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Academic Exchange Quarterly
Thursday, 4 December 2008
Oral Proposal Presnetations to UNM TED Faculty

Dear Teacher Practitioner Colleagues,

Congratulations on sharing your practitioner research proposals in Albuquerque on November 21. Your questions were validated and sometimes stretched beyond your original design. The atmosphere of collegial dialogue and receptivity to feedback and suggestions are examples of becoming part of an intellectual community. I applaud your investment of energy, focus and commitment to your questions. You have new faculty resources to share your ideas with now.

Hope I can keep up with you spiraling onward and beyond,

Your supportive Mentor,


Posted by unm-farmington at 9:18 PM MST
Saturday, 4 October 2008
Thank you, Rebel, for sharing your research experitise and reminding us that the act and art of research is a gift for others to read. You helped unpackage what research is and infuse meaning into the process, product and skills required for us to navigatearound in our research landscape. We would like to invite you to our Proposal presentation on Nov. 21 and our oral examination on April 3, 2009.

Posted by unm-farmington at 4:35 PM MDT
Thursday, 2 October 2008
Thank you, Rebel, for sharing your research experitise and reminding us that the act and art of research is a gift for others to read. You helped unpackage what research is and infuse meaning into the process, product and skills required for us to navigatearound in our research landscape. We would like to invite you to our Proposal presentation on Nov. 21 and our oral examination on April 3, 2009.

Posted by unm-farmington at 12:51 PM MDT
Monday, 1 September 2008

Dear Teacher Practitioner Colleagues,

    Our first session of the semester was stimulating for me and I hope equally as interesting for you. I look forward to learning how I best can guide your learning during your capstone experience this year. It will be a pleasure to learn beside you as I know you will keep me on my toes!

Thoughts concerning your Teacher Reflections:

     In your teacher reflections, think about your students and your classroom and why you do what you do. Clarify your teaching practice to yourself. What is your teaching philosophy?. These reflections will become an investment in the future that you can utilize in your research as evidence of your teaching rationale. The more frontloading thinking you do now, the more you can draw from when it is time to write your proposal & research. Remember that your reflection is considered data also! So by reflecting, you help to "mine out' the real underlying issues & questions for your research project. Much of what you do from now on will be following in the true shoes of a researcher, which means, the more time and care you give to your thinking and reflecting, the richer your overall rewards will be in the process and product of your research. Trust the process and yourself even if you are unsure of not knowing for sure. This process may contribute to your own transformation as a learner and researcher!

     For we know learning is anything that changes us; and changes many times are uncomfortable experiences where we move beyond our comfort zones into the realm of the unknown. As researchers, ambiguity becomes our friend! Your research is like your own trust walk.

A reflection prompt is provided for your next teacher reflection below for your consideration.Learning with your Students......On the importance of teachers learning alongside students excerpted from #6 of Seymour Papert on Project-Based Learning: "What we need is kinds of activity in the classroom where the teacher is learning at the same time as the kids and with the kids. Unless you do that, you'll never get out of the bind of what the teachers can do is limited by what they were taught to do when they went to school. And I think that's possible, and it's a different concept of what kind of educational kind of materials and activities should go into the school. It's in line with what I was saying before -- that we mustn't think only of, "Is this to be judged by what the kids learn?" We've got to say, "Judge it by what the whole system learns, (and) that includes the teacher." The teacher's got to be learning at the same time. And then with this robotics stuff, it's an example because ... every situation is unique. It's never been there before. And that's very different from the classroom situation where we're teaching math fractions. We've been there before. The teacher is not learning anything because the teacher knows that already. And this is a very bad situation for learning.   Again, one of my favorite little analogies: If I wanted to become a better carpenter, I'd go find a good carpenter, and I'll work with this carpenter on doing carpentry or making things. And that's how I'll get to be a better carpenter. So if I want to be a better learner, I'll go find somebody who's a good learner and with this person do some learning. But this is the opposite of what we do in our schools. We don't allow the teacher to do any learning. We don't allow the kids to have the experience of learning with the teacher because that's incompatible with the concept of the curriculum where what is being taught is what's already known."  

Source: see #6 of Seymour Papert on Project-Based Learning


“Genius is more often found in a cracked pot than in a whole one.” ~  E. B. White


Posted by unm-farmington at 9:14 PM MDT
Updated: Monday, 1 September 2008 9:31 PM MDT
Thursday, 28 August 2008
Welcome Research Practitioners!

Welcome to your newest learning journey in your Masters' capstone experience. Learning is anything that changes us and your practitioner research process and product (Fall 2008 proposal and Spring 2009 implementation) will lead you to opportunities for such personal and professional transformation.

I will be your guide and mentor along the way as you begin to take on the role of and demonstrate your expertise as teacher practitioners. Your cohort members will also assist you on this trajectory of reflective practice.

