Dear Jocelyn and Neil
I saw an earlier version of this paper and have followed its progress with great interest. This is because not only is it a fascinating account of teachers investigating their own practice as a group, with a view to improving it, but because of the Pacific indigenous aspect to the work. It is a good example of the kind of challenge I put out in a short paper to Research Intelligence in 2008 to take better account of forms of knowledge that are not encapsulated in traditional forms of representation.
Accordingly, the inclusion of photos and videos, and the drawing on writing from authors with a thorough knowledge and grounding in local contexts, makes me want to wholeheartedly recommend this paper for publication. I can see you have taken on board your discussion with Jack about living educational theory, and you are certainly overt in your description of held values. I’d like to have seen more reference to LET in the paper but do not feel inclined to withhold recommendation to publish on that basis.
To my way of thinking, there is a raw honesty on the account of teachers’ reactions to what must have been very challenging work. They recognized, variously, feeling “rogue against the traditions” and feeling that by following the established paths they “didn’t have to think” and these admissions ring with honesty in my mind.
At one point, almost as a throw-away comment, you mention that Waldorf schools are self-governing and that administration and governance takes a larger part of teachers’ time than perhaps they would wish. I do wonder, if you should do a further iteration, if you would be wise to expand on this a bit, as it is so foreign to the usual hierarchical, sometimes dictatorial ways in which most other schools of my acquaintance work. I did find myself wondering if the introduction of Neil as an “outsider” to the group, albeit one with a very solid background in Steiner Education, might have caused problems, but then reflected that the self-governing aspect may have meant that he was invited by the group (or that his invitation was affirmed by the group) rather than being someone imposed by a principal as a speaker/facilitator who would be “good for you” rather than invited by the group itself. Just a thought.
Usually, when I review papers for EJOLTS, I put track changes on and work through the document. The fact that I haven’t done this in your case is a tribute to the very high standard of proofreading you have exercised, and which meant that this pedant didn’t feel the need to follow her usual procedure!
Obviously, you will need to wait for your other reviewers but my reaction is ka pai, tumeke, let’s see it in print soon! (Neil may need to translate those words, grin).