Open reviewing process

A living-theory of my self-enquiry

A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Giulia Carozzi -
Number of replies: 37

Dear review team,

I am very much looking forward to working with you and seeing my article taking a better shape through your comments and insights.

Many thanks in advance,

Giulia


In reply to Giulia Carozzi

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Caitriona McDonagh -

Dear Giulia

I have really enjoyed your paper and look forward to seeing it published. I hope to be able to use it as recommended reading for my Masters and Postgrad students who are conducting research in theri educational and leadership practices. Many of them experience great difficulties in becoming the subject of their own enquiry.

I am attaching your paper with some comments. Many of these are of a copy-editing nature but for me, and for getting published, I feel they may be worth considering.

I would like to open our discussions by commenting on the criteria for publication in this journal (see below). In order to strengthen your paper, I pose some questions for your consideration. You are welcome to disagree with my comments because I may be highlighting something that you feel you have already clearly stated while I, as a reader, may need it to be stated more explicitly or explained in greater detail.

Overall my queries are about the writing processes rather than your ideas and thinking. The proposal in your appendix, is a first step in mastering the academic writing requirements. The challenges of condensing your ideas into this rigid structure are daunting but from it you told how you learned more about yourself.

I would like to congratulate you for writing about this difficult topic and for providing explanations as well as descriptions of changes in your thinking. This is an area that I have personally struggled with for many years.

Regards,

Caitriona

 

Criteria

Met or how it could be strengthened

1.Sufficient detail for a reader to understand the value-based explanation of the author for their educational influence in their own learning, the learning of others and the learning of the social formations where they live and work (their living-educational-theory)?

 

You have given the readers sufficient and credible details to help them understand your value-based explanation of your educational influence in your own learning.

Could you be more explicit about your educational influence, the learning of others and in the learning of the social formations in your life and practice?

I sense from your videos with Moira that this has occurred.

2. Is it potentially comprehensible to a wide audience?

Yes.

 Your self- enquiry is very comprehensible, but might you signpost more strongly how this becomes a living theory for those less familiar with the process?

3. Where context-specific language and jargon are used, are they clarified?

Yes

4. Is there sufficient evidence to support all the claims that are made?

 

Your practice includes the development and writing of a living theory research proposal and you have articulated, defined and explained your driving values clearly for a wide audience.

 

Might you state your claim(s) more explicitly?

 

Are you claiming, that you now ‘understand my own I’?  

Are you claiming, that you now ‘understand my own learning processes’?  

5. Are there sufficient details of how the author has validated their claims?

 

Yes and no.

You have presented credible data.

Your paper demonstrates a transparent honesty about your reflections on how and why these values are important as you begin to develop a living educational theory.

There are some grammatical errors in your personal reflections and data. Will you keep these as evidence of the credibility of your research process?

Might you spell out more explicitly how you validated your claims?

6. Is the normative background of the author and their work clear?

 

Yes. Your practice as a mother and as a self-enquiry action researcher developed as you came to new understandings in your research.

Might you state these more explicitly?

7. Is there sufficient detail for the reader to know enough about the author to understand their account?

 

Yes

8.  Are the author's' explanatory principles and living standards of judgment clear in this paper?

 

You state and define your values well and state that they are they are living standards of judgement, but can you clarify how they were used in testing your claims to new knowledge?

9. Has a reasonable and well-reasoned argument been made and has the author critically and creatively engaged the literature?

 

Yes and no.

Your engagement with the literature is often used to explain an aspect of the research process – as if the literature provided similes and/or metaphors.

 

Might you say how your research actions relate to the literature?  

 

It appears that you use the literature to make meaning but are you critiquing the literature?

 

10. Ethical approval, copyright and permissions for all images, videos, artwork etc., full referencing in Harvard format, within 6,000- 12,000 word limit, 230 word abstract, 5 key, author details etc.

Do you feel it necessary to include the Appendix?

Might you critique your own proposal given what you can now claim?

 


In reply to Caitriona McDonagh

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Giulia Carozzi -

Dear Caitriona,

Thank you very much for your kind words and for your feedback on my paper.

I have gone through your suggestions with regard to your copy-editing suggestions. I am very grateful to you for having spotted especially the inaccuracy of some of my references; thanks also for having pointed out where I make inappropriate use of grammatical structures.


You are right, it has not been easy to write about the changes in my thinking and learning, it required a process of distancing from my self which at time was hard, but I felt I needed to go through such a process in order to "see" myself with more clarity.


The points you rise in the rubric are all very interesting. They help me to see things from the "reader's point of view". I will need a bit of time in order to address those. I think what you say in point 4 is particularly relevant.

I am currently drafting a paper which I hope to "complete" in the next ten days. I am afraid, but I still struggle to focus on two different types of self-enquiry at the same time... What I will do is to keep thinking at your points and come back to you in the second half of the month. If you feel that we should rather continue our dialogue, addressing the points you made in the next few days, please let me know and I will try to change things around!


Thank you very much again for your warm words, I was really moved by them!

Kind regards,


Giulia 

In reply to Giulia Carozzi

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by David Wright -

Hullo Giulia... my comments are in the attached file. Hope they are helpful to you. My responses arise out of enthusiasm for your intent and a desire to see to greater traction with the ideas you work with. There is 'significance' in the communication and 'responsibility' needs to be taken for the language you use. I hope my feedback is useful to you.

In reply to David Wright

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Giulia Carozzi -

Dear David,

Thank you very much for your feedback and rich suggestions. As I have said to Caitriona, I will need a bit of time to address your comments; each of them will be reflected upon and taken into consideration. 

I will be in touch by the second half of the month with a new draft,

Kind regards,

Giulia

In reply to Giulia Carozzi

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Judith McBride -

Dear Giulia,

                  I feel privileged to be able to share your search for an understanding of your I as you move your living theory forward. Thank you. There is much to consider in your article, which you subtitle an ‘act of responsibility’, and that is how it reads, responsibility, along with acts of hope, and I believe, reading between the lines, love.

