?

When you write: In an evaluation she worded her frustration with this useless course that she could not learn anything from. I would like to hear her real words, not just reported words. If one of your aims in this research is the emancipation of your students, which seems to be what you are hinting at throughout, then surely it is about respecting your students’ authentic voices. The whole paragraph dealing with this case-study is too brief. This journal wouldn’t want you to make your paper so concise that the meanings are lost. If you could give more detail on this particular student (plus giving the young (I am guessing) woman a name, even a pseudonym) this would help me to understand what the process of love and critique looks like.

Interestingly you write: Of course that is to one extent her responsibility. If she chooses to shut her mind that is her business, but my concern was to see if there was anything I could do to prompt her to connect. My responsibility is to be aware of â€the other’ and act on the observation, I am wondering if I agree with you. I am not sure I do. Surely it isn’t simply to see what is there as your responsibility, but it might be to alter what is there, or to offer the possibility of so doing. Love can help people to change. Indeed, it is often the only thing that does – in my opinion. I get the feeling that you’re hedging around the really crucial issues. What is one’s responsibility and what is the responsibility of others, is a crucial question in education. It may be the primary one (Laidlaw, 1996). However, when you write:

Showing the student I could see she was not benefiting from the course became a kind of critique in the sense that it was a serious judgement of the situation, and holding up alternatives made her choice of remaining partly disconnected conscious.

I find myself wanting to find out far more. There is a book in the above quotation and I do feel let down. I want to know far more. What makes something â€a serious judgement of the situation’, for example? I am thinking of Winter’s (1989) six principles of rigour, and Jack Whitehead et al (1992, at ( What I feel I am lacking here is an insufficient compass by which to navigate your landscape and feel left in the dark without a torch in the landscapes of your students!

On page 8 as well you write: One should think that praise is an expression of love, but it is not necessarily so. I’d be very careful about making statements that suggest a universality when you don’t present the evidence for it. I, for example, would not suppose it for an instance now. I used to, but learned quickly that praising everything left me nowhere to go. And people stopped believing me after a while. I do believe, however, there is a way of critiquing and drawing attention to something in a way that doesn’t give rise to feelings of inferiority, and that, in my experience, is extremely important.

And again, whereas I do believe what you say happened in your practice, my belief isn’t sufficient. In order for this to convince in an academic sense, then I feel you need to add a great deal more detail to what you have written. I want to see more of the process externalised and made visible so that I can make a judgement about its efficacy and educational merit. At the moment I am simply reading a brief description and that’s not a case-study. If we see case-study as a singularity (Bassey, 1983), it necessarily needs illumination (Parlett and Dearden, 1983) in order to help us understand, not only context, which you have given us, but people, actions, processes, dialogues and so forth. EJOLTS isn’t worried so much about length as quality. And by quality here, I am meaning those values which you are exploring and developing towards what you all agree is improvement in your practice and in the practice of others within its social contexts.

On page 9 you write: As the teacher-educator group has put our practise up for enquiry, the action research awareness and skills have developed. This is a very big claim indeed. Massive. This would take a book. Can you substantiate all this: â€practice’, â€enquiry’, â€action research awareness’ (what is that?) â€have developed’. I think you need to look extremely carefully at what you have written there and see what of it you can substantiate. And then you’ll need to go back to the text prior to this to set this up as an aim, or at least in the abstract say that this was all developed. I don’t see that you have systematically written this aspect. I, at least, don’t follow it. It doesn’t seem to follow on precisely enough from the previous three â€case-studies’.

Again on the same page. You write: they are supposed to have training in becoming resources. How awful! Are these people people, or tools, mechanical, inert, without life, and subject to the use of others? Sorry to harp on about this, but I feel very strongly that the language we use doesn’t simply describe, it also creates. In this country at least, there is, for example, a way of describing situations in healthcare and education that deny, to my mind, the very heart of what is being discussed. People are seen as repositories, or, in one situation, old people were being â€warehoused’ as a description of their healthcare provision by the local health authority. By labelling people in this way, we take away their individuality, their humanity. I cannot abide it, and feel in my heart that such expressions are truly denigratory and objectivising.

The example you use on page 8 is lovely. I would like to see far more of that. I am sure from what you have written, that the warmth of your engagement with your students would have yielded a lot of comments, and thus you should be able to find far more direct substantiation in the students’ own voices for the claims to improvement you are wanting to make.

You write: The tools were brought to life through the lived experience, and brought back to inform lived experience; holding the power to transform practice. Looking inwards and out again has created that power. First, the tools you are referring to are love and critique I gather (and I’ve already told you my misgivings about this terminology), but tools are also referred to in this article as the people themselves, so you need to be very careful here. However, this bringing to life is something I think that lies at the heart of this article, and, I suspect (although I don’t see sufficient evidence of it) in your practice. I would like a lot more about this – what it means, what values are associated with it and so on. I think this would strengthen the living nature of your practice that you allude to at the beginning.

You then give six ways in which you have learnt and yet I would maintain that I only have your word for it, which isn’t sufficient. Your words need, like anyone else’s, triangulation for them to be ratified in a sufficiently academic and scholarly and rigorous way. I don’t feel that the text before these six points has enabled me to follow your reasoning here and say, yes, I can see that. I can’t see much at all and this is frustrating for me.

Aesthetically, I like the way you return to the composer and the early values you talked about. This gives the paper a roundness and integrity that appeals to me. It mustn’t, however, deflect me from my primary concern in reading the paper that there isn’t enough evidence to convince me, but I feel it’s there, lurking around the perimeters of your thoughts and reflections. I’d like to see it, please.

My thoughts are, after reading the paper several times, that I like the promise of it. I think what you’re writing about is important and can become something valuable for the wider educational world. However, I have serious reservations about the degree of validity the paper attains. It is not, for me, rigorous enough, but I believe in the promise of its validity and reliability! I feel that it can become a paper for inclusion in EJOLTS, but I, as one reader (I am not talking yet as the chair of the editorial committee, but as an interested reader) don’t find enough in it of substance to think that it merits publication yet. I would really like it to be revised and resubmitted and I sincerely hope, Sigrit, you will do this.

Best wishes, Moira Laidlaw, January 15th, 2007.


Bassey, M., (1983), †Pedagogic Research into Singularities: Case-Studies, Probes and Curriculum Innovations ,’ Oxford Review of Education, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 109-121

Forrest, M., (1983), â€The Validation Group as a conversational research community,’ M.A. thesis, Bristol University.

Kok, P., (1991), â€Rigour in an Action Research Enquiry,’ paper for the International Conference on Classroom Action Research Network,’ Nottingham University, April 19-21.

Laidlaw, M., (1996), â€How can I create my own living educational theory as I offer you an account of my own educational development?’ Ph.D. thesis at:

Laidlaw, M., (2000), â€How can I continue to improve the quality of my provision of particular equal opportunity values with my Year Eight group?’ paper at:

Laidlaw, M., (2001), â€What does the Holocaust have to do with education anyway?’ paper at:

Parlett, M., & Dearden, G., (1983), Introduction to Illuminative Evaluation: Studies in Higher Education British Educational Research Journal, Vol. 9, No. 1 (1983), pp. 106-108

Peck, M., (2003), â€The Road Less Travelled: a new psychology of love, traditional values and spiritual growth,’ Touchstone Publishers, New York.

Whitehead, J., (1977), â€Improving Learning in Schools,’ British Journal of Education, vol. 13 no. 2.

Winter, R., (1989), â€Learning from Experience,’ Falmer Press, London, New York.

Picture of Sigrid Gjøtterud
Re: Love and critique in guiding student teachers
by Sigrid Gjøtterud - Monday, 21 January 2008, 10:18 AM

Thank you Moira for reading my paper this thoroughly, your comments are very useful. I am sorry I let you down - you were so enthusiastic for a long time... And, yes I agree in most of what you say.

