I've been aiming at narrowing down my thoughts into a tangible framework that I can base my teaching and research on. For a long time, this has always been the Ecological Philosophy - but I've been finding this too broad so have started pin pointing the theory into the areas I'm working in which is Design, Educational Technology and Higher Education.
There are plenty of examples of connectivist philosophers, researchers and academics. Bateson, Gablick and Thompson come to mind all offering similar views which oppose Cartesian Dualism providing alternative and often enactive forms of learning.
I'm finally starting to see the field I'd like to work within. There appears to be a group of thinkers who are the blossoming bi-forcations, upper echelons - envisioning the step beyond the likes of Ponty, Husserl, Vygotsky, Bandura..
By taking a critical theorist approach to educational technology whilst maintaing the mutual respect of the wider context (which Ecological models can offer me) and visualising this through my design skills I am pretty confident I can offer some amazing insights which will contribute to the research field.
Design wise, I've decided that this wave also correlates with what I am naming 'Design Ecology' or the second wave of Design Thinking. This wave is largely driven by community, sustainability, and social change.
I am in a unique position in my role at the University and am working on some pretty exciting projects at the moment which correlate nicely with my epistemology. Largely they are about representing community Engaged Learning and Teaching (AKA 'Outreach'). Not only do they personally allow me to think/visualise in an info graphics/systems way but also provide me with the possibility to co-create with the clients and actually engage in the wider community.
I've got some co-authoring papers in the pipe-line, have my sights set on journals I'd like to publish in and am creating a document for 'design issues in higher education'. I also have a back burning proposal with a question around the likes of "Are infographics a beneficial way of highlighting sustainability to students? ... Will exposing students to infographics empower their sense of agency within a wider system?" which is slowly fleshing itself out.
SO thats me for now. Letting that stuff consciously rise and fall, spin into a ball ready for me to pick up throw at a wall and go SPLAT into a cacophony of amazing qualia and colours!
|Image by Jamie Lee|