 

Thoughts on the style/structure of your report:

·       To me, your report reads as a story, one that I find engaging, sincere, tentative, and touching. There is a kind of open-endedness to the story. It does not begin at a beginning, nor does it have an ending, and as a result, may be redefining the rules of narrative. I actually think that an experimental structure (Sword, 2102) is okay. It serves your purpose. There is chronological, geographic, intellectual, inter- and intrapersonal flow fed by the well-spring – the relationally-dynamic source of hope and responsibility. The flow carries you, and me (your reader) forward. The well-spring is bountiful. The story is compelling. To experience it feels freeing.

 

Thoughts on your constellation of values:

·       In the act of reading, I believe I have experienced your value of being moved by and toward. However, when I first looked at your constellation of values, I misunderstood ‘being moved’ as meaning ‘to emote’. The clarification came to me as I moved through, and experienced, you in your story, on your journey. With you. Learning in relation.

·       You wrote ‘I desired to find and create the space for my human freedoms in the life I lived’. I feel freedom as an undercurrent in the experiences you recount, and wonder that it is not explicitly identified as a value.

 

Thoughts and a question on voice:

·       Your voice rings true (as in Eisner, 1991). You have woven voices of others from the literature in a manner that feels almost conversational, as you ‘formulate the unformulated’. Again with Moira, and Aidan’s story of wanting to build a farm, the flow of the conversation continues, and clarifies.

·       I felt that I wanted to hear from, rather than about, Charles and Pendo. Would that be ‘robbing them of their stories’? I am not sure.

 

Thoughts and questions on relation:

Your conversations with Moira are data-rich. Not just in content. I watched without sound and this is what I saw. What do you see? They are not ‘redundancies of text’ (Harper, 2004), they are subjective (you and Moira recorded them, I selected them), and ambiguous. What do they contribute to the story? What would the audio track say without the image? What might be lost?

 

M&G.1                           

 

 

I have attached the reviewer rubric for your consideration. I am not an experienced EJOLTS reviewer, but I hope my thoughts may be of use.

 

Looking forward to the conversation,

Judy


In reply to Judith McBride

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Giulia Carozzi -
Dear Judy,


Thank you very much for your kinds words about my article and for having read it with so much emotional engagement. I am very touched by your comments and suggestions. 

I am almost done with my first draft for another article which I hope to be able to complete by the end of this week. This means that from Monday I will be able to work on the three reviews I have received for this EJOLT paper and post back here an updated draft relatively soon. 

I have a lot to think about in terms of the different types of comments I have received on it, but I will hopefully be able to tackle most of them and provide explanations if in some places I feel I would rather keep the original version.


I wish you a very lovely day and thank you very much again,

Giulia


In reply to Giulia Carozzi

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Giulia Carozzi -
Dear Caitriona, David and Judy,


I have worked on your suggestions and comments. I have modified the draft (attached here) and answered to your points in the rubrics. I have noticed I am allowed to attach only one file per post... So I will attach the rubrics in the following threads.

I am very grateful to you all for having raised such interesting points: not all have been addressed with changes in the paper, but I can assure you that each of them has been very much considered and reflected upon.

I am away for the weekend and I should be back on Monday so I am sorry if I won't be able to reply immediately. 

I am very much looking forward to seeing the article developing further,

Have a nice day and thanks again,

Giulia


In reply to Giulia Carozzi

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Giulia Carozzi -

Dear Caitriona,

In the attachment you can find your rubric with some comments.

Please, let me know if I haven't been clear.

Kind regards,

Giulia

In reply to Giulia Carozzi

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Giulia Carozzi -

Dear David,

In the attachment you can find your rubric with some comments.

Please, let me know if I haven't been clear.

Kind regards,

Giulia


In reply to Giulia Carozzi

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Giulia Carozzi -

Dear Judy,

In the attachment you can find your rubric with some comments.

Please, let me know if I haven't been clear.

Kind regards,

Giulia


In reply to Giulia Carozzi

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Judith McBride -
Dear Giulia,

I am leaving town today and will return Wednesday. I will be without internet access, however, I shall take your revised paper with me and reply when I return to Montreal. I am looking forward to reading it while relaxing lakeside. 

Judy

In reply to Judith McBride

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Giulia Carozzi -

Thanks, Judy! I hope you are having a nice time on the lake.

Best wishes,

Giulia


In reply to Giulia Carozzi

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Judith McBride -

September 8, 2019

Dear Giulia,

            It has been wonderful to read your thoughtful responses and the changes you have made to your article. A pleasure for me, for which I thank you (I appreciate the colour coding for tracking the conversation). I am still stuck on #5 of the rubric … Are there sufficient details of how the author has validated their claims? I address this and one other point below.

1. On the point of validity and validation, I am addressing  the following points from the first replies:

 ·      J. M. I am not sure. As I read it, the submission of this paper is an opportunity for validation of your claim to learn, to know. If so, how will you gather data and what will it look like? Reviewer feedback? Others?

G.C. to J.M. Yes, exactly. I see this article as an opportunity for validation. I have replied to David in the rubric about this.

·      G.C. to D.W. L.T. is now an established methodology; I back up my claims with references when I write about L.T. terms/concepts. Jack Whitehead, Marie Huxtable, Moira Laidlaw and many others have worked for years in terms of establishing the validity of L.T. . I think it is now time to carry on their work, grounding personal living-theories in their researches without having to start from scratch each time. It would invalidate, I think, not only the hard work of these people but the actual validity and existence of a Living Theory methodology.

·      D.W. P. 2-3 is where you write most about hope, and the hope appears to relate primarily to acceptance of your approach to research, and its capacity to “transform the emotional dispositions of people towards one another”. Life goes beyond formal research processes.