I realize I am restricted by the language, and am grateful for the way you show me what I am saying and thus reveal to me that I say things I don't mean. I do not mean to say that love is a tool that I use. What I felt became a tool was the meta-process of THINKING of what I was doing and then analyzing wether the the way I met the students really met my wish to encounter them with love. This I hope I will be able to write in an understandable way. I really do not intend to reduce teacher education by using instrumentalistic notions; as when I say student teachers are trained to be resources. In Norwegian the word resource in some settings has a meaning of being resourceful - which might be positive. And I guess the notion of training also have a slightly different meaning...

When I write about affirming the students you are right to point out it needs claryiication. Hitting a child for instance is prohibited by law, and so a student doing that would most likely never become a teacher. Students using irony as a way of patronizing their pupils will be confronted, and if not changing he or she may not pass ect.

I do agree I have not let the student voice sound as is my intention.

So thank you! for your useful comments! Unfortunately I do not have video-material that fits this purpose. I will start the reviwing process.

Best wishes, Sigrid Gjøtterud, January 21st, 2008

Picture of Sigrid Gjøtterud
Re: Love and critique in guiding student teachers
by Sigrid Gjøtterud - Monday, 21 January 2008, 11:04 AM

I was too late to check my spelling and was not able to edit my entry.Among other flaws - I meant to say:” I shall start the revision process.” 

Picture of Moira Laidlaw
Re: Love and critique in guiding student teachers
by Moira Laidlaw - Monday, 21 January 2008, 11:35 AM

Hello! Thanks for your gracious letter. The apology is mine, Sigrid. All last week I've been wondering whether I was living my values in my response to you. I thought I was at the time, but I wasn't. Something was nagging at me. I've been aware for some time for the need to open up the kinds of discussion we are having about our work. I wanted to talk about love and justice and stuff like that; I wanted to talk about engaged and appreciative responses (D'Arcy, 1998 at: and then, I just didn't fulfil my values in critiquing your work. Talk about living contradiction. I have such a thing about the use of language - and I DON'T mean about second-language usage. I cannot have a 'thing' about that when my own mastery of second languages is so lacking. I mean that whole thing about tools and love and so forth. I got carried away and forgot the person behind the words. I apologise to you. It shouldn't happen. I thought I didn't do that anymore, but it seems I do. Damn!

I stand by, however, the content of what I said. I do feel that your account would benefit hugely by the voices of your students, whom I have no doubt you have encountered with love and care. There is so much in terms of the educational relationships that we build with others that needs exploring, and your linking of the music and your experience with that, with the relevance to understanding the experiences and the otherness of your students, is a very important aspect of your research and a contribution to educational knowledge and theorising.

I really look forward to the next stage of the review process. I wish you all the best of luck.

Love from, Moira

Picture of Sigrid Gjøtterud
Re: Love and critique in guiding student teachers
by Sigrid Gjøtterud - Tuesday, 22 January 2008, 2:34 PM

Thank you, Moira for sharing your thoughts on this with me! Apology accepted! And I am grateful for your comments, and the challenge, honestly! I could explain why I did not include the students own voices, but that would not be useful. Instead I am now enjoying going back to these students various accounts (see also my reply to Pip). I always intended to include the students’ voices in my final work (Phd-report), as well as my colleagues voices, you helped me start the process NOW – that is good. They express themselves so beautifully; I look forward to sharing that. I also appreciate the literature that you recommend, so I will see what I can get hold of.

Love from Sigrid

Picture of Moira Laidlaw
Re: Love and critique in guiding student teachers
by Moira Laidlaw - Tuesday, 22 January 2008, 3:21 PM

I am so pleased you are willing to continue the review process in such a spirit! I am sure your students must benefit from your openness and caring attitude. There are always, aren't there, many complexities in presenting the voices of others, with ethical considerations that don't always yield themselves to easy explanation. I know from my own experience that some of the best 'evidence' of my educational influence has been witheld because the student refused permission, for example. I've also been in the situation of not recognising the value of something done and said until it has turned the corner and disappeared forever!

