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EXISTENTIAL INVITATIONAL PEDAGOGY IN QUALITATIVE EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH SUPERVISION Exploring ways to foster broad range learning in adult, vocational and.

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Presentation on theme: "EXISTENTIAL INVITATIONAL PEDAGOGY IN QUALITATIVE EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH SUPERVISION Exploring ways to foster broad range learning in adult, vocational and."— Presentation transcript:

1 EXISTENTIAL INVITATIONAL PEDAGOGY IN QUALITATIVE EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH SUPERVISION Exploring ways to foster broad range learning in adult, vocational and workplace education research

2 SETTING THE AGENDA This paper wants to explore an existential invitational pedagogy in research supervision which would invite an engaged and ethical response from post graduate educational researchers to complement the critical and technical competence also required.

3 The dilemna of fostering broad range learning in HRD supervision Existential pedagogy in HDR supervision seeks to foster broad range learning that links learning to do with learning to be. Existentialist choice and resistance may help understanding the epistemology and ontology of broad range learning in HDR research The existential pedagogy in HDR supervision seeks to create invitational scenarios in four modes of knowing

4 EXISTENTIAL PEDAGOGY Such a pedagogy with its implicit challenges for personal choice and social engagement and resistance against forms of entropy, is referred to here as an existential pedagogy. (Estrela, 2008; Greene,1974; Rasheed, 2006). It seeks to engage the whole person of the learner in a guided experience, reflective contemplation and critical consideration of educational research practice and to precipitate a committed choice for authentic acceptance and tactful implementation.

5 FOUR PARTS OF EXISTENTIAL INVITATIONAL PEDAGOGY IN SUPERVISION A.Supervision in HDR education B.Existential approaches C.Herons four elements in learning D.Applying existential approached to learning in HDR research


7 BEING SUPERVISED MA: The sink or swim distant model: Jolly good; jolly bad PhD: The collegial distant; inquiry, discovery, validation

8 HDR SUPERVISION ONE TO ONE INFORMAL PRACTICE – Mapping the territory: The ten point plan – Different challenges at different times COMMUNAL PROCESSES – Meeting in the supervisors house for a meal with shared food – Show and tell – Invited challenges – Collaboration – Support in hard times, rejoicing in achievement


10 NEGOTIATION OF IDENTITY IN DOCTORAL EDUCATION doctoral education is as much about identity formation as it is about knowledge production (Green, 2005: p. 153). Postgrad study is not simply coming to know; it is also a matter of coming to be (Green & Lee, 1995). It is the production of subjectivity. Petersen (2007: p.476) This is a major concern of the existential approach


12 Essentialist and Existentialist An essentialist approach imagines research taking place between the researcher and an objectified entity being explored. Supervision supports the HDR students technical capacity The existential approach to HDR supervision sees research as chosen purposive acts performed by socially located people with their imagination and desires. Supervision needs to be attuned to the personal journey implicit in HDR research. (Rasheed, 2007,).

13 Existentialisms three dialectical tensions Existence and transcendence Choice & boundary situations Self and other

14 Existence and transcendence: narratives and meta narrative My capacity for transcendent thought tells me that everything I do or say takes its relevance and point from my own existence, in ever widening circles - how I live with 1) myself 2) others, 3) society and 4) the universe. Yet I know with great certainty that comparatively soon I will cease to exist – at least in the present form that is me. Cross (2005:p3):

15 Choice and boundary situations: The resistance challenge Karl Jaspers an existential psychiatrist, pointed out that at different times during life, humans, in their life choices are called upon to confront difficult and precarious states such as illness, loss of employment, natural disasters and the like. The person needs to develop authenticity in order to perform honourably and to avoid colluding in a downward spiral of unauthenticity.

16 Self and Other: the relational challenge For Heidegger (1962/1927), being-in-the – world, more generally, necessarily incorporates being with others…that through being with others, we learn to think and act as the generalised they do. In learning to think and act as they do, we also take a stand on those thoughts and actions, as well as on who we are becoming Gloria DallAlba (2009:p.42)

17 An existential pedagogy in HDR in education The following explores an existential pedagogy which seeks to respects the autonomy and life struggles of HDR students while inviting them into four related forms of learning that fosters Being, Connection and Action, Invitation is a key element in existential pedagogy since it is non prescriptive, risky, powerful and interpersonally intense.