G.C. to D.W. Yes, I agree. And I think I have might shown this in the example I give at the end in the dialogue between Aidan and myself, p. 20, as well as my in decision not to end my studies because of the rejection of my Ph.D. proposal.  

            If you intend this this paper to be an opportunity for public validation of your claim to know, there are points to be considered and addressed before the report is published. Jean McNiff and Jack Whitehead (2006, pp. 103-105) articulate the responsibilities of the Living Theory practitioner in establishing knowledge claims in terms of personal validation and social validation. They draw on Habermas’s (1987) social criteria of comprehensibility, truthfulness, sincerity and appropriateness (p.7), and stress the importance of transparency in order to establish trust between ourselves and our audience (p.7).  Marion Dadds  (2008) writes of internal empathetic validity meaning changes in the researcher, and external empathetic validity meaning influences on the audience sharing the research. Personal validation usually takes the form of self-evaluation; and social validation,  … usually takes the form of meetings with critical friends and meetings of validation groups. There is clear  evidence of personal empathetic validity and personal validation in this report of your transformation. However, you have not yet provided evidence of intersubjective agreement except, interestingly, in the story of Aidan. He sees, hears, converses with you, and is able to represent you, and your knowing  in his art. You will need be clear about your validation criteria, and bring others into the process. You may find what you need in conversations with Moira and those generated through this review process.

            I had a recurring question related to validity as I reread your paper, “How do you know?” You write  … wish that my personal account, even in its small scale, might be seen and recognised by others as a site of “connection and communication, and I hope this article might be read as a metaphorical place from which possibilities for encounter might arise, based on the realisation that by honestly exposing our experiences, feelings and difficulties to others, we might find inherently human affinities that can transcend our differences, and I hope that from this very self-focused responsibility, others reading this article will find some resonance (Dadds, 2008) with their way of being and will find the courage to abandon the enclosed, walled lives we live in and bring into the world their own honest voices. And, there were other points that caught my attention. I ask: How will you know whether or not your hopes and wishes are realized?

            You write: She (Moira) introduced me to the world of values intended as explanatory principles of the meanings of what I was writing (Whitehead et al., 2019). She guided me towards a more disciplined discovery and clarification of the personal: Your task is to show what values and what biases your own text might have, considering this as a key aspect of academic rigour (Laidlaw, 2017). “You earned every single percent, Giulia. You always do. You earned this with your work over Week 13 and since. And you earned it with the work in Part One. I would also suggest you earned this throughout your life to date”. (M. Laidlaw and G. Carozzi, personal communication, February 07, 2018). Here, Moira validates your claim to know.

And so, what are your validation criteria? Looking at your constellation of values, I feel that being moved might well be one of them. I, for one, have been as I experience your inquiry.

            While I was rereading your article at the lake a few weeks ago, I read the addition you made (two paragraphs on page 7, A year went by, during which I created strong relationships …) to my friend Mimi and asked for her reaction: I could see Tanzania, the trees, and the soil, and Pendo, and Charles. Beautiful! A great “novelist”, the way she presents the people, their emotions, they way she reacts to them. And descriptions, the woman coming down the hill. I find it very, very good. We feel the love she has for them just the way they are presented. Tout à fait, an empathic reaction. I would like to sit with this woman (M. Legault, personal communication, August 25, 2019).

            Finally, I recommend this title to you, if you have not yet read it: Whitehead, J. & McNiff, J. (2006). Action Research Living Theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

 2. On the point of And, yes, it hurts! I am questioning your reaction.

·      G.C. The problem I face in relation to the writing of a Ph.D. proposal is that I feel it to be valid/true to me in the moment I am writing it. However, I realise that its ontological validity  soon runs out as my enquiry moves forward. I am happy to share the newer version of my Ph.D. proposal even if I believe I have "outgrown" that too. It would actually be very constructive for me to have questions on either of the versions as I think it is important to be challenged. Anyway, also the second proposal wasn't too warmly received. And yes, it hurts!

            I like the idea of outgrowing (not outliving) your proposals. It tells me that you understand your work as dynamic. It is living, as it should be. I am sure this will continue, as Living Theory becomes one’s way of being in the world. Your submissions are static, points in time. Still photos of that wellspring of my being stopped for just a moment. If the response from the university hurts, I wonder why. Do you believe that you alone are responsible for the response? What other possible explanations might there be? If you understand it as rejection, how will you take your work forward from here?

I am looking forward to your reply, and to seeing your work published in EJOLTS.

Wishing you well,

Judy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


In reply to Judith McBride

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Giulia Carozzi -

Dear Judy,

Thank you very much indeed for your insightful answer. 

I think I see why you are not satisfied yet with the validation point. In my exchanges with David I thought the following extract might exemplify my understanding of validity and validation in relation to this paper:

My understanding of responsibility starts from an internal, loving imperative and is expressed in action. I regret you don’t see “living responsibility” in my personal account. I accept it as a failure of my writing as I wish(ed) to be held accountable on the values of hope and responsibility. If you do not see those emerging in my writing, I accept that I have still much work to do in my practice as a woman, a mother and a learner.

I see however, that I might have been overlapping validity and accountability... which seems to me potentially a mistake. Thanks for pointing me towards Whitehead, J. & McNiff, J. (2006). Action Research Living Theory. I have used this beautiful text but yesterday I went back to chapter 6, following your suggestion.

My point of view is that the validity of a claim, in my case of my self-enquiry, can’t be established prior to the presentation of the claim itself… What I mean is that my article is in itself an account of my learning and it is mainly intended as an open personal validation. By making it public, I hope to endorse a dialogue with the readers and reviewers, as we are doing now, to consider its validity or not. I could potentially add in my paper a link to the forum as a way to show how the social validity of this article happened (through the reviewing process…).

 

I find it difficult to provide an account of social validation as I believe there might be the tendency from my side of selecting only certain sources. Briganti (2019, in process) looks at the “need to be constantly aware of my inherent predisposition to consider only the data and findings that meet my expectations. An example of what I am arguing here will be provided in Chapter 4 while narrating the story of Semira.” (p.74).

