Learning is a messy business…..

…. and no more so than when you are doing research and are a new researcher! I’m wondering if it is more or less messy when you are working with others. I remember that for the CCK08 assignments some people chose to work collaboratively and some chose to work individually. It’s interesting to reflect on whether the outcomes would have been better or worse for having worked in the alternative way. They would almost certainly have been different.

For myself, I prefer to work with others. I learn so much from the others’ expertise, their insights, alternative perspectives and different ways of working, which is enriched even further by different cultural backgrounds. I also find this whole process as interesting as the research itself. But it’s difficult not to go into information overload, particularly if the information is new. For example, I know nothing about Actor Network Theory (ANT), which other members of our research team seem to be familiar with, if not very familiar. It even took me a week or two to realise that IMO in a post meant ‘In my Opinion’ 🙂

It’s very interesting how easy it is to make assumptions about every possible aspect of life and learning. I try and stay mindful of Stephen Brookfield’s work on assumption hunting when involved in something like this research project, but I’m not always successful. This, of course, is complicated by the fact that this is a ‘virtual’ research team. We have never actually met. We probably have all sorts of erroneous ideas about each other, but it’s interesting how the process of working together, teasing out ideas, negotiating meaning and sometimes ‘going round in circles’, brings a sense of proximity and commitment.

In this team of four wonderfully enthusiastic researchers, I think we will have written a book before we even begin to write the paper! We are going backwards and forwards, sideways, up and down and round about, but bit by bit are making progress and untangling the knots of the messy learning business. I feel so pleased to be working in this team.

One thought on “Learning is a messy business…..

  1. Sui Fai John Mak March 11, 2009 / 12:35 am

    Hi Jenny,
    You have wonderfully summarised these all, and I resonate with you on all points.
    Amazing! Isn’t it? 🙂
    John

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