This article is a commentary of the author’s experiences with visual representation as a doctoral candidate. It is an autobiographical reflection of her doctoral journey towards a PhD in education, a mixed methods study which explored teaching for creativity and creative processes for music educators. The author reflects on the experience of engaging with her own work visually via cartooning and mind mapping, and what this meant for her studies and her experience as a research student. The author hopes that this can offer a scope for reflection to readers who are doing similar types of studies or intend to engage more creatively with their doctoral studies. The article aims to demonstrate the benefit of cartooning as a self-expressive tool for the PhD candidate and to show the value of visual representation through mind mapping in the process of data analysis.
This chapter revisits the imprint made by the early writings of Lous Heshusius on the public school teaching and ideological positioning of the author, Linda Ware—then, a middle school resource room teacher and a parent to her young son enrolled in special education. Heshusius’ insights stood in marked contrast to the professional literature and practices in teacher training programs. Heshusius amplified Ware’s experience as a mother and as a teacher, inspiring what became Ware’s critique of special education’s misguided ideology.
This chapter encourages reflexive analysis as the default stance for educators who seek honest exploration of that which troubles us and alienates us from deeper understanding of disability, our students and the teaching process. Gallaher draws from “Freeing Ourselves from Objectivity: Managing Subjectivity or Turning Toward a Participatory Mode of Consciousness” (Heshusisus, 1994), offering her own philosophical treatment of the objectivity/subjectivity debates relative to how we come to know what we believe. Gallagher summons educators and those who prepare educators to respond.
This chapter details the practice of special education’s misguided ideology in the assessment and placement practices common to the IEP meeting. Nusbaum offers a nuanced account of her experience attempting to advocate for Lelia, a young student who could only be seen by professionals as an amalgam of deficiency and lack. Nusbaum provides an account that is richly textured by the insights Heshusius offered to the professional literature, decades before it was recognized for its merit.
This chapter captures the actual rendering of an intervention with preservice teachers who are called upon by Allan to explore their ideological positioning utilizing “participatory consciousness” as outlined by Heshusius. In brief, the call to interrogate unconscious biases about children, disability, and teaching, these undergraduate students found the intervention challenging and welcoming. The key component, as described by Heshusius, was for educators to listen to the call to control and limit lives that often results from unreflective practice.
This chapter concludes with Cowley’s reflexivity in the form of a letter to Heshusius, seeking resolution to threads that were left unwoven in the narrative research Cowley conducted for her doctoral research. Decades separate their research, yet. Heshusius’ insights and connections to the present make for a powerful argument for this series, to suggest the relevance of returning to the founding voices of critical special educators who made possible, the evolution of disability studies in education.
This chapter provides a further close rendering of “epistemological incongruence” set within the author’s early years as a behavioral consultant supporting a young student with autism. Although trained and versed in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Broderick fought the over-reliance on ABA for students with autism as the sure-fit solution to diminish problematic behaviors. Her struggle is conveyed in near poetic terms, in much the same way that Heshusius draws on the vocabulary of a strong poet.
This study articulates the epistemological underpinnings of a web banner’s visual elements featured on the webpage of the research centre, Kindergarten Knowledge Centre for Systemic Research on Diversity and Sustainable Futures (KINDknow). Through interdisciplinary work within a diverse framework including dialogical, cultural, historical, systemic, anthropological and more-than-human epistemological approaches, the research team has consolidated a common sphere of member-identifying visual representations. This work tells the story of how the research team became ‘ocular’ in developing a web banner and establishing a new research centre. The aim of the narrative is to demonstrate how visual forms, elements, symbols and metaphors can be productive in research teamwork for articulating epistemological commonplaces and commonalities. The article shows the text and visual elements used. The video attached outlines one of the metaphors that served as a productive thinking tool in the process.
Using digital video technology for collecting research data is becoming a popular qualitative method in social science research. This article explores how digital video technology could be an analytical tool for a researchers and how this tool supports the researcher to actively engage in children’s play. The study uses a cultural-historical methodological approach and Hedegaard’s “dialectical-interactive research approach” (2008b, p. 43) to analyse the data. Three different examples of a focus child, Apa, and the researcher’s participation in different play vignettes will be presented. It has been found that a researcher needs to be really skillful when taking the “doubleness approach” (Hedegaard 2008d, p. 203) of simultaneously taking part in the children’s play and video recording the moments of play. The findings also show that positioning the camera in a way where it can capture the play moments and participants’ expressions, enabled the researcher to be an active play participant in the play and to understand the play theme from the children’s perspectives without taking the authority away from the children. The authors argue that using digital video technology could be a useful analytical tool for the researcher to understand the participants’ perspectives and the research context itself.