Founded on the philosophy of Greek philosopher Plutarch, Foucault suggests that the "act of self-writing allows one to train and care for the self and that it acts as ‘an agent of the transformation of truth into ethos’ " (Weisgerber & Butler, 2016, p. 1340).
Foucault, M. (1997). Self writing. In P. Rabinow (Ed.), Ethics, subjectivity and truth. The essential works of Foucault, 1954–1984. Volume 1 (pp. 207–222). New York, NY: The New Press.
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Cognition and Learning
This course is my Field of Study course.
My field of study is Cognition and Learning. In reflection, the core text for the cognition and learning course, Why Don't Students Like School? (Willingham, 2009), became the catalyst for my own cognition and learning. This course provided the right conditions for curiosity and deep thinking about theories and issues in teaching, learning, and cognition. I revelled in this coming home to my psychological roots. I was re-immersed in Piaget and Dewey but pushed to build new connections to consciousness, neuroplasticity, memory, and brain/technology connections (Boyd, 2015; Ihde, 1978, 2011; Pasquinelli, n.d.; Seely Brown, 2006; Seth, 2017).
"People are naturally curious, but we are not naturally good thinkers; unless the cognitive conditions are right, we will avoid thinking" (Willingham, 2009, p. 3)
Since I continued to blog during this course, I am now able to dip into my external cache of thoughts [Step By Step blog site] to explore my memories through my writing, the continuation of hupomnemata begun in DS1. Here in this comprehensive portfolio, I will demonstrate academic and scholarly readiness for the next steps in this labyrinthian PhD journey by discerning relevant ideas, culling and collecting those ideas together, contextualizing them, and entering into a conversation about them (Weisgerber & Butler, 2016).
In this course, I prepared two critiques of articles, as listed and linked here:
- The neuroscience of background knowledge: A schema about schema
- Just like riding a bike: A critique of caching to explain automaticity
The paper written as a culminating task for this course extended the workshopping experience from DS1 into a digital production where I explained the outline of my paper in a five-minute video production. This video [Essay Plan for 6411] is shared here as it exemplifies how my future research directions are connected to this course and how I model my research practice.
As I stated in this paper:While not denying the existence of differing theoretical perspectives as they relate to open educational practices such as social cognition (Seely Brown et al.,1989), constructivism (de Vries, 2008) and connectivism (Couros & Hildebrandt, 2016; Siemens, 2018a), this literature review is written from a cognitivist perspective (Codrington-Lacerte, n.d.; de Vries, 2008). Cognition and learning are essential elements of OEPr. An awareness of cognitive processes is crucial in order to successfully navigate the complexity of teaching with OEPr, specifically internet-based, technology-enabled, accessible and multimedia-driven spaces. This literature review seeks to analyze, synthesize, and bring clarity to the relationship between cognition, specifically research on cognitive load, and technology-enabled OEPr. In order to transcend the limitations of the human brain, cognitive science can provide insights to inform teachers using internet accessed, multimedia resources in open educational environments."
It was here in the paper for this course that I looked at bringing my research into focus. It was through the act of conversing with others and creating graphic images that the deeper impact of cognition and learning on my topic of research is crystallized.
As a result of this comprehensive portfolio reflection I have researched the philosophy of technology as explored by Idhe (1978, 2004, 2011, 2012; Ihde & Malafouris, 2019) and readings about the technologies of self (Foucault, 1988). Ihde (2011) suggests that our embodied phenomenographic limitations are extended beyond our horizons, as exemplified by the visual and auditory limitations of physical parameters of sound and sight, by the technological mediations of magnification and translation. My husband's newly acquired hearing aids is one example of technological magnification that enables him to hear beyond what his physical boundaries would otherwise allow. The binoculars I use to magnify my vision to allow me to see the bald eagles swooping over the river is another such example whereby the human < > machine interaction between myself < > binoculars allow my embodied experiences to reach beyond the boundaries and barriers imposed by my physical limitations. When it comes to cognition and learning, my cache of memories in both short term and long term storage is limited by the horizons of the physical grey cells of my brain. My research for this course, and into future academic literature review work, examines how these horizons can be extended by enacting connections to the cornucopia of information, ideas, writings, images, and sounds that abound in digital space. One interesting conception is the notion of collective cognitive load theory (Kirschner et al, 2018) whereby my individual cognitive load limitations extend beyond the physical boundaries by being shared with others through digital, connected, networked thinking and cognitive activities. In this way, the cognitive connections being made, both within my brain structures and memories, and outside my internal cognitive structures, as exemplified in this comprehensive portfolio, model a critical stance toward the concepts, theories and issues in my field of study.
media/My Story final version.jpg
Doctoral Seminar 1
Steps taken to become a reader, writer and thinker in academia.
Doctoral Seminar One (DS1) was a place and time for becoming. While the focus of the course may have been on becoming an academic by examining research, theories and issues in qualitative research methodologies, it was a space of four weeks where I became a critical synthesizer, research analyzer, and reflective academic writer. The course started with writing personal stories (Richardson, 2001) and developing an epistemic genealogy resulting in 'My Snake Story'. The course ended with examining 'big tent' measures for qualitative research (Tracy, 2010). This course was an immersion, and re-immersion in some cases, into educational theory, issues in educational research, examining academic writing, engaging in discourse, and developing my scholarship practices. Being away from home during this course provided me with dedicated time to read prodigiously, write thoughtfully, and reflect deeply.