I look forward to reading your paper next time around. Love from,

Picture of Jack Whitehead
Re: Love and critique in guiding student teachers
by Jack Whitehead - Wednesday, 16 January 2008, 10:34 AM
Dear Sigrid – I’ve just enjoyed very much reading the paper you have submitted for consideration for publishing in EJOLTS on Love and critique in guiding student teachers: Improving student teachers’ professional development by enhancing the guidance competence of teacher educators through action research.

In responding to the paper as a reviewer I am mindful of the purpose of EJOLTS to focus:

“…on personal journeys and collaborative pathways that explain educational influences in learning in terms of values, skills and understandings that the researcher believes carries hope for the future of humanity and their own. The values we are thinking of are ontological in the sense that they are used to give meaning and purpose to the lives of individuals. We are particularly interested in publishing explanations that connect a flow of life-affirming energy with living values such as love, freedom, justice, compassion, courage, care and democratic evaluation.”

I think your paper fulfills such a purpose. It is clearly written, well organized and in my judgment fulfils the traditional canons of scholarly enquiry. My own recommendation to the Chair of the Editorial Board is that the paper could be published as it stands, with some very minor typographical corrects I’ve listed at the bottom of this review. Having said that here are some responses that may help to strengthen the paper and I’m recommending to the Chair of the Board that you should be invited just to consider them rather than required to act on them as a requirement for publication.

My responses are focused on the possibility that your paper could be strengthened by extending the forms of the media that you use for showing your meanings, especially the expression of love in educational relationships between supervisor and supervised.

For example where you say:

“The concert is set in a church – to me a sacred room. I am curious – what will I hear? I am completely unprepared for the impact this one hour of music will have on my body. It is so strong, it is actually painful.”

It would be possible to include an audio-file of the music or an extract or extracts from the music for the reader to appreciate the experience of the music on/in your body. EJOLT papers can include audio files. To insert a digitalised audio file isn’t difficult to do technologically and it may be that Edvin and/or the performers will give the necessary permissions.

In the section on Changes in guiding teacher students with love and critique you write about the benefit of working with texts. I’m wondering if it might strengthen your capacity to communicate the meanings and educational influence of love in educational relationships if you extended your account with a visual narrative that included video data to communicate the meanings of love in supervisor/supervised relationships?

I think I might be in danger here of being too enthusiastic for my own research interests at the expense of your own so I’m hoping that you hear the tentativeness in my voice!

In your understandings of the educational significance of love in educational relationships I think you express what Jacqui Scholes-Rhodes refers to as â€exquisite connectivity’ in her doctoral enquiry:

Jacqui Scholes-Rhodes' Ph.D. (2002)- From the Inside Out: Learning to presence my aesthetic and spiritual being through the emergent form of a creative art of inquiry. Retrieved 16 January 2008 from

Jacqui makes the following point in her Abstract:

“I hold my changing sense of the world clearly at the centre of my learning, my sense of spiritual and aesthetic belonging expressed as a sense of 'exquisite connectivity'. I develop a notion of 'live' and 'life' meanings as I begin to explore my understanding of its emergent possibilities, holding a fragile sense of a connected world side by side with the generative capacity of my dialogic voice.”

In my own writings I have focused on the supervisory relationship:

Delong, J. & Whitehead, J. (1997) A collaborative enquiry into a Ph.D. researcher and supervisor relationship. A paper presented at AERA, March 1997, in Chicago, U.S.A. Retrieved 16 January 2007 from

In the 2007 multi-media presentation below I include video-data in explaining the importance of extending the forms of media that we use in educational research to extend our capacities to communicate our meanings:

Whitehead, J. (2007) Generating Educational Theories That Can Explain Educational Influences In Learning: living logics, units of appraisal, standards of judgment.
A presentation in the Symposium on Generating Educational Theories That Can Explain Educational Influences In Learning, at the British Educational Research Association Annual Conference, Institute of Education, University of London, 5-8 September 2007. Retrieved 16 January 2007 from

If you scroll down to:

“The following four clips, taken together, share my understandings of a local influence in supporting the generation of a living educational theory on the creation of a culture of inquiry to support teacher-research (Delong, 2002). The space is not without its creative tensions and flows with life-affirming energy and pleasure.”