I believe the examples that Briganti brings in her Ph.D. research (2019, in process), including the painful one of Semira, are examples of life-validation. I share Whitehead’s (2018) idea that LT is a way of life and it is in life itself that I believe there is need for validation of one’s own values. Certainly social validation, as through the conversation happening in this forum or the Sunday skype research group, are fundamental, but those are exchanges happening within a community of people who “talk the same language” if you like.

To some extent I received a validation for this article before it was conceived, before I wrote it. Yes, I wish to be validated and held accountable on my values. Let me give you an examples of what I mean by life-validation. One and half year ago, I was still attending my M.Sc. and I was starting to form ideas about which were the central values in my life. I was offered the possibility to fly back to Mwanza after a year from our departure. Since we left Tanzania I had been in contact with Pendo and Charles very rarely, I relied on a third person to pass my love to them.

I managed to let Pendo know I was coming to Mwanza after a very broken phone call and we agreed to meet up at a given hour in a given place.  I really wasn’t sure that she would have come. How could I have been sure that the significance of that potential reencounter would have been the same for her?

I waited with an immense anxiety under a tree on a dusty road for her… She arrived on the back seat of a motorcycle, in a beautiful black dress that we had designed together the day we said each other goodbye. Before the motorcycle was able to stop she had jumped down from it with great agility and she was running towards me. Our hug that day for me stands as one of the most sacred episodes of my life. It was the in-life validation of what I was then starting to look at… I can’t give you here a full account of our few days together it probably is not the right place or time… I can only say that with Charles it was the same…

The run we did towards each other, was the embodiment of what then became the “necessity of being moved”: moved in our emotions, in the disposition towards eachother, moved in our actions.

 

But would this really count as a validation? I am not sure it will.

 

However, if I look more closely to social validation as in Chapter 6 of McNiff and Whitehead (2006), I believe some of my understandings have been validated through dialogue and email exchanges with others. Jack, Moira, Jackie and the Sunday Living Theory research group, have all helped me in clarifying my ideas and some of them challenged my views. This process, as you pointed out, is part of a validation itself. But I am wondering how I could fit it into my article. To be honest, I do not think that it is fair to talk of validation without also mentioning the struggles, pains and joys that come with it. I believe validation to be very much about learning, about taking forward one owns knowledge of the self and of the world. This for me would mean expanding substantially my article.

 You are right when you say “However, you have not yet provided evidence of intersubjective agreement except, interestingly, in the story of Aidan”. I think for me this has been a particularly telling recognition… from a person I highly respect for his views and understanding of the world. I struggle to find a kind of validation that can marge my daily life with my research…do you see what I mean? Aidan’s drawing has been a bridge between my two worlds… Pendo knows of my research but she has never read any of it. Jack, Marie, Jakie, you David, Caitriona, see only one side of my life, not the other. With Moira it is different as she is more like Aidan a bridge between the two worlds… However Aidan’s picture has been an “unprompted” recognition of my research.

Thank you very much for having read an extract of my paper to your friend, her comments were heart-warming. I am very glad she saw respect and love in the way I wrote about Charles and Pendo. Yes, I wanted the description of them as a novel, in the sense that I wanted emotions to be part of this particular section of my article. So Mimi’s feedback was highly precious… thanks for going through the trouble of writing it down for me.


On the point of And, yes, it hurts! I am questioning your reaction.

I was reminded by Jack on Sunday that my proposal was not rejected but simply there were not enough resources available within the University when I sent it. However, I still felt it as a form of “negation”. That is a problem of mine, probably in how I perceive my work to be fragile. I also recognise myself in the work I do and I often feel that if my work is not recognised my “I” is not too.

My reaction to it has been the one of writing this paper, rewriting of the proposal and the decision to carry on my enquiry. I am also looking at possibilities for applying for a Ph.D. in the near future. My ideas, probably will need to be clearer and better expressed!!! Any suggestions is warmly welcome!

 

Sorry for this long reply, but I thought to be important trying to dialogue more before changing the actual draft!

I hope you won’t mind it!

Best wishes,

Giulia

References:

Briganti, A. (2019) My living-theory of International Development, Ph.D. thesis in process, Lancaster University.

McNiff, J. and Whitehead, J. (2006) Action Research Living Theory, London, SAGE.

Whitehead, J. (2018) Living Theory Research as a way of life, Bath, Brown Dog Books
In reply to Giulia Carozzi

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Judith McBride -

 Dear Giulia,

I see how you are grappling with the issue of the validation of your claims to know. There are two questions that I would invite you to consider:

·      Who specifically are the members of your validation group?

·      What criteria will you ask them to use as they determine the validity of your work?


Below are two sources that may assist you.

 ·      What makes ‘educational research’ educational?

Paper presented at the 2019 Conference of the British Educational Research Association Conference on the 11th September 2019 at the University of Manchester https://www.actionresearch.net/writings/jack/jwbera2019.pdf

“In ensuring the validity of educational research I advocate the use of validation groups of between 3-8 peers who will respond to draft explanations of educational influence with answers to four questions that I derived from the 4 criteria proposed by Habermas (1976) in his work on communication and the evolution of society. These four questions are designed to strengthen the validity of the explanation through the mutual rational control of critical discussion:

i) How could I improve the comprehensibility of my explanation?
ii) How could I strengthen the evidence I use to justify the claims I make?

iii) How could I deepen and extend my socio-historical and socio-cultural

understandings of their influence in my practice and explanation?
iv) How could I enhance the authenticity of my explanation in the sense of living as

fully as possible the ontological values I claim to use in giving meaning and purpose to my life?” (p.12)

 

·      Jack Whitehead on Supervision and Validity in Explanations of Educational Influence

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cy5UIabWaEU

I understand that you see the process of validation as beginning with the publication of your report, however, I think you need to tell the reader how you plan to proceed with the collection of validation data after-the-fact.