"... constructing an academic self occurs in and through writing. When researchers make writing choices they conform, adapt, reframe or resist dominant academic textual genres" (Mewburn & Thomson, 2018, p. 20).
DS1 revealed paradox and binaries in academia that continue to provoke my thinking. As a result of this course, I became more comfortable as an academic while living and learning in paradox - self vs other, conforming vs resisting, iteration vs completion. During DS1 I became familiar with, but couldn't yet claim ownership of, terms like ontology, epistemology, axiology, ideology, methodology, academic genealogy, heuristics, and intersectionality, as seen in this blog post [Understanding Terminology]. Examining terminology and critically constructing word choices became part of my ethos and praxis as academic reader and writer, while the caution about zombification (Sword, 2012) in academia still resounds.
During DS1 I took to blogging as a "technology of the self, a generative form of habituated 'self-writing' (Mewburn & Tomson, 2018, p. 22) as a form of my hupomnemata (Weisgerber & Butler, 2016), as evidenced in my calendar of blogs. This notion of a solitary, ego-centric, self construction became diametrically polar to my belief of embodiment of self in/within community, as exemplified by the conception of ubuntu (Eze, 2010).
It is this self constitution in relationship, notwithstanding the impact of geographic distance and technological mediations, that echoes into my research inquiry. I didn't know it at the time, but have come to realize it since, that it was here in DS1 that I began to frame my ontological and epistemological foundations for my research. Some of these positionalities may have been within me all along, but it was here that I began to understand the pivotal impact of social constructivist theory (Dewey, 1916; Freire, 1998, ), critical theory (Ladson Billings, 1998), and critical ethnography (Fine, 1994). DS1 provided an opportunity to discern my research interests. I discovered the philosophies of digital technology (Ihde, 1979), rediscovered Piaget's theory of constructivism, Papert's theory of constructionism (Papert & Harel, 1991) and the theory of connectivism (Siemens, 2012). I continued to ponder the definitions for 'open educational practices' (Cronin & MacLaren, 2018) in order to describe my research inquiry.
“Humanity is a quality we owe to each other. We create each other and need to sustain this otherness creation. And if we belong to each other, we participate in our creations: we are because you are, and since you are, definitely I am. The ‘I am’ is not a rigid subject, but a dynamic self-constitution dependent on this otherness creation of relation and distance.” (Eze, 2010, p. 190-191)
While the academic and scholarly tasks within DS1 - journal writing, workshopping a paper, qualitative research methodology multimodal presentation, and research paper - honed my reading, writing, thinking, and discourse as an academic and scholar, this was only the beginning of further steps to be taken into the labyrinth. It was here in DS1 that I explored the worthy topic, rich data, rigor, sincerity, credibility, resonance, significant contribution, ethics, and meaningful coherence (Tracy, 2010) that I could apply to my future research.
Definition of terms and concepts
Here are the individual terms and concepts used throughout this comprehensive portfolio, inserted as notes and linked within pages and content.
- Alternative Dissertation format - Alt Diss
- cognitive load
- digital ethnography
- FoE - Faculty of Education
- liminal / liminality
- open education (OE)
- open educational pedagogy (OEP)
- open educational practices (OEPr)
- open educational resources (OER)
- unicursal / multicursal
This is part of the literature review but also a stand alone page describing the position of the researcher in light of the research questions.
My intention, at the beginning stages of this digital ethnographic research study, is to critically examine the open educational practices of teacher educators to explore where they enact media and digital literacies, tacitly and explicitly. By examining the experiences and expertise of teacher educators who may embody and enact OEPr within their teaching ethos, lessons may be learned that can support the growth of MDL and OEPr within FoE across Canada, and potentially into global teacher education sectors. Currently, there is little research that identifies or examines the depth of knowledge in pedagogy and technology of teacher educators as it impacts on OEPr, both within and outside teacher education spaces.
This digital ethnographic research study will bring critical subjectivity, collaborative action, a participative reality, and an epistemology of experience (Guba & Lincoln, 2005). My voice, reflexivity and media infused textual representations will be reflexively interrogated as I locate my ‘self’ as researcher-participant, both within and outside the research field of study (Guba & Lincoln, 2005).
This research benefits from my years of experience teaching media and digital literacy courses in the FoE where I am both educator and student, as well as my extensive background as an elementary school educator. My engagement in global networks (Global OER Graduate Network (GO_GN); UNESCO Open Education for a Better World (OE4BW); Open/Education Technology, Society and Scholarship Association (OTESSA)), cross-border collaborations (Virtually Connecting; International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Inclusive Learning Network), and open educational spaces (Ontario Extend, Ontario Open Education Fellows, Creative Commons, Mozilla Open Leaders) will inform and shape this research.
My intention is to explore how Canadian FoE can support the growing demand for digitally and media literate educators who demonstrate global competencies (CMEC, 2020) and are responsive to global calls for OEPr (Bates, 2019a; Montoya, 2018). My position as researcher is supported by my academic persona as a scholarly writer and as a media-making educator. This supports my notion of becoming and being created through hupomnemata, as evidenced in this graphic Towards an Academic Self. When considering and coding the research data, my media making efforts will further crystallize the findings.