The ethics of participatory processes: Dynamic flux, open questions

This essay arose from a workshop on ecological ethics.  It is a thought-piece about possibilities, more than an analysis of a actual practice.  But I have found myself coming back to it for the framing it provides in the combination of “five ideals for a ‘dynamic flux ethics’—engagement, participation, cultivating collaborators, transversality, and fostering curiosity.”

Yesterday, in response to a student’s term paper, I thought that, esoteric language aside, these ideals could inform education from an early age. Today, I am thinking that, despite the pressure to get active now in response to the radical right wing take-over of government power at many levels in the USA, any course of action could be evaluated in terms of whether it met all five ideals, described in brief here.

Long abandoned margin codes for commenting on student writing

Soon after I gave students the sheet below, a conversation with Keith Hjortshoj led me to abandon commenting in the margin in favor of what I now call Dialogue around written work. But, as a matter of historical interest, here are the codes I had developed to streamline my commenting in the margin. Read more of this post

It takes a village to… raise an adult (especially after loss)

Let me share some new thinking about the purpose of the book I produced and recently published, Ann(ie) Blum in Our Lives.

What does it mean to have had Ann—Annie to some—Blum in our lives? The letters and stories from family and friends assembled in this book, together with photos and words of Ann’s own, evoke her presence. They allow us to think about what we want to carry forward, into the lives we still have.

Read more of this post

Cultivating collaborators, revisited

This post assembles a short-list of measures that enhance the building of a trust-full, generative group interested in personal, professional, and institutional change.  It feeds back into face-to-face group meetings items from an earlier post “on integrating face-to-face dynamics into the structure and expectations of online platforms.” Read more of this post

A project-based learning experiment in feminist pedagogy

This post documents a conference presentation on project-based learning (PBL) as implemented in a course on gender, race, and science, co-taught four times for the Boston-area Graduate Consortium on Women’s Studies. Evaluations of the course document a tension between initial discomfort and subsequent appreciation: “you might think you aren’t sufficiently grounded by the course [but] being on the other side of it now, I see it works out beautifully.” (read more…)

The global Paleyian university

For this case borrow the internet further so that offices, classrooms, or the university can be retrofitted. Not rebuilt from scratch, but respecting the infrastructure that is already in place.  (source)

Instead of a retrofit, this design sketch promotes inversion or turning inside out or perhaps gastrulation. (In the embryological process of gastrulation the initial ball of cells invaginates so that some of the outside is now inside and that new inside is in interaction with the outside, creating a new interactions.)  Unpacking that picture, we have three steps:  Read more of this post

Every-year Apprentice

What skills do we need to apprentice on? As soon as I began a list, I saw that the answer was many. There are many skills that we might wish we had developed before we needed them, to avoid getting into a crisis or being overwhelmed when the need arose. This led me to imagine a society in which we make time as part of everyday, every-week, every-year life to be an apprentice, and to serve as the guide to apprentices. Read more of this post

%d bloggers like this: