Here’s the thesis proposal outline I’ve just sent off:
Thesis Proposal Outline
If I were to, in one sentence, sum up the area I wish to explore in my Ed.D. thesis it would be:
Changing conceptions of, and reactions to, the nature of knowledge by educational institutions.
In particular, I am interested in how secondary schools in the UK have responded and are continuing to respond to the feeling that, ‘[k]nowledge has broken free from its moorings, its shackles.’ (Siemens, 2006) The questions I hope to use to frame my investigation include:
1. How have governmental/agency (esp. UK/European) conceptions of knowledge changed in the last 25 years?
2. What role has educational technology in changing conceptions of knowledge?
3. To what extent does education in the 21st century need to differ from 20th century curricula?
4. What different kinds of knowledge are there, and which kind should schools be teaching/developing?
5. Are metaphors and similes, as used by educational thinkers and policy-makers the most effective way to bring about fundamental changes in education?
These areas are broad, but I hope to narrow these as my reading continues and the focus of my interest becomes clearer. My motivation stems from the dual sources of the hopes and motivations I had (and continue to hold) when I entered the teaching profession three years ago, and the frustrations I have felt since then by being constrained by a system more interested in standardization than innovation.
Whilst I shall, of course, declare my particular biases at the beginning of my thesis, it is interesting to note the number of thinkers on education who seem to share my convictions. From publications by UNESCO to blogs by practising educators there seems to be a feeling that we need to move from ‘classroom 1.0’ to ‘classroom 2.0’. I shall focus the majority of my attention on journal articles and other works published by traditional means, but I shall include also those published by ‘new media’ outlets such as blogs, wikis and podcasts. This, I hope, will serve to show something of the new nature of knowledge – or at least our changing conceptions of it.
Apple, M.W., et al. (eds.), Globalizing Education: policies, pedagogies, and politics (New York, 2005)
Blake, N., et al. (eds.), The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Education (Oxford, 2003)
Broadfoot, P., ‘Comparative Education for the 21st Century: retrospect and prospect’ (Comparative Education, 36(3), 2000)
Cahen, D., ‘Derrida and the question of education: a new space for philosophy’ (in Biesta, G.J.J. & Eg?a-Kuehne, D. (eds.), Derrida & Education, London, 2001)
Carr, D., Making Sense of Education: an introduction to the philosophy and theory of education and teaching (London, 2003)
Cormier, D., Dave’s Educational Blog (http://davecormier.com/edblog)
Dicken, P., Global Shift: reshaping the global economic map in the 21st century (London, 2003)
Fryer, W., Moving at the Speed of Creativity (http://www.speedofcreativity.org/)
Journal of Knowledge Management (numerous articles)
Labbo, L.D., et al., ‘Technology and Literacy Education in the Next Century: Exploring the Connection between Work and Schooling’ (Peabody Journal of Education, 73(3/4), 1998)
Morgan, G., Images of Organization (San Francisco, 1998)
DfES/NGfL, Transforming the Way we Learn: a vision for the future of ICT in schools (HMSO, 2002)
Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce, For Life: a vision for learning in the 21st century (1996)
Schoenfeld, A.H., ‘Looking toward the 21st Century: Challenges of Educational Theory and Practice’ (Educational Researcher, 28(7), 1999)
Sessums, C., Chrisopher D. Sessums: Weblog (http://elgg.net/csessums/weblog/)
Siemens, G., elearnspace (http://www.elearnspace.org/blog/)
Siemens, G., Knowing Knowledge (forthcoming, 2006)
Smith, M. Cecil, et al., ‘RRQ Snippet: What Will Be the Demands of Literacy in the Workplace in the Next Millennium?’ (Reading Research Quarterly, 35(3), 2000)
UNESCO, Learning: the treasure within (1996)
UNESCO, Learning Throughout Life: challenges for the twenty-first century (2002)
??? Wells, G. & Claxton, G. (eds.), Learning for life in the 21st Century: sociocultural perspectives on the future of education (Oxford, 2002)
Warlick, D., 2 Cents Worth (http://davidwarlick.com/2cents)
Young, M., ‘A Curriculum for the 21st Century? Towards a new basis for overcoming academic/vocational divisions’ (British Journal of Educational Studies, 41(3), 1993)