Wednesday, December 30, 2009

QRfrag Reframed

An overview of the structure of DNA.Image via Wikipedia
QRfrag came into being over a year ago as a community blog for a loosely connected group of like-minded qualitative researchers, and while there was much good discussion, the blog did not take off.  I've let QRfrag sit fallow for some time, and have decided to reframe it as a blog of one--me.  Thanks to all who joined me in the earlier endeavor. 

QRfrag reframed as a blog of one will focus on three areas:
1.  Qualitative research
2.  Instruction in higher education
3.  The things which with which we conduct and think about these these two

Qualitative Research

Qualitative research is my professional identity.  It is what I do.  It is how I think.  My brand of qualitative research is woven from multiple strands.  There's a lot of anthropology in there, from Edward Bruner and Victor Turner to Clifford and Marcus...then there's the educational influences of Chip Bruce, Buddy Peshkin, Liora Bresler, and Daniel many years work with Silvana diGregorio around Qualitative Data Analysis Software (QDAS)...and interactions with the International Congress on Qualitative Inquiry.  My own campus Qualitative Research Network (QRN) has brought me into many meaningful relationships.  The classes I teach, all of which contain many elements  of qualitative research, provide me with much food for thought on this topic. 

Instruction in Higher Education
I have been teaching in higher education for a decade.  The focus of my teaching has been qualitative research in many permutations--for the conduct of doctoral dissertations, action research for educators in the field, and qualitative research as a means of understanding technology in schools.  My focus allows me to look across the work of many kinds of educational settings and many educational research questions.  Not surprisingly I also find myself drawn to the cross-cutting questions of education:  Why teach?  What is meaningful instruction?  Who is instructed for what purpose? 

As a product of Bank Street College (master's in reading), I came to this work with a developmental, hands-on, experiential perspective, that was honed during graduate school by extensive exposure to Dewey's thinking (thank you Chip Bruce!  These basic orientations are renewed every semester as I interact with new communities of learners.

Thinking with Things...Research with Things...Learning with Things
My thanks to Sarah Kuhn for the phrase "Thinking with Things".    Sarah Kuhn Thinking With Things Blog  And thanks also to the Thinking With Things Idea Community at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.  

I have been thinking with things in a variety of ways.  With Silvana diGregorio, I have been thinking about the things called Qualitative Data Analysis Software (QDAS).  Qualitative Research Design for Software Users

More recently I have been thinking with a variety of art things through my own arts practices with fiber and mixed media and with ideas about arts-based research.  These things are making their way stealthily into my research and teaching activities.  

Coming Back to the Blog of One
QRfrag is a place for me to think about these inter-related areas as I learn to navigate this new media form--the blog.

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