On the point of the rejection of your proposal…I empathize with your feeling of negation, and I find it interesting that you ‘perceive my work to be fragile’. This takes me back to the point of validation. The process establishes the strength of your endeavors and claims to know.

Finally, I would hope that the university is able to manage their resources so that you may continue your inquiry. I believe that you have a very worthy contribution to make.


All the best,

Judy

 

 


In reply to Judith McBride

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Giulia Carozzi -
Dear Judy,


thank you very much for your answer and suggestions. 

I appreciate the point you make on validation. I think this might be particularly relevant in the case of my article as I do not write about a "well defined practise" happening within a specific context but my paper is really a self-account of a learning process. Following your suggestions, I have added at page 3 of the introduction (underlined in red) a paragraph on validation. 

I think if I was writing a dissertation I should be engaging in a more thorough explanation of the validation process (including how many people have validated my claims and how; how I have collected validation etc.), but this is (potentially) a journal article!

More than asking to be held accountable to the values I claim to hold, more than having gone through the reviewing process and parallel discussion with other critical friends, I do not know what I could do. 

I also have some doubts about the whole concept of "validity" in itself, but I do not think it is worth bringing it up in the article!

I hope the addition to the draft makes sense, but this is the extent up to which I am able to arrive before loosing contact with my own self and authenticity in writing. In that case, the personal validity of my claims will fall, I think.


Please let me know if I haven't interpreted well your concerns,

best wishes,

Giulia


In reply to Giulia Carozzi

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Judith McBride -

Dear Giulia,

 

I apologize for the delay, but I needed a time-out so that I might reread your article with fresh eyes, which I have done, and I have taken away deeper understandings. Thank you for your patience.

 

On the point of practice:

I would like to suggest that as I read your account initially, I understood your practice to be that of a Living Theorist understanding her evolving  learning and validating of her claims to know. This is not a conventional conceptualization of practice as in ‘teaching’ or ‘managing’ or ’parenting’. Rather, it is embodied and dynamic. This was the assumption that guided me through your study. As a reader, I needed to hang on to some understanding of that part of your conceptual framework. How does that strike you?

 

On the point of validity:

I appreciate the added insight into validation (p. 3) very much. You make it clear. However,  I am not sure that an acknowledgement that this is a work-in-progress suffices. You may not be writing a dissertation yet, but you will be! And, I think that now might be a good time to explore, experiment, reflect, talk about that essential aspect, in order to be more certain in your own mind, and those of concerned others, about your beliefs and doubts about validity. Have the conversation now, as an active learner. I do think it ‘is worth bringing up in this article’, and if that does not seem feasible at this point, perhaps you could acknowledge that, and let your reader know  that, how and when you will explore your doubts about the concept of validity. Somehow, I feel that this links to your value or responsibility.

 

A question:

What does ‘losing contact with my self and authenticity in writing’ mean to a Living Theorist? I do not expect an answer to this question. I find it interesting, something to ponder. I know that I shall.

 

I love your work, Giulia, your words, your insights, your story. I appreciate both your struggle and determination to know and explain, the power of responsibility and hope in your life, and the vulnerability revealed as you seek your I. I hope that you will give my comments consideration. This is not ‘potentially a journal article’. It is a journal article, a good one, on its way to publication.

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Judy


In reply to Judith McBride

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Giulia Carozzi -

Dear Caitriona and Judy,

 

I hope you won’t mind me answering to you both in the same post.

 

First of all I would like to thank you both for the efforts you are making in helping me to improve the clarity of my paper and for your patience.

With this new draft I hope to address some of your suggestions and concerns. I will leave the correction of grammatical mistakes to the very final iteration, if you do not mind… I am aware I need to do some work on my paper in terms of house style, grammatical structures and so on…but first I would like the content to be clear.

 

Judy: 

  • I think it is very interesting the point you raise in relation to my practice, I love what you say. I have written this article a few months ago and I must, I think, remain faithful to the author I was then… My enquiry has developed, but this article mirrors a certain stage of my learning. I have added a few lines (in yellow) at page 4 which I hope will make sense…

 

  • On the point of validity, I must admit that you really have pushed me where I didn’t want to go…and although at time it has been almost distressing, I can now see the issues of validation with more clarity, and I hope, a greater strength. I have actually added what my concerns are in relation to validity… Please, see page 3-4. I hope what I have written doesn’t sound pretentious or arrogant… but it is what I deeply feel in relation to a self-enquiry.

 

  • I am very greatful for your kind words and for your encouragement… and thank you for having accepted my words on losing contact with my self and authenticity in writing. I agree with you, I think that it is an important question, and hopefully one day we might have the chance to talk through potential answers together.

 

Caitriona: 

  • thank you for suggesting the title, I like it very much indeed. I think the idea of a journey represents beautifully my aim. What do you think of the following? A journey towards a Living-Theory of my self-enquiry.


  • Thanks also for having suggested to include the question about hope and responsibility: I have added it on p.3-4 (in yellow).

 

  • Following your suggestion I have added the bit on Moira’s Ph.D. research (p. 19 yellow) and also amended the bit on Reid. You were right in not understanding it as I had forgotten the quotation marks… I hope now it reads better.

 

  • I have added at p. 14, again in yellow, a “negative” example of my relationship with literature. I have included also a video in which I discuss with Moira what I didn’t like in the chapter I refer to in my paper. I hope this might address your concern expressed in point 9 of the rubric.

 

  • I do see the appendix as an important example to show how my own enquiry is evolving… I have added my own reflections on it at p. 21 in yellow. I see its value in relation to my learning process and going beyond its (really arguable) quality.


Thank you very much again for all your encouraging words and for pushing me further...

Please, let me know if the changes I have made are not relevant to your suggestions!

