Thursday, 7 November 2013

'firing electrons'

I've just had a Skype tutorial with Paula Nottingham and, as always, find that mix of talking things through, listening to others and getting feedback a winning combination.
During the tutorial my brain allowed me to iterate exactly where I am in this inquiry process, which up until then it had decided to keep to itself. It's so nice to realise that I subconsciously know where I'm going even if  I'm not consciously aware of it!

My brain seems to be working a lot at the moment without my knowledge! It woke me up at 5a.m. this morning to inform me of five categories, that it had been reflecting on, for possible themes developing in my data. The great thing was that it had not gone for the obvious ones that I had tentatively started jotting down, ones that were theory-laden and formal, but much more user-friendly, inclusive themes that, at this point in time, feel more representative of the individual participants data.

I now have my next stage laid out clearly; to look at my data as a whole and see if these themes are accurate. I also hope this will allow me to identify the unique data, or anomalies, too as I'm very aware of not fitting my students into neat little theoretical boxes; if I've learnt one thing in my years of teaching it's that assumptions about students and 'pigeon-holing' lead to very bad practice.

This links to a revelation I had earlier in this module, where I was struggling to reconcile the two aspects of my inquiry - literature and data. Having hit a metaphorical wall I took a step back and reflected on things and have now realised that literature and data have to be approached through internal assimilation, i.e. I can't start with one and add the other in but that both need to co-exist in order to develop.
This is something that I think Hollie Smith is also finding as she posted a blog yesterday about a similar issue she was having. She puts it brilliantly when she says,
In having a tendancy of wanting to finish one aspect before starting another I am loosing time. I need to accept that different elements can work alongside each other and I can still be in control.                     (Smith, 2013)

Exactly! Great blog, Hollie!

So off I go, into the afternoon, with a clear idea of how I want to proceed. And, let me tell you, that feels good.


Thank-you Paula for your support, feedback, infectious enthusiasm (and providing the title for this blog), and thank-you brain for being there when I need you (N.B. I promise to trust you a bit more)!


Smith, H. 2013. 5,4,3,2,1 kissing has finished it's time for elephant!. Hollie Victoria Smith, [blog] 6 November 2013, Available at: [Accessed: 7 Nov 2013].

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