Alongsideness - final submission accepted for publication December 2014
Hello Robyn. Can I say it has been a real privilege and an education to read your paper? I LOVE it. It is, without doubt, absolutely worthy of publication and should be celebrated for the heartfelt, rigorous, academic, yet always deeply human response to the people around you and the work you do. I had tears in my eyes sometimes as I was reading, because I was so moved by the genuineness of the relationships, the qualities of tolerance, kindness, empathy, respect for each other, that were manifested throughout. I found myself thinking, if only countries could behave like this to each other, then we would make rapid progress as a species!
I have no doubts about your paper's publishable quality and I do not make any of the slight amendments I am suggesting (apart from the formatting inaccuracies) to be conditions of its publication. As far as I'm concerned it is wonderful in its own right and needs to be published. Do have a look at the attached paper. I have made many comments, most of them of a textual nature, but quite a few of a more incisive and reflective quality. There is, however, one point I would like to emphasise.
I think your paper is even more than you seem to be explaining it. You are showing, very clearly in my view, how you are living alongsidedness in your practice. That's clear and I agree with the ways in which you are doing that. They show a very cogent and persuasive view of your practice and your reflections on it. You show how you are creating your own Living Theory.
What is slightly missing for me - and this may simply be my opinion and I am not, therefore, making it a condition of publication - is that you're doing more than that. I think you're actually demonstrating, as you go along, how your insights into alongsidedness are changing and developing, that your value of alongsidedness is itself alive as you and your groups are alive.
And more than that. I think you're clarifying your own logic, i.e. through your own experiences with your past, current and potential research, you are showing how you come to conclusions about validity, truth and significance. I've added a link to a paper I wrote in 2004, which has the title, A description of my own logic, which, in my own way, shows the links between my living standards of judgement in my practice and the ways in which I can think and write about it (i.e. my logic).
If this idea doesn't speak to you, then that's fine. Your paper is beautiful and I have had such a lovely time today reading it through and making notes.
Thanks, Robyn. A real joy to read.
What a joy to be read so closely by you! I realise how much I miss those discussions and dissections of life! Your enthusiasm is so uplifting. It is easy to think it is all naval gazing, boring and uninteresting to others while in the middle of it. This is why it is so important to have the courage to share. Your comments are easy to understand and I hope I have followed your the suggestions and the formatting. The logic question is an interesting one that I had completely lost because of the guise of 'enquiring collaboratively', because I wanted to be understandable to colleagues unused to research of this kind. There lies an interesting idea and conversation to be had with myself in the first instance and I bet we have it in the conversation cafe on friday!
Time is tight in the working week so rather briefly I want to thank you for your close, honest and loving attention - something alongside going on there!
Hi Robyn. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the paper again and seeing the alterations. I like what you've done in terms of seeing the exposition of your own logic as something to be revealed in the future, and I really look forward to that paper as well!
A minor point: the References section at the end still needs reformatting in terms of any line after the first line of a reference requiring indentation. See Submission Guidelines for details.
I would suggest this paper be published once the reformatting issues are fully attended to.
And thanks again, Robyn, for a really enjoyable few hours. You bring your work to life, and you bring your life to your work.
Love from, Moira x
This has been a most pleasurable experience Moira, and I am amazed by the generative nature of it, even through the review process. Without Marie, Jack and Pete encouraging and commenting it wouldn't have been ready. I added the sentence to the introduction that I promised, but forgot in the formatting frenzy. It is naming the project team, Jess, Michelle, Sarah and Katie, who are now looking to the next phase! And I am looking for their writing!
I can imagine it's been a vitally-alive process. The whole paper is a witness to that. It's an exciting and very important paper in my opinion, because of its close articulation and explanation of what goes into the creation of an individual's living-theory.
Great stuff. I look forward to seeing it published, Robyn.
Love from, Moira x
Hi, Robyn. Thank you for sharing your experience with this wonderful program. I thoroughly enjoyed your paper and have a greater understanding of your value of alongsidedness as expressed in this impressive Moving On Up project. The rigour of the research is undeniable and your writing style is enjoyable. The headings provide helpful signposts for the reader.
The project is clearly a collaborative effort to improve the world of mothers and babies. I believe strongly that improving the world economically, socially, politically and philosophically will come from focusing on the very young and their brain development. Dr. Fraser Mustard's work has influenced me greatly http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2528649/.
I understand the nature of methodological inventiveness which is part and parcel of the Living Theory research process and methodology which you have explained very well. I need more explanation of alongsidedness as a methodology.
Conducting research collaboratively, 'Enquire collaboratively', in my mind is a complex process in which more than one person engages in the research and writing. It is complex because of the need to recognize all of the voices democratically and not lose the individual's contribution. You have done a great job of this and have engaged the mothers as they felt comfortable.
I find this article ready for publication once my concern about methodology is addressed. I have attached a few comments on the article itself.
Thank you for this opportunity to enter your world of health care.
Thank you so much for your close reading of this paper. You raise different issues which helped me remember that EJOLTS will be read around the world so language and context need to be appropriate for cultures beyond my own. I have enjoyed the reviewing process. It is such a privilege to have personal writing read with such close attention. Thank you.
I was interested to revisit alongsideness as methodology because I hadn't thought about it since the months following my viva. It seemed an extreme claim to make at that time and not something I have found very necessary to think about in my daily front line practice - hence the renaming as 'enquiring collaboratively' for accessibility of this research. This reviewing experience has reminded me that I need to balance two aspects - being accessible (in response to the repost in the field, 'you are so academic'), and being 'academically thoughtful', because it is also important for pushing out the boundaries of knowledge. Having been in practice for a long time I can now see that pushing out the boundaries and claiming the space (I think it was M Griffiths who said that) is important for pushing the frontiers of knowledge creation. In so many fields knowledge has changed in leaps since I began that I really do hope the publications in EJOLTS will help the leaps continue towards a better future.
Thank you for the link to Dr Fraser Mustard - sounds like we are on the right track but there is much to perfect.
Thank you Jackie. I hope this reads better.
Hi Robyn. I have enjoyed reading through the paper again and I believe it should be published. I do like the idea of the greater balance between being an academic and reflecting academically. It's a difficult balance indeed. I know that being a secondary school teacher with a Ph.D. seemed odd to others at times, and it was because of this sense of being seen to be in two camps at odds with each other, as opposed to finding a way to be in both simulataneously, which is what I think we do.
Anyway congratulations, Robyn! It's such a great addition to EJOLTS.
Love from, Moira x l
Hi, Robyn. I hope that you feel that the revisions have strengthened the article. I find it much clearer and appreciate your thoughtfulness in the clarifications.
Your work is very important and your willingness to research your practice and share with the world is of utmost significance.
I am pleased to say that in my humble opinion this article is ready for publication.
Thanks for sharing, Robyn. Best wishes in your contributions to improving our world.