Submission- How can I encourage mulit-stakeholder narrative and reflection on the use of ICT in Teacher Professional Development in Rwanda?
I am attaching my paper ' How can I encourage multi-stakholder narrative and reflection on ICT in Teacher Professional Development programmes in Rwanda?'.
It is a privilege to submit my work to EJOLTS .Â I do look forward toÂ the open review process in this forum. It has been a bit of a turbulentÂ journey to get here - with lots of guidance and patience from myÂ supervisor inÂ our Dublin City University (DCU) Action Research Living Theory Collaboratory - Margaret Farren.
So I hope to continue my learning as I step through the EJOLTS door. Indeed I already have started asÂ I read through the rich treat of submissions and reviews and access theÂ artefacts from so manyÂ different educational environments - but let me stop talking here.Â Â Â Â
I look forward to your reviews.
The paper seems too long. I believe it might be shortened without any harm to the whole. After a brief introduction to my background I make suggestions to strengthen the paper further if so desired. I believe my background is important to understand my comments. As always my suggestions are not compulsory. On the whole the paper is well researched, written and the author has learnt much and produced a very useful knowledge for stakeholders in her project.
I spent many years as an advisor in curriculum and staff development in vocational education and training in the FE/HE sectors of public education and in corporate education aimed at enhancing human performance in organisations in several developing countries. I used both educational technology and action research approaches to improve the quality of education and training. In educational technology the focus is on the improvement of practice using educational technology remaining oblivious of the influences of the practitioners and contexts. Action research is self-study to improve practice and practitioner to generate professional knowledge as an integrated process. In the early days I used action research intuitively without naming and framing it. For instance, in my MPhil thesis (Punia 1992) I used action research to institutionalise school-based curriculum development as a dialectical process between the planned and the implemented curriculum as collaborative learning by teachers, management, advisor and the ministry to close the gap between the planned and the operational curriculum. It would appear Mary has done a similar action research. She is testing propositional knowledge from the literature in practice to assess its suitability to promote collaboration amongst stakeholders in a particular context. She has done it elegantly and produced useful practical knowledge for stakeholders. She rightly recommends several other uses of her methodology to assess the value of her methodology to achieve the particular task.
In my EdD thesis (Punia 2004) I used living educational theory form of action research. Action research generally answers the question, â€how do I improve what I am doingâ€™ and produces shared professional knowledge. It took me long time to understand that in living educational theory form of action research emphasis is on why do I improve what I am doing. It is not the study of the task; it is the study of the (I)/ researcher who is exploring his/her values embedded in his/her actions. That is what I did in my Ed Thesis (Punia 2004). I explored the nature of my I/self embedded in my professional work stretched over 40 years. I discovered that my influences on others came from my technical competence and personal character based on values derived from spirituality. It means that how and why are equally important questions. Some of my colleagues might argue that â€whyâ€™ is more important than â€howâ€™.
How questions deal with our technical competence and why questions deal with our being /invisible part of us often hidden in our actions. Living educational theory form of action research aims to make it explicit. It is the study of our living standards of judgment, which are made of very complex mix of our values, interests, wants and technical know-how. Hence, I was looking more for Mary, the researcher, than her work in this paper. In the light of my experience this paper is a form of action research usually researchers might use to test their propositional knowledge in practice.
I suggest that she expands the abstract by including the general context in it. The abstract is the most important part of a paper. In a living educational theory form of action research abstract, claims to knowledge and standards of professional judgement are most important.
Under the context of the study and your own context introduce yourself, your values and interests, changes due to this experience and future aspirations.
Under Knowledge, Technology and Knowledge Society you mention knowledge-based-aid. That is what action research aims to do. It is a new and a pleasant change in the policy of aid agencies. Implementation of which demands a large-scale dissemination of action research and it is a very difficult task indeed. Just imagine the task of preparing your audience to initiate and conduct their own action research as you did in this paper. Here I would introduce action research to the readers and aid agency.
In research method there is no need to criticise the linear approach. We need that approach to validate practical experience. You chose to use action research methodology as it shares your and your employerâ€™s values. I understood your epistemology clearly when you say knowledge is personal interpretations of individuals. I did not understand your ontology. How do you see your self in relation to other selves?
