"The whole movement of life is learning" (Krishnamurti). "To be an act of knowing, then, the adult literacy process must engage the learners in the constant problematizing of their existential situations" (Freire). "Once you learn to read, you will be forever free" (Douglass). "I can learn anything I have the desire to learn" (White, S.G.).

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Remaining Neutral

        As I continue to gather my thoughts on the 1-2-3 project I view my artifact as more powerful every day.  I am not a fan of my artifact.  It removes my instructional assistant from my classroom and it brings me little information of use (more on this in the project), but its power seems to grow as I analyze my own feelings and try to project how other faculty members may view it.  Since it is put into circulation with my name on it, it appears as if I support this artifact when in truth I feel very differently about it.

        So as it grows in power I wonder how I will be able to project a neutral stance as I begin the interview process.  Will I be able to not tell others what to think of this form?  As proved in class with some dramatics I do not want others to tell me what to think when they present me with written words.  Yet, here I sit, convinced that I will be projecting my own resistance to my artifact when trying to remain neutral.  Will I be capable of interpreting and prying another’s experience with my artifact from them without influencing their words?  Since my artifact may be viewed as legal documentation will they read me as policing their use of the artifact due to my own positioning? 

       These reflections make me realize that disclosing my purpose, if not my own position, may help the faculty I am choosing to interview.  Although I still say I enjoyed the reading of the Urban Hotel chapter because the position of Judy Hunter was not explained, I weigh the value of disclosing my own purpose.  My ultimate purpose might be to eliminate the artifact, or re-design the artifact, but I am challenged by finding a way to make the interviewees more receptive to answering my questions without "bashing" the artifact.  Will I find a way to place myself in their position, define my purpose and remain neutral?  It will be my goal, though my learning curve may well be more curvy depending on the answers I receive.


  1. Ah…the Urban Hotel chapter! The discussion surrounding whether or not Hunter's position should have been disclosed was one that has been on my mind ever since. The reasons to not disclose to avoid coloring my own opinion early on, and yet the benefits of knowing what you may be walking into. The idea of later is definitely starting to settle in, for as we try our hand at ethnography a bit I could easily see my facial expressions or automatic responses giving away my own opinions from time to time. I am investigating the art of transparency a bit too I suppose and look forward to giving it a whirl as we begin our interviews!

  2. These are really important issues! And Lise, your post is like an ideal "pre-interview memo". Could we use it to discuss in class? For instance, I think the intensity of your feelings is something you will need to keep venting and getting out -for yourself. But I am not sure you should you should disclose this to your participants. I know I argued for disclosure in writing (Hunter's chapter), but interviewing is different. Here the aim is not to tell your story in an honest way, but to hear other's story. On the other hand, if they perceive you as the author, then you may be dealing with reactivity issues, cause they don't want to offend you. So, maybe telling then that you are very open to feedback, and maybe even saying that you are considering making changes and their ideas are going to help you, or....
    Whew, this is tricky!!!!! Can we kick this around in class???


Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on this post. Diverse opinions are welcomed.