I am very much looking forward to hearing from you,

Kind regards,

Giulia


In reply to Giulia Carozzi

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Caitriona McDonagh -
Hi Giulia, I have just finished your paper.
It is a great article,I have learned a lot from you as you talked me through various exciting ideas that I did not quite get during my first readings of it. 

I am looking forward to its publication and using it on the masters courses I am involved with in Ireland because, like me, many of my students have difficulties in naming their "own I" iand valuing it in their research. So your article will be of great help. I can't also wait to share it with my colleagues at NEARI.

As you can guess I feel it is almost ready and meets the criteria for me to recommend the Editorial Board accept it for publishing in EJOLTS. I will attach the Rubric or send you my current comments on the article. While you are working on the responses from David and Judy,, you might have time to consider my final comments. Most are typos.  I have also tried to explain what I meant by "those 14.6%."  and made some wording suggestions on P.11, which may enhance it further.
In reply to Caitriona McDonagh

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Giulia Carozzi -
Dear Caitriona,

Thank you very much for your kind and encouraging words. I will address and consider your final comments as soon as I come back from Split!
I am the one who has learnt a lot throughout this process; thanks for all your patience and efforts.
Best wishes,
Giulia
In reply to Giulia Carozzi

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Judith McBride -
Dear Giulia,
I have enjoyed this very thoughtful review process with you. These are my thoughts today:
• On the point of remaining faithful: I think the point you raise in relation to my practice is important: "I love what you say. I have written this article a few months ago and I must, I think, remain faithful to the author I was then… My enquiry has developed, but this article mirrors a certain stage of my learning. I have added a few lines (in yellow) at page 4 which I hope will make sense… "...I think, remain faithful to the author I was then."
Time becomes a flow, to me, of liminal spaces, transformation, and new understandings, knowing, and ways of being. Being faithful to your author self through the process is to be true to your values as you live them in your practice. On the spot and beyond, or perhaps shifting, as you learn. And, it is clear in your writing that this is you. I like this quote: "...we cannot cement or strap down knowledge, learning, individual identities ...but only create momentary images ... that would be constructed differently while seen from another perspective, in another moment or from a different perspective" (Herstad, Ness, Frimann, 2020, p.11). Our task, I understand (and I am never sure that I am not wrong, because Living Theory shifts within me) is to offer a worthy representation. The author that I was/am/will be, then is dynamic.  
• You wrote ... On the point of validity: I must admit that you really have pushed me where I didn’t want to go…and although at time it has been almost distressing, I can now see the issues of validation with more clarity, and I hope, a greater strength. I have actually added what my concerns are in relation to validity… Please, see page 3-4. I hope what I have written doesn’t sound pretentious or arrogant… but it is what I deeply feel in relation to a self-enquiry. I did not want to push you,
Giulia, I really do not believe in 'pushing' as legitimate teaching and learning, and I really did not want to do that to you. I need to learn the value and mechanics of encouragement. I came to understand the value of validity through graduate studies and in practice. At first I felt it was coercion – let's get everyone to agree – but now I see it as an opportunity for building and extending community. Consensus (and the what and how that means) is reached. Good. Let's move forward, as we are doing in the open review process.
• You added ... I am very greatful for your kind words and for your encouragement… and thank you for having accepted my words on losing contact with my self and authenticity in writing. I agree with you, I think that it is an important question, and hopefully one day we might have the chance to talk through potential answers together.
We almost had the opportunity to talk via Zoom while you attended CARN-ARNA in Split. Technology failed! I recognize the love, hope and possibility in your work and my hope is that you will have the opportunity to honor your values in your doctoral work.

Please consider this:
The idea of never being alone is key. Although the focus of the enquiry
is you, as you ask, ‘How do I improve what I am doing?’, your question automatically
assumes that any answer will involve other people’s perceptions of
your influence in their learning. You are also in company with others who are
asking the same question, and who also assume that their answers will involve
other people’s perceptions of their influence in learning. It is not a case of you
as a free-standing ‘I’, in the company of other free-standing ‘I’s’, because each
one of you recognizes that you are in company, and that you form a community
of ‘I’s’, all of whom understand that their claims to educational influence
will be evaluated by others within their range of influence. Action researchers therefore aim to develop inclusional methodologies (McNiff & Whitehead, 2006).
In reply to Judith McBride

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Giulia Carozzi -
Dear Judy,

Thank you very much for your email and for suggesting to look at inclusional methodologies.
I think I might have miss used the term "pushing"... I should have perhaps used "help me move forward in my enquiry". I remember when Moira was my tutor during the M.SC. she always asked me to "reach the other side of complexity: simplicity". At time it was very hard indeed, but without her "gentle push" I would have not tackled very important aspects in my research, things that I simply couldn't see but she saw. We had the privilege of having not only email exchanges but also long skype conversations. I believe this EJOLTS interactive space provides the chance for an educational growth. Yes, it was very exciting seeing you in Split even if for a short time, it would have been wonderful to have you joining in.
I will post an amended draft, integrating the new suggestions of both you and Caitriona early next week.
Best wishes,
Giulia
In reply to Giulia Carozzi

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Judith McBride -
Dear Giulia,
You wrote: I believe this EJOLTS interactive space provides the chance for an educational growth. I agree completely, for authors and reviewers. I have enjoyed and learned much from the exchanges, and I am looking forward to reading your paper online. I happily recommend your work for publication in EJOLTS, and I look forward to hearing more from you as you move your work forward.
Wishing you every success in your future endeavours,
Judy 


In reply to Judith McBride

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Giulia Carozzi -
Dear Caitriona, David and Judy,

Thank you very much for the guidance and patience you offered in the last few months. Here I am attaching the latest draft in which I have hopefully addressed the final points you raised, including typos and grammatical mistakes.

