JiscMail Logo
Email discussion lists for the UK Education and Research communities

Help for PRACTITIONER-RESEARCHER Archives


PRACTITIONER-RESEARCHER Archives

PRACTITIONER-RESEARCHER Archives


PRACTITIONER-RESEARCHER@JISCMAIL.AC.UK


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

PRACTITIONER-RESEARCHER Home

PRACTITIONER-RESEARCHER Home

PRACTITIONER-RESEARCHER  October 2008

PRACTITIONER-RESEARCHER October 2008

Options

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password

Subject:

Re: Responses to Sarah Fletcher

From:

Jean McNiff <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Practitioner-Researcher <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 22 Oct 2008 20:18:01 +0100

Content-Type:

multipart/alternative

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (144 lines) , text/enriched (195 lines)

Dear Sarah,

To respond to what you say and because you mention me specifically:

That's great news, Jack - many congratulations to Jocelyn.  By the way
information please - how many examiners are there for Living Educational
Theories internationally?

I do not use this kind of language. When speaking about examining PhD 
work, I would not use the form of words ‘examiners for living 
educational theories’. I would not do this for the following reasons:

1	I think examiners examine reports, or dissertations, or theses – they 
do not examine theories;
2	 I do not use capitals for the idea of a living educational theory. 
This has been a consistent practice over the years, and many people 
will vouch for what I am saying. To capitalize something is to turn it 
into a proper noun, which has a tendency to reify it. I do not see a 
person’s living educational theory as a proper noun or something to be 
reified. Similarly, I avoid capitals for the form of words ‘action 
research’, and many other terms.

I know that you examine in Ireland and Jean
examines elsewhere - how many others specialise in LETs?

I would not speak about ‘LETs’, as noted above. I avoid using acronyms 
wherever possible. I would resist the idea of turning a person’s living 
educational theory into a brand of some kind.

You are right in saying I examine doctoral studies internationally, and 
so can speak out of this experience. In response to your question about 
the number of examiners involved in examining a PhD thesis, I think a 
point needs to be made that there seems to be broad agreement 
internationally that a thesis needs to be examined by at least two 
examiners to maintain quality, and these usually take the form of an 
internal and an external examiner. In the case of a member of faculty, 
three examiners are often appointed. I have returned recently from 
South Africa, where accepted practice requires the supervisor 
(‘promoter’ in South African terminology) to be the first examiner. I 
therefore do not think there is a specific number of people who 
specialize in examining a thesis that takes the form of a living 
educational theory. I know many colleagues working in higher education 
who have the right qualifications for examining doctoral theses and 
they have examined the theses of people I have supervised as well as 
others, of course. Some of these people would have acknowledged 
strengths in methodological issues while some would have strengths in 
subject or content issues. Some have had little knowledge of the idea 
of a living educational theory, but have definitely been open to new 
ideas about methodologies and epistemologies. Some of the viva voce 
examinations I have attended have turned out to be engaging and 
thought-provoking conversations. I do not think anyone expects anyone 
else to conform to a party line of any kind; the whole point of 
examining a PhD thesis is to test a candidate’s capacity for fulfilling 
nominated assessment criteria, such as the capacity to make an original 
contribution to knowledge of the field or demonstrate critical 
engagement.

I also want to make the point that, as an examiner, I do not specialize 
in any one form of methodology. I have examined PhD theses from a range 
of methodological stances. During my recent visit to South Africa I was 
asked to act as critical reader to a thesis written from a critical 
theoretic perspective. I was asked to do this specifically because my 
opinion and experience were respected by the accrediting institution, 
on a broad range of fronts.

The reason I ask is that I am critiquing the living educational theory
approach to action research and I want to understand for how 
'generative' it
is as an educational process,

Finally, a word on the idea of ‘the living educational theory 
approach’. I wonder if there is such a thing. I am reminded of a 
colleague recently who spoke of ‘applying action research’. We talked 
about how action research is something you do, not something you apply, 
in the same way as one could say, ‘I do the housework’ but one would 
not say, ‘I apply the housework.’  In my view, theory is something we 
do – I am not alone in this view; many writers speak about theory 
generation as a process. Also a word on the idea of ‘generative’: I 
began developing the idea of generative transformational processes in 
educational research in the early 1980s, borrowing the term (with his 
permission) from Noam Chomsky. Chomsky speaks about generating language 
in the sense that a finite number of linguistic elements can generate 
an infinite number of original utterances. This is the way in which I 
use the term ‘generative’, that a living entity, especially a person, 
has the capacity to generate an infinitude of new actions or ways of 
being in the world. You may have your own understanding and use of the 
word, however, Sarah, in which case perhaps you need to explain how you 
understand and use it.

I wonder if this response addresses some of the questions you have 
raised, Sarah?

I wonder also if it may generate some useful conversations about what 
it takes both to produce and to examine a PhD with integrity?

All good wishes,

Jean

On 22 Oct 2008, at 19:12, Jack Whitehead wrote:

> On 22 Oct 2008, at 10:24, Sarah Fletcher wrote:
>
> That's great news, Jack - many congratulations to Jocelyn.  By the way
> information please - how many examiners are there for Living 
> Educational
> Theories internationally? I know that you examine in Ireland and Jean
> examines elsewhere - how many others specialise in LETs?
>
> Sarah - I'm trying to keep the space on explanations of educational 
> influence for that
> particular focus hence my response to the above points here.
>
> I don't think that is is possible to give a number to your question 
> about 'how many
> examiners are there for Living Educational Theories internationally'. 
> I've examined some
> 6 doctoral theses from Australian Universities, 4 of these were living 
> theory theses, and
> I'm sure the supervisors of these doctorates are competent to judge 
> living theory theses.
> I know many examiners who are competent to judge living theory theses 
> and have used
> over 40 internal and external examiners for Ph.D. vivas over the last 
> 12 years.
>
> I don't know any examiners who specialise in Living Theory Theses. 
> Examiners of
> doctorates tend to develop national and international reputations and 
> their publications
> usually show a range of competences. I've examined critical theory 
> theses and theses
> that focus on narrative enquiry as well as ethnography and 
> phenomenology.
>
> I'd be careful about your assertions. By saying 'I know that you 
> examine in Ireland', when
> I have never examined in Ireland, this might easily lead to a lack of 
> trust in your
> knowing.
>
> Love Jack.

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

JiscMail Tools


RSS Feeds and Sharing


Advanced Options


Archives

July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
October 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
November 2004
September 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004


JiscMail is a Jisc service.

View our service policies at https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/policyandsecurity/ and Jisc's privacy policy at https://www.jisc.ac.uk/website/privacy-notice

For help and support help@jisc.ac.uk

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager