The “Strong Poet”: Essays in Honor of Lous Heshusius is an edited volume focused on the research, scholarship, and leadership of one of the earliest proponents of radical change in the field of special education. This volume is part of the series
Critical Leaders and the Foundation of Disability Studies in Education, a collective history of the ecology of ideas that gave way to the emergence of the field of Disability Studies in Education (DSE). The series formalizes the value of attending to a history, distinguished by Steve Taylor (2005), as one that existed before it was named DSE. In this volume the contributors borrow from the venerable life work of Lous Heshusius, to center her original claims, early research, and the enduring challenge she posed to special education against examples from their own practice and personal histories. Each chapter recovers aspects of the genius of Heshusius that ultimately disrupted status quo thinking about disability. Specifically her attention to recognizing the lives and desires of those that society too often relegates to categories and contexts devoid of self direction and authentic agency. In brief, we find in Heshusius, a researcher who sought to privilege the voice of individuals with disability. She was among those who drew from and elaborated upon the methods and tools of qualitative research.
Contributors are: Julie Allan, Alicia Broderick, Danielle Cowley, Deborah J. Gallagher, Emily A. Nusbaum, and Linda Ware.
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.
Medicine has always been regarded as one of the most significant disciplines, grounded in a humanistic approach, due to its ultimate exposure and connection with people as ‘patients’ and hence a holistic understanding of the patient as ‘human’ is fundamental. In our potentially dangerous times, the instrumental, technical and fragmented ways of seeing knowledge tend to permeate most disciplines, including medicine. This may result in individuals becoming alienated with the ‘self’ as potential doctors, with the discipline and with patients through the monologic discourse of academia or clinics. This article examines this (in)visible global issue in the specific context of Iran, where bilingual medical education adds another level of complexity in dialogic ‘seeing’ of self, knowledge and patients. Grounded in Bakhtin’s theory of dialogue and critical literacy approach to language and literacy, this article explores the affordances of a pedagogical intervention at an Iranian university. This offers diverse avenues for constructing a holistic medical knowledge in the process of becoming a professional through narrative medicine, clinical scenarios, evidence-based medicine and personal experiences. Selected stories of participants’ ontological and epistemological transformations, in their process of ideological becoming, are offered to argue for the urgency of dialogic ways of ‘seeing’ in potentially dangerous times.
Debates around authenticity within photographic discourse are persistent. Some have revolved around documentary photography, while other discussions focus on the ethical validity of digitally edited news photographs and indeed the photographic medium itself. This article proposes that discussions around ‘authenticity’ should be focused instead towards contextualising photography more appropriately within the creative practice of ‘making strange’. It acknowledges existing debates around photography and authenticity, before locating the discussion within creative practice. It then moves to a discussion, using Robert Capa’s ‘Falling Soldier’ (Capa, 1936) as a starting point, before drawing on examples from the author’s own creative and professional practice. In the process, the article argues that visual researchers embrace the challenges of making the familiar strange within photographic creative practices.
Although bees are separated from humans by about 600 million years with a common ancestor that had only a rudimentary nervous system, they still share over 60% of our Genome. Any commonly observed learning principles between bees and humans may be consequently either basal, or may have evolved in parallel due to their efficiency. While the universality of associative learning among the animal kingdom is well established, recent advances on honeybee’s cognition push further our understanding of shared mechanisms. Honeybees demonstrate the ability to prioritise information depending on context and the cost associated with making errors. Individual bees show evidence of having different heuristic approaches to solve complex tasks, and maintaining a diversity of cognitive strategies is also probably highly adaptive for group success. Bees can learn key numerosity abilities that humans acquire at school, such as the ability to add and subtract, understand the concept of zero and also how to link symbols with the specific numbers of items present. Such knowledge on bee cognitive-like processing serves as a source of inspiration for a better understanding of the biological roots of our intelligence, and may help shape educational theories or strategies to improve artificial intelligence efficiency.
As a filmmaker, the author felt the need to develop a deep connection with her subject, but was unsure how to do so with the Murray-Darling River. Initially, she saw the river as a system akin to what Pierre Bourdieu calls a field: forces external to the author acting upon each other. She felt that to connect with the river she needed to adjust her habitus (personal dispositions; way of being) to its field. This continued once the author returned to Melbourne, but through the medium of the images of the river. During the edit, she shifted from seeing the river as a field of external forces to seeing it as a habitus, a way of being. This was necessary for the river to become a character, rather than just a location.
In 2014, the government of Western Australia proposed a plan to defund, and in effect close, about half of the nearly three hundred remote Aboriginal communities in the state. During this time, the author collaborated on a hand sign video project with five women Elders at the Kapululangu Women’s Law and Culture Centre in Balgo, an Aboriginal community in the Great Sandy Desert. The author articulates why Marumpu Wangka! Kukatja Hand Talk—an unassuming and largely improvised video—struck a chord at this precarious moment for Aboriginal communities. The author argues that hand sign videos provide a rare mode of intercultural engagement that is simultaneously culturally specific and broadly relatable. In a mediascape in which most Australian viewers are inundated with visual tropes of Aboriginal communities as either suffering or mystical, representations of jovial gesture encourage understanding beyond these stereotypes by intimately engaging everyday community interaction. Referencing the supplemental eight-minute video throughout, the author (1) overviews the significance of hand sign systems in Aboriginal Australian communities, (2) describes the collaborative and improvised hand sign video production process, and (3) argues for the importance of visual representations that can transcend—even if modestly—settler/Indigenous divides during the current dangerous times for Aboriginal communities.
Memes are an increasingly prevalent means of communication in online spaces. Their influence is felt in the offline world as attitudes and dispositions traverse the postdigital membrane. The medium is emblematic of the democratic and participatory communities of the internet, yet there is evidence that they play a role in the well-documented political radicalisation that happens in online spaces. Semiotic concepts such as inter and intratextuality, and Peirce’s conception of habit provide a framework to understand how the language of memes is developed and transformed across a network.
This article adopts a semiotic (and edusemiotic) perspective that abolishes all binary divisions in favour of the process of semiosis that ensures a continuous translation of signs into other signs via the dynamic relations formed by the human mind, cultural artefacts, and events in real life. The mind, in edusemiotics, partakes of unconscious ideas in the form of mental images. As for culture, the field of communication phenomena calls for, according to Yuri Lotman, the identification of specific semiotic systems representing their ‘languages’, including non-verbal signs such as images, pictures, and other art forms that function as cultural texts. The methodology of bricolage (conceptualized in educational research by Joe Kincheloe) combines hermeneutics with narratology, and ‘reading’ images becomes imperative for advancing critical pedagogy. The article examines and interprets selected images, including those belonging to the low end of popular culture, and connects them with the exemplarily significant event at the level of socio-cultural reality.The paradoxical self-referential ‘logic’ is the prerogative of semiotic reason that constantly reflects on – thus bringing to cognition and transforming – our often unconscious assumptions, beliefs and habits thus contributing to the construction of subjectivity that uses critical reason informed by signs, which include the bricolage of images.