Under action research living theory you rightly mention the main values and features of this form of action research. You say your work is to improve practice through influence, not through imposition. I say you were training and it was not imposition. It is for the audience to learn from your work what they need. However, some people may argue that you were imposing your and your employersâ€™ framework on these people. It is very difficult to assess our influence on others unless they report it to you.
You have followed your action research methodology very well. Under the heading reflections on my research are your claim to knowledge. Bring value for mutual learning under this heading as well.
Under validity of my research inquiry you do not mention your standards of judgement and the responses from social validity.
I would change the heading conclusion into further action. In living educational theory form of action research there are no conclusions.
Mary has produced an excellent piece of work, which deserve publication. This paper has provided me with a stimulus to think deeply on action research and my professional work. I have learnt much from this paper. I hope my comments might provide a stimulus to think differently. All publications should aim to do it.
Last but not least, it is important to be conscious of the readers. This paper seems to be addressed to the academics using academic language. I remain more of a practitioner than an academic. I do not criticise any methodology of teaching and learning. All of them have value in different contexts. As professionals we exercise professional judgement to chose the right methodology to fit contextual needs.
Many thanks to Mary for letting me read her paper and I wish her best of luck in her most worthwhile work in international education.
- Punia R S (2004), My CV is My Curriculum: The Making of an International Educator with Spiritual values. Ed Thesis, The University of Bath.
- Punia R S (1992), Teachersâ€™ Planning: Its use in curriculum & staff development. MPhil Dissertation, The University of Bath
- Punia R S (1978), Educational Technology in Curriculum Development: A conceptual map for its integration in curriculum and staff development, MA Education Dissertation, The University of Lancaster.
- Whitehead J & McNiff J (2006), Action Research Living Theory. London: Sage Publications.
I think that if my paper provided you with a stimulus for your reflection on action research, it was more than reciprocated with the stimulus your review has provided to me - particularly in terms of my understanding of action research living theory.
I realized that I am really only threading water here and I have found it challenging to say the least to revisit my paper and examine more carefully my values and standards of judgement...
The paper in itself as you rightly point out is leaning towards an academic style - I suppose because it has been edited from my dissertation submission for the MSc in e_learning for Margaret's course in DCU.
I suppose in a way the challenge was to bring out my voice more, my beliefs and aspirations - I had been hiding it - and so I have tried to shake this voice a little looser and step out from behind the academic language - a little... it takes time...
But in revisiting the paper I found the voices of others and brought them into the paper - their voices too had been static, peeking out from the stranglehold of analytical language that I spun around them - they are there now in this version to speak for themselves in audio and video links that I set up as I explored anew the photo graphs, video/ audio clips from the field trips ...
So many thanks for your insights and reflections - I shall keep trying...
Dear Dr. Ram,
Many thanks for all of your support and guidance.
I have carried out a proof-readÂ of my paperÂ to tidy upÂ the revisions I made basedÂ on your review.Â IÂ Â am very grateful for your questions Dr. Ram - questions I feel that I am still only beginning to address.
Â Best wishes,
I know that the paper is long but it held my attention and captivated my imagination as I came to understand your explanation of your educational influence in your own learning and in the learning of others. I think that your paper shows a form of accountability that is currently being advocated in a DEMOS report :
Olliff-Cooper, J., Wind-Cowie, M. & Bartlett, J. (2009). Leading from the Front. London: Demos. Retrieved 3 October 2009 from http://www.demos.co.uk .
You have however, gone further than 'advocacy' in your evidence-based living theory that combines both freedom and professional autonomy with public accountability. My reflections on the importance of the contributions to accountability at the Conference in Pozega on Creativity in Teacher Education at http://ejolts.net/node/144 may help in understanding my enthusiasm for seeing your paper in the public domain.
I also like the way that you acknowledge the influence of ideas from Margaret Farren's research into e-learning at Dublin City University and show their relatability to the use of ICT in professional development in Rwanda. I particularly liked your conclusion:
"Through the rigour of the action research living theory approach I came to a number of conclusions about partnership collaboration and my own ontological and epistemological values. I believe that I created a communication space to engage partners in an equitable relationship for debating the issues of ICT integration in TPD."
As your research moves on you might find useful Marie Huxtable's demonstration on using video to communicate meanings of values in the 2009 Research Intelligence paper at:
The Conference Proceedings of the Pozega conference will take a couple of minutes to download from:
(you might have to copy and paste this url into your browser. If you have a problem you can at present download the proceedings from the What's New section of http://www.actionresearch.net)
I think you might find useful Marie Huxtable's paper on pages 128-141 on 'Enhancing Creativity In Educational Practice And Teachers' Continued Professional Development Through Contributing to improving Inclusive And Inclusional Gifted And Talented Educational Theory And Practice'. Marie is working to strengthen the contribution of student voice in explanations of educational influence in learning.
I'm recommended your paper for publication as it stands and I'm looking forward to sharing your ideas as your research continues.
I cannot express how wonderful it is to receive your review. It is not simply about the paper - but it is so good to share my work in this community and find such a sense of belonging in a space that is safe to share my story of my attempts to improve my practice.
You are correct of course Jack. I had been lucky before I came here to have found Margaret's collaboratory in Dublin City University. It was through Margaret that I was first introduced to the Action Research: Living Theory approach. My main concern as I approached my research was that I could bring to our fields of engagement in the developing world the essence of the values and deep reflection that was the gift of being a member of the DCU Collaboratory.
What I particularly like about your review Jack are the links for further reading and reflection. I have dipped into some already (couldn't resist even at this hour). Your reflections from the conference in PoĹľega, Croatia on creative approaaches to Teacher Education in which you describe how 'many contributors referred to the courage it takes to express thier creativity in the face of institutional constraints' had a particular resonance. In a way Jack this journey into the Action Research;Living Theory paradigm has been all about the value of 'courage' - to hold true and live your values and recognize the contradictions. I found it to a very hard journey and deeply insightful.
I do look forward to following all the links and to continue sharing ideas with you and the community as my research work continues.
This is a revised version of my paper which includes final edits based on some of the feedback you have passed on to improve the paper presentation and some references that were missing and needed to be included.
For your consideration:
1. I find it a might long-maybe just the beginning parts could be reduced.
2. You need to do a complete edit for word usage and APA usage.
3. I identified some of your claims to know as requiring another voice to validate them. You mention validation groups but there is no reference to their suggestions.
4. I could not open one website.
5. I think the photos (which are wonderful) could be integrated and include descriptors.
Once these issues are addressed, I recommend publication of the paper.
Thanks for sharing your wonderful work.
Many thanks for your comprehensive review. I feel as always very priviliged to have such wonderful professionals of your experience review and critique my work.
I amÂ pleased with your overivew interpretation of my exploration of tools and frameworks as a means to try and improve my practice and learning and in so doing to influence the learning of others in this complex field. I struggled so much during the research process - so it is quite wonderful to communicate these struggles and recieve feedback from you, Ram and Jack.
I am particularly grateful forÂ your detailed editorial suggestions and I have addressed these as follows:
1. The length of the paper - in fact I had shortened the paper after Ram's reviewÂ - you have reviewed the first draft Jackie - but in the meantime I did actually edit out sections from the beginning as you have suggested, so I hope that this reads betterÂ -
2. Complete edit - I have gone through each of your editing suggestions and applied them across the paper -
3. Other voice validation - again I had revisited the validation section after Ram's review and included more evidence ofÂ other voice validation from my data. However I took the opportunity on reading your review Jackie to revisit the full text of the paper as well as the validation section again - and to substantiate my claims with more references to the discourse /interactions/ artefacts containing other voicesÂ - peers/ tutors/ partners - voicesÂ that were instrumental in helping me to evaluate the quality of my workÂ Â and influence throughout the cyclical research process.
4. Website and video links have now been updated
5. Photos/ audios/ videos have been integrated throughout the doc with descriptors as you suggest.Â
Thank you again for your time, consideration and guidance,