The first two of the four clips are taken from my supervisory relationship with a doctoral researchers and may serve to emphasise my point that visual data of you working with Edvin could help to communicate your meanings of love in educational relationships and of the educational influence of love.

Another presentation in which I include visual data is:

Whitehead, J. (2006) Living Inclusional Values In Educational Standards of Practice and Judgement, Ontario Action Researcher, Vol. 8.2.1. Retrieved 16 January 2007 from

If it doesn’t feel appropriate to include any visual data into your paper, it might be that a reference to the limitations of text as the sole medium for communicating the educational significance of love in educational relationships could be used to point to multi-media accounts that are helping to communicate the meanings of the educational significance of the expression of embodied values, such as love, in educational relationships. As I have said my response is offered as an invitation to consider its implications for your own enquiry and not as a requirement in the recommendation of a reviewer.

p.4 when you say – â€Either we address the same issue over to make’

I’d remove the â€over’ so that it reads, â€Either we address the same issue to make’

p. 11 . We needed to establish a common languish…

I think â€languish’ should be â€language’

p. 11 When you say – â€New ways of thinking about our practice develops’

I think â€develops’ should be â€develop’

Love Jack.

Picture of Sigrid Gjøtterud
Re: Love and critique in guiding student teachers
by Sigrid Gjøtterud - Monday, 21 January 2008, 10:59 AM

Thank you, Jack, for your very encouraging review! I see how useful it would be to have video-clips to show what I claim. As I told you we have just purchased new equipment for making videoes as our old cameras either were not digital, or too complicated to use. I realize what both you and Moira point out - maybe videoes are crucial to "prove" this kind of statements - maybe living theory can not be expressed by words alone...

Again - thank you! I shall start the revision porcess.

Love Sigrid

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Re: Love and critique in guiding student teachers
by Pip Bruce Ferguson - Monday, 21 January 2008, 6:51 PM

Dear Sigrid

Having re-read my own reviewer comments, and those recently added by Moira and Jack, I'm thinking you may be feeling fragile about your paper, despite the positive words we have all given you about it.  For myself, I always tend to focus more on the criticism than on the praise!

I am impressed by your open response and acceptance of the feedback from all of us, and want to reinforce the comments of Moira and Jack that you have a paper here that is well worth the work you need to put into it at this point.  I do think it is really helpful for us all as educators to read accounts of how others strive to improve their educational practice, and to gain from those accounts ideas that might stimulate and challenge us in our own practice.

If you can build in the kinds of student comments that Moira suggests, and if possible the kinds of audiovisual evidence that Jack encourages ("one picture is worth a thousand words") then I think you will have an excellent paper.

As the Maori people of New Zealand say, 'kia kaha' - stand strong, have courage, and do let us see another version of this paper!



Picture of Sigrid Gjøtterud
Re: Love and critique in guiding student teachers
by Sigrid Gjøtterud - Tuesday, 22 January 2008, 2:36 PM

Thank you, Pip for these encouraging comments! I am really grateful for being able to learn from and with you all. Yes, it is challenging putting ones thoughts up for this kind of open review, but then I think the learning possibilities are equally expanded. And now I do enjoy going back to these students various accounts; and am happy to see that I believe I have good data to support my words that build on my own journals. It might take some time though, because I think I need to have these texts professionally translated in order for them to be as accurate as possible. It is one thing expressing my own thoughts, quite another to present someone else’s… As I also replied to Jack, I do not have proper video-material. It is all in Norwegian, and only from our project-meetings (with my colleagues and supervisors).

Love from Sigrid