Hello. How are you? Reviving this newsletter because it’s 2022, also known as, the year I really write my dissertation. It’s happening!
Even though I love taking notes, and making lists, and organization-as-procrastination rituals, I have a difficult time tracking what I’ve been reading, as well as having a sense of what I’ve been doing. Hoping this newsletter, once more, helps me keep track of what I’ve been reading and doing.
This past week, I’ve been doing revisions of my first dissertation paper, about the codesign process we engaged in with teachers to build a draft of the Getting Unstuck curriculum, and I’ve been revisiting literature about researcher-practitioner partnerships (and finding new pieces to read!) to help myself figure out where this codesign process sits. Was it a researcher-practitioner partnership? Of the various kinds of participatory design, how was this particular codesign process aligned, or not aligned?
Here are a couple of research-related pieces I read this week that stuck with me:
Wagner, J. (1997). The unavoidable intervention of educational research: A framework for reconsidering researcher-practitioner cooperation. Educational Researcher, 26(7), 13-22.
I really appreciated Jon Wagner’s synthesis of the literature around three key questions (p.14):
“How are the ‘voices’ of research subjects represented in research designs, activities, and reports?
What prospects exist for engaging subjects themselves as researchers or co-investigators?
And under what circumstances can and should researchers become subjects of their own investigations?”
Wagner also emphasizes that educational research brings people “into new relationships with each other,” affecting all of our lives, and not just the lives of our research participants (p.20).
“[t]o the extent that educational research involves cooperation between researchers, practitioners, students, or other subjects, it also provides those individuals with opportunities for new or revised forms of social life, regardless of what the research is about.” (p.20)
No read about RPPs would, of course, be complete without deep dives into Bill Penuel’s work:
Penuel, W. R. (2019). Co-design as infrastructuring with attention to power. Building collective capacity for equitable teaching and learning through design-based implementation research. In Collaborative curriculum design for sustainable innovation and teacher learning (pp. 387-401). Springer, Cham.
“we foreground the goal of democratizing innovation, that is, to expand authority in design to a multiplicity of voices in the struggle to define the aims and means of education” (p.390)
“To say that a goal of co-design is to infrastructure is to assert that a goal must be to create innovations that fit seamlessly within their work context and support users in making a reliable working infrastructure of those innovations. ‘Fitting seamlessly’ in an educational context rife with inequities of resources and opportunities to learn doesn’t mean “works under routine conditions of schools”… Rather, infrastructuring efforts demand that we also re-design educational infrastructures that influence implementation to be more equitable.” (p.391)
Farrell, C. C., Penuel, W. R., Allen, A., Anderson, E. R., Bohannon, A. X., Coburn, C. E., & Brown, S. L. Learning at the Boundaries of Research and Practice: A Framework for Understanding Research–Practice Partnerships. Educational Researcher, 0(0),
“When engaged together in an RPP, participants encounter multiple boundaries where the linked, partially overlapping worlds of practice, research, and community can meet” (p.2)
“In an RPP, enacted roles (boundary spanners), intentionally designed interaction structures (boundary practices), and artifacts (boundary objects) help partnerships navigate cultural, professional, or organizational differences” (p.2)
I also encountered this quote from Stephen Sondheim this week, about one of his teachers (emphasis mine):
“everybody hated him because he was very dry, and I thought he was wonderful because he was very dry. And Barrow made me realize that all my romantic views of art were nonsense. I had always thought an angel came down and sat on your shoulder and whispered in your ear 'dah-dah-dah-DUM.' It never occurred to me that art was something worked out. And suddenly it was skies opening up. As soon as you find out what a leading tone is, you think, Oh my God. What a diatonic scale is – Oh my God! The logic of it. And, of course, what that meant to me was: Well, I can do that. Because you just don't know. You think it's a talent, you think you're born with this thing. What I've found out and what I believed is that everybody is talented.”
And finally, my 300 hour yoga teacher training kicked off this month, and we’ve been reading Breath by James Nestor and I am OBSESSED. I sent a copy to my parents! To Colin’s parents! We should all be breathing through our noses more slowly! Here are some links to explore, if you don’t want to read the whole thing: Fresh Air, Boston Globe, NYT.
What are you reading? What are you watching or listening to? Also, if you’re not playing Wordle, can I recommend this history wikitrivia game (h/t Ann Friedman)?
Something to bake: This matcha cake with black sesame buttercream (I made this as an 8x7.5 square two-layer with 1/3 of the frosting). Sourdough focaccia (Thank you, Elliott, for some incredible starter). And my family’s chicken pho.