Thursday, October 29, 2009

Questions about Sneijder & te Molder (2009)

"Normalizing ideological food choice and eating practices. Identity work in online discussions on veganism" Appetite 52 (2009) 621–630. 
(I'm looking at p. 623)

"In the first fragment, participant Anne, who categorizes herself as a novice by the activity of introducing herself..."

Perhaps I'm the only one who finds this observation problematic, but it seems to me that Anne could very well have been lurking on the forum for a year or more for all anyone knows. Not sure the activity of introduction categorizes one as a novice the way Sneijder & te Molder want you to think. Seems to me like there was other data in Anne's transcript that would have made a stronger case for her being a novice (as a vegan or as a member of the online community) than the fact that this was an introduction.

"The analysis was performed on the Dutch materials. It informed the translation to the extent that it was designed to capture the social actions found by the researchers in the data. In line with discursive psychological practice to ensure as much transparency on data and analysis as possible, the original Dutch postings are also made available to the readers."

I think this was well done...and makes my argument that "in line with discursive psychological practice to ensure as much transparency on data and analysis as possible", original video and audio recordings should also be made available to the readers in other research projects....

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A free APA 6R after all.....

Thanks to the American Psychological Association for FINALLY listening to their PR people and doing the right thing (which you should have done, oh, say....WEEKS ago!).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I {heart} James Gee

Was tooling around on Edutopia and found this:

Nowhere does this ring more true than in the language classroom, IMHO. Great stuff!

Not sure you want to want to invest 12 minutes yet? (shame on you!) Check out Shiv's blog for a breakdown...should give you the motivation to take a crowbar to your planner and find the time.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

RTB Likes "Promoting Confusion in Educational Psychology"

Casie, no need to skewer rjmr...I've got it. Better yet, I hired a hit-theorist:
Fenstermacher, G., & Richardson, V. (1994). Promoting confusion in educational psychology: How is it done? Educational psychologist, 29(1), 49-55. (The Bereiter Stuff is on pp. 50-51)
I try to do a bit of irritating condensation, of course...(sometimes in medias res...) The bullets are mine. Anything in medias res is tagged as mine.
We tease you because we love you,bro!

(now there's a great example of a productive "non-progressive" discourse!)

  • Progressive discourse = Bereiter's attempt to graft behaviorism/cognitivism to postmodernism:

    • "Bereiter deserves praise for his honest and straightforward effort to work out the implications of postmodern thought for his own conception of what is involved in doing educational psychology. This exploration has, it seems, moved his thinking away from the behaviorist and cognitive theories of learning for which he is well known toward a conception of scientific method that places empirical warrant within a discourse community."

  • Progressive discourse = Bereiter's attempt to impose the hegemony of research/science on education/praxis:

    • "There are still signs in his article, however, of a conception of theory into practice that promotes the authority of some (i.e., researchers and theorists) to prescribe the practices and thought processes of others (i.e., teachers and students). This continues a long tradition in educational psychology that assumes that educational reform is a linear progression from the development of formal knowledge by researchers to the adoption of principles from this research by teacher-consumers."

  • Progressive discourse = Bereiter's attempt to "put lipstick on a pig":

    • "In accommodating to the postmodernist view, Bereiter redefined the scientific method as a commitment to progressive discourse. This allowed him to maintain a sense of scientific progress — a position at odds with postmodernist thinking — while accepting the postmodernist position on the impossibility or irrelevance of a concept of objectivity in research. Locating the judgment of progress within a scientific community allowed Bereiter to reject a realist position that there is a reality external to an individual that may be apprehended through the scientific method-while moving the judgment of progress to a position that is external to the individual. For Bereiter, it is the discourse community that determines whether new ideas and their research evidence should be rejected or synthesized, or whether they should replace other ideas. He developed a set of prescriptions or entailments that ensure that the discourse process leads to progress..."

