Thursday, 20 February 2014

#rhizo14: W5: Community as Curriculum: Poetry as a Mode of Inquiry?

Rarely have I been so time poor – sad that it coincides with my engagement with the brilliant #rhizo14 led by Dave Cormier. This one might be a MOOCers MOOC: there is no set reading – scant introductory remarks – no trail of video tutorials or lectures… just trickster questions designed to get us thinking – posting – commenting – blogging – FBing – Google+ing… and lo – the community IS the curriculum. It is emergent – it emerges – it is what we want it to be! This post is a little reflection - and an invitation - let us write some poetry as a collaborative means of researching #rhizo14?

My project – if you can call it that – for #rhizo14 has been to bring as much of this busy fizzy messy stuff as possible into my first year #becomingeducational module and see what it sparks in first year students who in the end want to become educationalists.
In the process I have shared DogTrax ‘Steal this Poem’ ( and with him used the concept of cheating as a tool to analyse the power structures of education. I have re-blogged several #rhizo14 blogposts directly to the handful of students who actually follow the class blog. I don’t know if the excitement sizzles through – but I hope so!
Research: Collaborative writing as inquiry
Some of us in the rhizome are exploring the idea of collaborative writing as a form of inquiry about #rhizo14. We are thinking about exploring (as radical un-content) the blogs that have emerged – the words that have touched us, weaving a paper in, around and through our own responses to the ones we choose – and our responses to the writing of our fellow flaneurs.
In this, I have been very influenced by Ken Gale – who has himself studied Deleuze through collaborative writing…  (see Ken Gale )
Poetry and Inquiry?
Given the power of the rhizome – and the huge creativity in this ‘wonder’ (my collective term for us all – rejecting community – network – group); do #rhizo14ers want to generate poems (in the broadest and most multimodal sense) of our experiences – either as our own collective mode of inquiry for capturing (dead word!) our collective learning – that could be posted on a #rhizo14 website for just that purpose???
OR - for the LinkedIn Group: Higher Education Teaching and Learning and their Call for poems and creative works. Confession – I haven’t performed a rigorous back check on all this – but it serendipitously appeared in my email in-box from a friend who knows I like this sort of this. I am sharing it with a community that I know also loves this sort of thing…

Anyway – here’s their invitation - Submission Deadline: June 20, 2014:
Teaching as a Human Experience: An Anthology of Contemporary Poems
An edited anthology volume by Dr. Karen Head (Assistant Professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Literature, Media, and Communication), and Patrick Blessinger (Founder and Executive Director, Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association)

Volume one of the anthology series, Contemporary Teaching and Learning Poetry Series, Patrick Blessinger, series editor.

Submissions should be submitted electronically to: 

Volume One Overview

The poems in this collection will deal with the real life-worlds of professors, instructors, and others working in education and it will cover contemporary teaching experiences in education. The poems will be written mainly by college and university professors, instructors, lecturers, and others in the field of education, and will cover the many roles teachers play, including instructing, lecturing, mentoring, facilitating, coaching, guiding, and leading. This volume will cover the manifold life experiences and perspectives of being and working as a teacher in education and the epiphanies (experiences of deep realization) experienced in that role.

This volume seeks to give creative voice to the full range of experiences by teachers, students, and others. It seeks to empower readers with personal agency as they evolve as self-creating, self-determining authors of their own lives, personally and professionally. In short, it seeks to expand our consciousness of what it means to be a teacher in contemporary life and within diverse learning environments and cultures. The poems will be based on teachers’ meaningful experiences in and out of the classroom and will provide artistic inspiration and creative insight to other teachers who work as teachers.

Submission Requirements

You may submit up to two poems or creative works per person. Any poetic form is accepted, but each poem should be limited to 300 words, unless the poem of longer length is exceptional in quality and highly unique in insight or style and appropriate to the poetic form used. Thus, poems and creative works expressed in a pure economy of words and that are able to distill the human experience down to its bare essence are highly valued as are creative use of voice, passion, imagery and the interplay of intellect and emotions.

The poem “Lecture” by Tami Haaland and the poem “Student” by Ted Kooser are a few examples of the type of work this volume seeks.


We invite submissions of high quality poems and creative works for Volume One entitled, Teaching as a Human Experience: An Anthology of Contemporary Poems. We are interested in poems by teachers (e.g., professors, instructors, lecturers, faculty) as well as other practitioners in the field of teaching and learning.

Submission Deadline: June 20, 2014

Submissions should be submitted electronically to: 

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