PROCESS FOR IDENTIFYING AND FORMULATING ISSUES FOR INQUIRY
University of Rhode Island (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Judi Marshall in her book First Person Action Research, Sage, 2016 raises the question: "How do we identify and formulate issues for inquiry?
How do we recognize when inquiry seems to have arisen, as if of its own accord? How do we discover what has real interest and energy for us?
How do we scope inquiry somewhere between vast and contained, entangled and focused?"
“Identifying issues for inquiry is inquiry in itself, an iterative process of noticing, working with, shaping, testing out, revising. Inquiries can start in many different ways, deliberately or unintentionally.” (Marshall)
The authors present and discuss their process for identifying issues for further inquiry. We are a group of individuals communicating in a digital “fishbowl.” Our communication is constructivist in nature where the issue(s) identified by each individual is in a continual state of becoming. We are sharing our individual subjective processes. The process which goes on inside our heads and takes place when selecting words, symbols and images to identify the issue at hand. In other words, what is the “pre-narrative” to the issue being formulated? The paper presents four participants, each starting with an idealized statement, and follows their subjective thread. It is the generation and development of content in "first person inquiry" (Marshall).
In our experience, clarity of thought is achieved slowly; the process is emergent, and then the relevant question surfaces, resulting in perfect articulation. Sometimes the immediate phrasing of an issue does not hold much weight, and revision is needed for raising the stakes.
Our attitude and approach is that things can’t be taken as given, rather they come to be. What was finally constructed were fundamental perspectives that helped us to identify the issues worthy of inquiry. Our paper concludes with four major learning outcomes:
1. ‘Identifying issues of inquiry,’ formulating theories and constructing frameworks, depends upon context and the individual's engagement with text.
2. When ‘identifying issues for inquiry,’ the individual can explore, borrow, adapt, innovate.
3. Setting up a ‘practice of inquiring’ requires learning from within oneself, and then adapting it as one wishes.
4. The ‘quality of one's inquiry’ is always a process, requiring ongoing attention, discipline, review, and creativity.
Keywords: First person Inquiry.