"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.).

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Using what we have learned on the job….

Everyone did a great job presenting their mini case study. It seems like we all learned a lot new things from this project.

My question to the class… “How can working professionals perform cultural research with demanding roles?”

Personally, time is always limited. I would have to set aside a dedicated amount of time to get obtain social and cultural details related to a literacy event. At this point in my career finding that extra time is a challenge.

Although I can’t implement mini case studies in its entirety, I can use bits and pieces to enhance learning and processes. Below are some ideas I have on how to use pieces on the research project on the job:

• When gathering project requirements, ask neutral questions that unveil the social and cultural aspect of the project.
• During discussion observe and take notes on themes.
• Perform discourse analysis on documentation.

I am sure there are more ways to use what we have learned without engaging in an entire research project. I welcome your suggestions.


  1. I felt like making time to do the research took away from my "official job responsibilities". I was only able to conduct so many interviews with my co-workers because I am between major deadlines. This type of project wouldn't have been possible for me during one of my normal assignments. I think I have a really understanding boss, and she supports my classwork. I know that not everyone works in such an environment. If I got a new boss tomorrow, things might change, I will say that I learned so much more from the research then I realized in the moment. That would be hard to replicate without giving it the necessary time. I'm interested in others' opinions on this as well.

  2. I actually started working on this project a couple of months after my boss assigned me the task of researching new software possibilities for our online application system. It seems counter-intuitive, but I think that working on this project actually accelerated the process for me. At the time that we first started on our case studies, I had just finished watching demos from a variety of companies and was wrestling with what to do next. The feedback that I received from students and staff was invaluable. Without it, I think that I would have made a very different decision, and I think it would have taken me longer to choose. Only time will tell if I made the best choice, but at least I know that I tried my best to implement a process that serves our stakeholders.

    Perhaps one argument for this type of data collection is that it is better to take the extra time to get stakeholder feedback and choose a process that works, rather than put a lot of work into a process that fails and then come up with another one. At least, that is my opinion. However, I agree with Jen that not every office has the right climate to do that. Maybe rather than starting a whole research endeavor, you could just do a small focus group and get feedback from them.


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