18 INVITATION I risk inviting; I want you here. And when you come I feel enriched, believe you feel the same. If you refuse, that says I have no worth to you, And if, when you agree to come, you dont show, your absence makes a wound and I fall lower than before I invited. No-one invites for fun; if you say drop in if you like that is not a real inviting; theres no risk, a bob each way against rejection. Inviting is for keeps a friend, a lover in pursuit: no half measures. Its black or white, not blurred or luke warm. And guests know the rules to dress up, cradle the eggshell of friendship at your place; And trust that while you stand unarmed and welcoming your guests will not turn; refuse to dance the partys tune; humiliate and bring you down and turn your grapes of bounty into ash.


20 A variation of Herons four ways of interlinked knowing Experiential knowing is evident when we feel the presence of some entity. Presentational knowing is evident in our grasp of imaginal patterns as expressed particularly in narrative and artistic forms. Propositional knowing is expressed in theoretical and analytical statements, Practical knowing is drawn directly from action (1996a p. 33).

21 Existential invitational approaches to the four modes of learning – Immersion through direct participation in activities related to research – Mythopoetic contemplation through stories and images of educational research in action – critical and practical appraisal through consideration of ethics, capacity & design – Reflective tactful practice through attending to the actual embodied and implemented activities of the research inquiry

22 MAPPING EXISTENTIAL PEDAGOGY ON HERONS DIMENSIONS OF LEARNING 1. Immersion in educational practice is a specific form of Herons experiential knowing 2. Imaginal myth making or mythopoesis is a specific development of presentational knowing developed by James Hillman (1981) and has strong links to the narrative nature of human vocational reflection. 3. Critical appraisal is a form of propositional knowing relating to ethics, capacity and design 4. Engagement in reflective and tactful choice is a specific form of Herons extension into practical purposive action.


24 I. INVITATION TO BE IMMERSED IN EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH PRACTICE It is suggested here that existential experiential knowing in HDR education can be generated firstly by inviting the trainee educator to become immersed in educational research events in order to get the feel of what research practice is actually like. This seminar is such an activity

25 Inviting the stance of openness to adventure and experience The educator needs to invite a pre-disposition of openness to experience inviting the HDR students to allow the research experience to speak to them.

26 II. INVITATION TO IMAGINAL MYTH MAKING IN EDUCATINAL PRACTICE Aspiring educators are invited to dwell on dramatised stories and images of events and encounters in the educators role they are about to take on and allow them to become present imagistically to their consciousness.

27 INVITING AN IMAGINAL STANCE The educator needs to invite a change of mood from being ready for and entering into raw experience to attending imaginally to research stories particularly stories with weight and strong appeal – the mythopoetic stories. The new researchers can be introduced to heroic exponents of research whose books are celebrated & who perform at conferences. Maxine Greene is such a person for me

28 IMAGINAL KNOWING The foundational idea behind mythopoesis is the notion of imaginal knowing popularised by James Hillman, which he defined as the contemplative use of the imagination not to create fantasies of an unreal world but to assist people to dwell on the significance and depth of real experiences and allow their implications to impact on them directly without too much analysis and explanation


30 INVITING A SCEPTICAL STANCE The educator invites a change of tack among the aspirant educators by introducing sceptical questions about the research project.

31 THREE DIMENSIONS OF CRITICAL APPRAISAL – Ethical/critical Is the project worthwhile? Is it useful Is it ethical: is anyone diminished by this Whose interests are being served – Technical/practical critical Can the inquiry be done with the resources and the design Is the design efficient and effective? – Appropriate/critical Have I the will and the talents for this inquiry

32 IV. INVITATION TO ENGAGE IN REFLECTIVE & TACTFUL EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH PRACTICE The aspiring educator is invited to engage in purpose educational action and allows the experience and effects and consequences to speak. There is the final move from the logos of critical appraisal to the actual challenge of tactful practice.

33 INVITING A TACTFUL READINESS FOR ACTION The educator moves again to invite a desire for action with the self effacement of the mentor not wanting to come between the educator and her or his first acts of tactful and reflective practice

34 Engaging in reflective and tactful educational practice Knowledge sometimes rises in and through practice, through our corporeal, temporal, spatial and relational lived experiences. And these experiences, these kinds of tacit knowledge are hard – sometimes impossible to put into words because they reside more deeply in our bodies than our minds. Henriksson 2007:p.6 But in response to the invitation to tactful and reflective awareness in educational practice, the educator can be sensitised to this dimension

35 CAN IT BE POSSIBLE?? Can the research supervision be enriched by an existential pedagogy that invitates HDR students to: Taste educational research practice in action, Hear dramatised mythic stories of qualitative research practice in education, Appraise and critique plans for ethical, well designed and personally appropriate educational research projects Engage tactfully in educational research that is passionate, engaged and reflective.

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