Wishing you all the very best,
Giulia 
In reply to Giulia Carozzi

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Caitriona McDonagh -
Dear Giulia,
I am recommending your paper for publication to the board as in my opinion it meets the criteria.
We are almost there so to help the editors, I am attaching a biblio check with a few minor suggestions which you may consider.
Best wishes
Caitriona
In reply to Caitriona McDonagh

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Giulia Carozzi -
Dear Caitriona,

Thank you very much for your message and for having spotted some inconsistencies and mistakes in my references. I will definitely amend those! I am very grateful for the time and dedication you have offered me through the revision of the article! Many thanks for all I have learnt,
Best wishes,
Giulia
In reply to Giulia Carozzi

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Caitriona McDonagh -
I wish to advise the Chair of the Ed. Board that, in my opinion, the paper below meets the Ejolts Criteria for Publication.

Therefore I recommend the Editorial Board to accept
A journey towards a Living-Theory of my self-enquiry, by Giulia Carozzi
for publishing in EJOLTS.

Thanks to the author for all her efforts to bring it to this standard
Best wishes
Caitriona
In reply to Caitriona McDonagh

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Giulia Carozzi -
Dear Caitriona, David and Judy,

Thank you very much for having recommended to the Editorial Board my article. I am grateful to you all for the time, effort and passion you put into helping me to give a better shape to my writings and thinking!
Best wishes to you all,
Giulia
In reply to Giulia Carozzi

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by David Wright -
Thanks for your response, all of which invites conversation rather than email chat, which reduces the inflections, the conviviality, the unfolding dialectic. Again, I like your paper. I am glad you looked into some further links, specifically Andreas Weber. I am very enthusiastic about his work. His latest book 'Enlivement' deepens the social-ecological conversation, and in doing so looks into the powerful issues that arise from this relationship: loss of biodiversity, climate change and living with emergent change. The other discourse that I think is worth looking into is 'transformative learning'. Here personal experience is defined as the base of worldview and the ways in which worldview is transformed by learning is central to the discussion. My own experience is that of a creative writer: I wrote for performance and my writing was always deeply embodied and always deeply reflective of my internal condition. Frequently the writing 'resolved' conflicts that I held (often unconsciously), and the resolution was deeply felt. So I am familiar with your process and open to your questioning. My own PhD looked at my learning through a creative writing project - it mapped metaphors - but it systematised it differently to you. To some extent I am surprised Cumbria was not open to your proposal. Depending on the era and people involved, I like to think it would be welcomed in the group I have been working through (though I do have some questions about the proposal). I will recommend to EJOLT that they accept and publish. I will attach the paper with some minor but necessary edits, inserted as track changes. I followed your argument more clearly through the second version. Perhaps this is a matter of the material being less unexpected, making it easier for me to see your argument unfolding. Maybe I could see where it was going better (cause I had read the earlier version). I wish you well.  
In reply to David Wright

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Giulia Carozzi -

Dear David,


first of all I would like to thank you for having considered my comments to your review as an invitation to dialogue and conversation. I really enjoyed Weber's "Matter and Desire" and I will definitely look at his last book following your suggestion. 

I am indeed intrigued by your description of transformative learning: I definitely feel a resonance with it from what you say. I would love to know more about it, do you have a reference in particular that you would recommend?

I share your feelings about writing as an embodiment of an internal condition. For me writing is a process of emergence of an awareness. I generally set out writing because I care and feel strongly about something and this something generally unfolds in many other aspects whilst I write. There is always a moment in which I feel I have tangle myself in a knot, a knot which I have created but I am not able to untangle. Being my "I" and its experiences at the centre of my enquiries, means that undoing the knot, to move foreword, is generally a process of difficult and painful self-learning... I would love to read an extract of your Ph.D., your research indeed sounds very interesting. So please, if you want/can, forward it to me. I am happy to share my email address details if you want.

As I said to Caitriona, my Ph.D. proposal has changed since submitting for review this article. This paper, however, was built in relation to the first version of my Ph.D. proposal...even if I am not too happy with it, I thought to be important to have the original version. The problem I face in relation to the writing of a Ph.D. proposal is that I feel it to be valid/true to me in the moment I am writing it. However, I realise that its ontological validity  soon runs out as my enquiry moves forward. I am happy to share the newer version of my Ph.D. proposal even if I believe I have "outgrown" that too. It would actually be very constructive for me to have questions on either of the versions as I think it is important to be challenged. Anyway, also the second proposal wasn't too warmly received. And yes, it hurts!

Thanks for recommending the paper for publication and for having spotted all the grammatical mistakes... It is sometimes difficult to work in a foreigner language as I simply do not "hear" if something sounds odd or actually is wrong... I hope the paper now is clearer, but I appreciate what you say: it is easier to know where one is going. However, when I read great books (so I am not talking here of my paper!!!) for the second or third time, I always feel "comfortable" in knowing where the story goes...yet I always find astonishing how my perception of what I read has changed, making the book always new. I read Anna Karenina again this year, it is my third time: I felt I hadn't understood anything of it before.

I will share with you and the other reviewers a cleaner from mistakes draft (and integrated with the comments of the other reviewers) as soon as I get answers from Caitriona and Judy.

Wishing you a very good day,

best wishes and thanks again,

Giulia


In reply to Giulia Carozzi

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by David Wright -
Dear Giulia,
I can see you have made some amendments since I wrote the response above. My response here, which is to recommend publication, is more an opportunity to reflect upon the path you are seeking to carve, in a crowded field of academic literature. Where intellectual inquiry is all too often valued for its opaque cross-referencing and the pursuit of insight (in a heavily contested field of 'knowing') is all to often to be universal and forever your depiction of personal learning, in uniquely personal circumstances, offers a model of process rather than a definitive solution. Your openness, your questioning and your desire to engage your reader in your process deserves to be commended. I can appreciate the point made (somewhere) about the difficulty in finding appropriate supervision for your project. Many academics are uncomfortable with the sort of proximities you enact. My formal feedback is copied below.