  • Progressive discourse = Bereiter's attempt to equate progress with consensus, and by so doing, silence heterodoxies:

    • "Bereiter's commitment to discourse as the forum for the creation and judgement of  scientific progress joins a strong and growing literature in social theory that proposes that dialogue, as engaged within certain sets of rules or entailments [<RTB>Let's call these discourses</RTB>], is our only hope for enlightened political and social decision making — as well as empowering educational processes...Unlike Bereiter's, however, most other sets of entailments [<RTB>discourses</RTB>] deal with the issue of equality of participation. Further, the goal of such discourse processes may not be consensus. Equating progress with consensus is precisely what postmodernists...would suggest leads to the hegemony that silences marginalized voices."

  • Progressive discourse = Bereiter's attempt to be "'da Man" for teachers, and to have teachers be "da Man" for students:

    • "When Bereiter moves to the educational implications of his progressive-discourse theory, one can see why equal participation in the discourse is not one of his criteria. The concept of authority is strongly represented in his conceptualization of the discourse community classroom. The first authority is Bereiter, himself, who, as a learning theorist, developed prescriptions for teachers on the nature of the progressive-discourse classroom, and for the role of the teachers in such classrooms. The next authority is the teacher, whose role is to lead students forward by having them examine authoritative texts and other expert sources and come to common interpretation of their meaning. The teacher would also determine whether the discourse is progressive and would intervene if it were not. Thus, authority over the nature of the classroom discourse and the goals and role of the teacher resides in the theorist — Bereiter — and authority related to [<RTB>Insert your discipline here</RTB>] resides in the text, the teacher, and other forms of expertise."

  • Progressive discourse = Bereiter's attempt to impose a hegemony of knowledge, and by so doing, promoting inequality and marginalizing democracy:

    • "Bereiter's article represents a provocative attempt to accommodate the subjective elements of postmodernism within a postpositivist approach to scientific method, but it ignores a most important issue in the postmodern thinking — the critique related to the hegemony of knowledge. By ignoring the concern that discourse communities may be undemocratic, Bereiter's approach would not appease the postmodern critics nor would it contribute to reducing the inequality present in the enactment of [<RTB>Insert your discipline here</RTB>]."

RTB throws down his keyboard and walks off à la Ralphie May........

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Un pretendido discurso progresista?


So, all you progressive discursivists...what about this one? Is learning occuring, or is this just nonproductive college hoodlums mocking the sacrosanct textbook (which of course we all know is the gold standard for learning)?

As seen on TV…

Thanks, Barbara!

Hold Off on Your APA 6th! - Inside Higher Ed

Might want to wait until the APA gets it's act together on the new style guide.....

apa / 13 - Inside Higher Ed

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Todos somos impostores

If you're feeling down, go read this post on Casie's blog, as well as the comments. Guaranteed to make you feel better.

Thanks, Casie.

There are, according to some, places where that imposterism can more easily be concealed... A bit of self-ironizing satire that still makes me laugh. No, I'm not "reclaiming the stereotypes that have harmed me and my community", whatever that means. Sometimes cracking jokes is just cracking jokes (now the video, I'd analyze!):

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Philip Oakey: Discursive Constructionist avant la lettre?

"Just looking for a new direction in an old familiar way…the forming of a new connection to study or to play"

"Well the truth may need some re-arranging…stories to be told…and plain to see the facts are changing…no meaning left to hold"

"And so the conversation turned…"

Progessive/Productive Or Non-progressive/Nonproductive?

It must be exhausting, being an advocate for prescriptive DA...I imagine that those who live in a world of how discourse should be instead of how it actually is feel either like Don Quixote or the Cassandra of Greek mythology. I certainly don't have the stamina for it...besides, I think descriptive DA makes more sense. Given that Bakhtin sees discourse as ongoing and unfixed anyway, I'm sure he'd scoff at the concept of placing value judgments on discourse.

In that spirit, I'd like to pose a question: Is this discourse progressive/productive? Why/why not? If you feel it is non-progressive, how wide does your lens have to get before you see it as progressive, or does your lens never get to that point?

Inquiring minds want to know...

Happy (belated, dagnabbit) birthday, G'Ann!

My wife reminded me today that I had forgotten G'Ann's birthday. Boy, do I feel like a heel. I even dug up and scanned literally EVERY picture I have of her to put on FB for the event. Don't know what happened. Really, what kind of a father am I?