“As educational researchers, how can we become and stay fundamentally answerable to the core endeavor of learning, not test score production or unachievable achievement in a stratified society?” Lisa Patel
The CC guitar music comes from Javolenus.
Usually the beginning of winter vacation means that I’m laid out on the couch sick. I go and go all term, and when I give my body permission to stop, everything catches up with me. Today, my second day of vacation, I’m happy to be feeling well. I’d thought of writing a ‘year in review’ post.
After taking the dogs for a good walk and making a curry for lunch, I took the time to get caught up on my reading. Sadia Habib sent me her brilliant review of Lisa (Leigh) Patel’s Decolonizing Educational Research: From Ownership to Answerability and I was struck by the opening paragraphs where Patel outlines the ‘deep pauses’ that interrupted her writing of the book:
A few years ago, I outlined the scope and sequence of a book I hoped to write about decolonizing educational research. Contract in hand, I set about delivering on my end of the agreement. However, each time I drafted portions of the book, I experienced deep pauses that held the corpus of the work at bay. In the constant march of time, as understood through Western colonizing frameworks, this is bad. Those pauses meant missing deadlines, and that may have meant that someone elsewhere was writing while I was not. Also bad. But pausing is useful, even necessary, particularly in these modern times in which colonial projects have shaped technology, knowledge, and connection to be a veritable nonstop stimulation of tweets, status updates, and deadlines, all competing for our attention and, in turn, we compete for each others’ attention (Lanham 2006). Pausing, though, can be a productive interruption to these competitive ways of being, doing, and knowing, and they also hold potential learning within them (Shahjahan 2014).
Rather than a write a ‘year in review’, reflecting and gathering what’s already happened, I starting thinking about what kind of ‘productive interruptions’ and pauses might come our way in 2018. I don’t intend this to be a list of predictions, as if we can wrangle education into knowability though forecasts, but as some thoughts about who and what should give us pause in the coming year. When and why should we take pause?
In the coming week I am going to experiment with making a podcast and here is where you come in. If ‘taking pause’ resonates with you, please record a short audio clip and send it my way by December 30th (benjamin dot doxtdator at gmail dot com) and I will stitch them together and publish them on January 1st. This is an experiment all around and I welcome wide interpretations of ‘taking a pause’.
Header Image by Jonatan Pie