Notes Towards Day 20 (Thurs, Nov. 10): On Learning From One Another


I. Coursekeeping

our 3 events upcoming, in our two shared/linked sites of research:
preparing for our on-campus workshop on Friday,
for the interviews you'll be conducting Friday-Sunday,
and for our visit from Parkway students next Tuesday.

quick review of your upcoming obligations:
* no reading this week; instead!
* on Friday afternoon: attend workshop
* by Sunday evening: post two blog entries
(one w/ Parkway--this week a poll!--
one about what you learned from the workshop) ;
* by classtime next Tuesday: conduct 3 20-minute interviews,
and send us your interview notes-and-reflections;
* meet next Tuesday in Dalton 300 to welcome our visitors from Parkway.

looking more concretely/in detail re: each of these-->

1. preparing for the workshop (Jomaira and Sarah: 10 minutes)
review second round of RSVP's,
sorted into students, faculty, two kinds of staff
-- w/ show of hands; then process outcome/
figure out if we need to/can invite others.

Taking a few moments to note the gaps & reflect on
whether this might be the result of the limits of the format
(who might feel @ ease in such situations, who less so?) -->
pragmatic optimism: doing what we can, w/in limits, learning as we go,
being mindful, but also not overfretful re: the damage we might do!

thanks for rich on-line thinking, which we 4 will be working into a script;
we are all co-hosts, responsible for moving conversation forward--
so, please come early, if you can, to help welcome our guests...
knowing that these conversations will go on after the workshop ends:
the president asked to join us; instead, we'll be reporting out later,
writing a report, maybe meeting w/ her and/or the Diversity Leadership Group....

questions about Friday's workshop?

2. preparing for visit from Parkway students
to goal of the visit is for us to more fully understand one another's realities;
we plan to follow the suggestion made by several of you to
get out of the classroom/away from the teachers (!);
we'll break into mixed groups of 4-6;
you'll ask the Parkway students what they'd like to see,
and you'll take them to visit those spaces,
returning w/in 1/2 an hour to our classroom,
where we will have a large group conversation.

they will stay on campus for lunch; please plan to join them if you are able!

questions about Tuesday's visit from Parkway students?

3. preparing for our interviews (15 minutes)
Anne: looking back @ Tuesday's readings
most of the points in the long article by Michael Patton about "depth interviewing"
were well covered by Jen/will be highlighted again by Jody in a moment:
Patton gives a range of approaches to qualitative interviewing:
the kinds of questions you can ask, how to word them, how to sequence them;
there's a handy check-list @ the end, helpful to review as you finalize your questions -->
all of this w/ the aim to get folks to express their own understandings
in their own terms: to minimize predetermined responses
(cf. the poll
in our diablog this weekend!); be open to what you can learn from someone else:
you're not looking for data to confirm what you know (even: your hypothesis),
but looking to hear something you hadn't thought about, to be surprised -->
"they are your teachers"

that point is the real important point of the two shorter essays from Theory into Practice:
said most clearly by Alison Cook-Sather: "high school students are teacher educators,"

but perhaps illustrated most clearly in the second essay, by Kathleen Cushman, "SAT Bronx":
the exercise of having high schoolers design a test demonstrated
that background and experience are not intelligence,
that "different people know different things,"
have different ways to catch on, make sense, figure out their surroundings,
to code switch, in language and behavior, to fit varying contexts --
and that how well they do this might well be the result of whether
"they are comfortable where they're at."

We'll keep all these essays in mind, as we design both our workshop
and our visit w/ Parkway students; you should also remember to use them
as resources, as you think about how you're going to set up your interviews....

Jody: backing up and naming the range of ways that
qualitative researchers can approach interviewing:

* decide ahead of time what you want to learn, then
gear who you interview, and your questions, to learn that;

* in contrast, a totally open-ended ethnographic way of proceeding:
identify 3 people whose perspectives you'd like to gather,
and let your claim emerge out of what happens in the interviews;

* inbetween these extremely focused and extremely open-ended options,
there are ways to narrow your focus somewhat:

** you could name an area that you are interested in

** you could identify a category of people/the kind of folks you want to talk to.

exs: people's experiences/perceptions of
* work-study on campus, or
* the relation between race and class on campus,
* how differently-positioned people experience the same space, etc.

As Jen Redmond told us
* we are collecting data

* nitty-gritty of this: print off the release form,
read and know what it says (so you can explain it),
get it signed by each of the folks you are talking w/

*it's hard to be in a conversation-while-writing:
try to keep track of the flow (occasionally ask them to pause,
so you can get down exactly what they say);

* but/and it's very important to schedule yourself 20 minutes immediately
thereafter to fill in your notes and record your impressions
(=turning conversation into data); it's amazing what you can forget!

* strongly recommended to do this on laptops, thereby saving yourself the step of writing it up.

* these are NOTES, and need to be understandable, but not in standard English, essay form, etc.

questions about preparing for our interviews?

II. Take a few minutes to write about what kind of interview you think you are going to do:
focused? open-ended? motivated by a question? or area? or type of folks...?

Call out some of these.

Organize yourselves into working groups of 3:
search out someone you don't know? would like to get to know?
or have worked w/ and want to work w/ some more?

Share your e-mail addresses w/ one another! (because next week
you will be sending each other reports on what you've gathered....)

Share what you've written w/ your group:
each of you gets 5 minutes of brainstorming questions for your own interview.

Come back to large group: let's work on a few of these.

IV. Homework/prep work
* print out, review release forms
* organize and print out your questions
* star those you definitely want to get to
(in an open-ended interview, you might not get to them...).

** By classtime next Tuesday,
e-mail us and your NEW writing partners
(=the groups you self-organized into today!) both your questions and your notes,
including "writing your impressions across":
take 15-30 more minutes, after you have written up your interview notes,
to reflect on/begin to make sense of your data:
where are you seeing intersections, differences, outliers?

Your homework for the following Thursday will be to read through
the material sent to you by your writing group, in preparation for
 in-class writing workshops, in which we'll work together to turn your
reflections on the  on-campus workshop, your interview notes
(and those of your writing group members?) into paper #10.