Rubric for focussing EJOLTs review conversation (draft 310317)

PUBLICATION RECOMMENDED

1.Sufficient detail for a reader to understand the value-based explanation of the author for their educational influence in their own learning, the learning of others and the learning of the social formations where they live and work (their living-educational-theory)?
This is a grounded story of learning. It positions this story within a field of inquiry; it justifies that positioning and ‘converses’ with others who have contributed to the field. The conversation or story is deliberately accessible. There is none of the opacity that often accompanies theoretic positioning. The ‘values’ that are referred to, hope and responsibility, become aspirations. They are not proven truths. They become a means of bringing the story back to core considerations.

2. Is it potentially comprehensible to a wide audience?
It is well written and accessible. It is rich in invitation.

3. Where context-specific language and jargon are used, are they clarified?
Language is considered for its intellectual potency and its effective communication.

4. Is there sufficient evidence to support all the claims that are made?
Evidence emerges through the depth of reflection; in the understanding that the author infuses the writing with.

5. Are there sufficient details of how the author has validated their claims?
A detailed tale of pursuit of meaning via intellectual touchstones, along a pathway defined by process, in conversation with others involved in similar exploration.

6. Is the normative background of the author and their work clear?
Yes

7. Is there sufficient detail for the reader to know enough about the author to understand their account?
Yes

8. Are the author's' explanatory principles and living standards of judgment clear in this paper?
Yes

9. Has a reasonable and well-reasoned argument been made and has the author critically and creatively engaged the literature?
Yes… a scholarly work, positioned effectively, arising from engaged consideration amidst multiple forms of personal and academic inquiry.

10. Ethical approval, copyright and permissions for all images, videos, artwork etc., full referencing in Harvard format, within 6,000- 12,000 word limit, 230 word abstract, 5 key, author details etc. Appears to be so.

(Edited by Marie Huxtable - original submission Friday, 1 November 2019, 5:33 AM)

In reply to David Wright

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Giulia Carozzi -
Dear David,

Thank you so much for your feedback and for your encouraging words. I am very touched by what you have written, it means a lot to me! I will definitely keep exploring the concept social-ecological analysis in relation to knowledge formation; you have really captured something that was definitely missing in my "story telling". I felt it was there, that it was central, but I didn't know how to express it in a way that could be legitimised by a reference/discipline... and here I go back to what you define as "opaque cross-referencing": I do feel I am often finding difficult to strive towards the necessary rigour required in academic writing without losing touch with myself, without making my writing an "opaque, cross-referencing" exercise.
I wish you all the very best and I thank you also for having challenged, at the beginning of our dialogue, some aspects of my article... working through your comments have enhanced a greater clarity about the what and the how of my research.
Best wishes,
Giulia
In reply to Giulia Carozzi

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Giulia Carozzi -
Dear Caitriona, David and Judy,
I want to thank you all once again for all your help and support. I feel that my paper has benefited hugely from our interactions, and I have grown as a learner.

Following my last iteration, I happened to have what I considered a highly educational conversation through which I have been able to see more clearly that it is thanks to my self-enquiry that I am potentially capable of developing my living-theory educational research. I have therefore amended the title, the abstract and only marginally the introduction. I hope you might see these amendments as a proof of a dialogical process of social validation.
I am only concerned that this has happened at the very end of what has been a long process of reviewing and I appreciate you might consider it to be not a good time for "last minute changes". I hope no one of you will perceive my behaviour as disrespectful in relation to your precious inputs: it is actually the exact opposite. It is a way to embrace the potential of dialogue, which you so clearly have shown me in the last few months, even when I felt an end was reached.
With my best wishes and gratitude,
Giulia
In reply to Giulia Carozzi

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Judith McBride -
Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Dear Giulia,
I am reading the final draft of your story as your navigation of ways of being in the world and the negotiation of your I. There is a compelling tension between (self)-constraint and freedom as it develops, inviting a visceral response (in this reader, certainly), and which is very much alive in your conclusion. Actually, I read your a conclusion as more of a Wait and see what happens next! I believe this is a living document with no 'last minutes".
Engaging with you has been a pleasure and a privilege for which I thank you.
I am recommending the Editorial Board accept your article for publication in EJOLTS.
Wishing you continued success with your inquiry,
Judy
In reply to Judith McBride

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by David Wright -
I am recommending the Editorial Board accept for publication
In reply to Giulia Carozzi

Re: A living-theory of my self-enquiry

by Caitriona McDonagh -

Congratulations on the changes you have made.

A lot of work went into into taking all of our suggestions on board.

Attached are 1) my response to the 2nd  iteration of your paper with my replies to your comments plus a few new suggestions; 2) the criteria doc with responses to each of your comments on them. You have worked through these very thoroughly (2nd email).

Finally, I am making a few suggestions that you may like to consider for your next iteration. However you are the expert in your research so don't feel obliged to take them on board. I hope that they might help us find a way through the issues of claims, validity etc.  

·       From what you have said to me, you will be developing a living theory in the time and space provided within your PhD. So perhaps for this article you might consider tweaking the title and the first few sentences. My sense if that you are not presenting the reader with A living-theory of my self-enquiry. Instead, I think the article would be much stronger if we considered it as “A Journey Towards Developing (or Understanding) my Living Theory Self-enquiry”. You are then not bound by formulaic restrictions but are free to explore your developing understandings as you have done in this iteration of your article

·       Well done on making clear “the difference between understanding my own I and understanding my own educational development” and understanding of Living theory. These are part of your process of developing an understanding of self-enquiry which is necessary in the development of a living theory.

·       You have produced data in the forms of your diaries, personal communications, proposal and assignments which contribute to accountability when developing a living theory. By asking ‘can you, as a reader, see hope and responsibility emerging in my self-enquiry account?’ you are engaging in a living theory validation process by writing this article and submitting to an open review process.

I enjoyed the improvements you have made and look forward to the next iteration

Best wishes

Caitriona