Again, colleagues, welcome to our Research Seminar and the pursuit of questions.

Your Colleague & Research Mentor,


Posted by unm-farmington at 12:10 AM MDT
Monday, 21 January 2008
Writing Thoughts from Stephen King!

Dear Writers: 

Writing romance, horror or practitioner research, there are connections as writers we can embrace. Stephen King (2000, pp. 163-167) shares his thoughts about mining the story:

Stories aren't souvenir tee-shirts or GameBoys. Stories are relics, part of an undiscovered pre-existing world. The writer's job is to use the tools in his or her toolbox to get as much of each one out of the ground intact as possible. Sometimes the fossil you discover is small; a seashell. Sometimes enormous, a Tyrannosaurus Rex, with all those gigantic ribs and grinning teeth. Either way...the techniques of excavation remain basically the same.

No matter how good you are, no matter how much experience you have, it's probably impossible to get the entire fossil out of the ground without a few breaks and losses. To get even most of it, the shovel must give way to more delicate tools: airhose, palm-pick, perhaps even a toothbrush....You can liberate a fossil from hard ground with a jackhammer, no argument there, but you know as well as I do that the jackhammer is going to break almost as much stuff as it liberates. It's clumsy, mechanical, anticreative....The story which results from is apt to fee artificial and labored.

King continues about the involvement of characters in the storyline:

I often have an idea of what the outcome may be, but I never demanded of a set of characters that they do things my way. On the contrary, I want them to do things their way. In some instances, the outcome is what I visualized. In most, however, it's something I never expected....Why be such a control freak? Sooner or later every story comes out somewhere.

King relays how he came upon the initial story concept for his book, Misery:

The actual story did not as then exist (well, it did, but as a relic buried--except for sixteen handwritten pages, that is--in the earth), but knowing the story wasn't necessary for me to begin work. I had located the fossil; the rest, I knew, would consist of careful excavation.

King, S. (2000). On writing: A memoir on the craft. New York:   Scribner.

Posted by unm-farmington at 2:50 PM MST
Updated: Monday, 21 January 2008 3:54 PM MST
Welcome Back, Teacher Practitioners!

Congratulations on preparing your research proposal Fall 2007 semester. This Spring 2008, you will prepare for the final semester capstone stage - implementing and writing your practitioner research. I will continue to guide you in this process along with your cohort colleagues with support from your UNM and SJC committee members.

Before we delve into the work ahead of you, let us take some time to acknowledge your family and their role in the process as a support system. We will take time to relax, meet one another, have time to ask questions, voice concerns and to help understand the next stage of your research project.

Posted by unm-farmington at 2:10 PM MST
Updated: Monday, 21 January 2008 2:22 PM MST
Friday, 9 November 2007
Thank you, Dear Colleagues!

Thank you Stephanie, Gretchen, Tammie & Norm for sharing your expertise as research practitioners with our UNM cohort graduate students Thursday evening, November 8. Thank you for your supportive feedback, suggestions and guidance in helping our current teacher practitioners clarify their research questions and write their research proposals.

 You are a reminder that "Treasuers of the heart are the most valuable of all" (Nichiren Daishonin). You are treasures in the contributions you make everyday with your students and in the teaching profession. I value your stories of leadership and advocacy exemplified in your teaching lives. I am proud to be your colleague!


Posted by unm-farmington at 9:13 AM MST
Updated: Friday, 9 November 2007 9:21 AM MST
Thursday, 25 October 2007
THANK YOU, Diane & Charleen!

Our cohort thanks you for your collegial generosity in sharing your experiences in writing your practitioner research proposals. Thank you for your sincerity, humor, encouragement and expertise. You inspired our colleagues and I was very proud of you and your achievements. 

Your Colleague,


Posted by unm-farmington at 7:31 PM MDT
Updated: Friday, 2 November 2007 12:00 AM MDT
Sunday, 19 August 2007
Welcome, Practitioner Research Cohort Members!

As teacher practitioners, you have the privilege and responsibility of choosing a research question of focued interest and passion to pursue over two semesters. This capstone experience will challenge you to think beyond the boundaries of the usual graduate class assignments and course exercises to engaging in your own learning quest that is designed, generated, implemented and narrated by you. In the process you will begin to own your research direction, focus and motivation. Since you may be pursuing different research questions, you must begin to trust yourself, your experience, your expertise in acknowledging your creative learning processes and not comparing yourselves to each other as much as challenging yourselves to do your best.

In the words of Janet Reno's mother:

"Make your good better and your better best." This will continue to be our motto throughout the year!

Enjoy your research journey. I will be your guide by your side!

Posted by unm-farmington at 12:33 AM MDT

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