Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Quilting; an act of sedition. Post 1

This is research, but not as I have known it; reclaiming the joy

In response to a call from Frances Bell via the #femedtech twitter network, I've committed to making a quilt block for #FemEdTech Quilt of Care and Justice in Open Education. The #femedtechquilt  will be submitted to the #OER20: Open Education Conference (Organised by the Association for Learning Technology in the UK, and is the 11th annual conference for Open Education research, practice and policy.) (conference of the association for learning and teaching)  themes this year being:

  • Theme 1: Openness in the age of surveillance
  • Theme 2: Sustainable open education communities
  • Theme 3: Open education for civic engagement and democracy
  • Theme 4: Criticality and care in open education
  • Theme 5: Caring pedagogies and designing for diverse communities of inclusion
  • And also Wildcard submissions: open education practice, research or policy session proposals that address the overarching conference theme.
The commitment to criticality, care and justice are ones that seriously i just cant go past.

So/Sew, a quilt square,  intention is 13-inch block, finished size 12 and a 1/2 inch block, and the rough draft alludes to how tweeting provided me freedom i would not have encountered otherwise. Being from 'downunder' i intend representation freeing the caged bird (a reference to Maya Angelou) but with a NZ twist.

So far I have talked about with three academic colleagues, took one with me on what felt like a workplace truancy trip to a quilting shop to obtain NZ specific materials, and then talked with her further on how education if it is for anything, it is for freedom. All over the light banter of shopping and coffee  I introduced her to the poetry of Maya Angelou. 

I've now learned a bit more about the technology of my sewing machine. BTW it feels so academically disobedient to use a women's art for the creation of a research output !!!!
I couldn't reprogramme my mac to stop going to sleep every 5 mins of inactivity (discovered a work placed firewall to what i can and cannot do with my own password), but i did manage to programme my sewing machine to write "I know why the caged bird sings"

I'm feeling somewhat chuffed with myself. I love the word chuffed. It seems so archaic, and relevant not only is it an old fashioned word but I've relearned some lost skills- how to use iron (let alone...) on interface to stiffen a fabric (and how to do this without making a gluey mess). I've reclaimed some house space (a sewing room subject to male colonisation!) and I've had a better conversation at work with some colleagues that reinvigorates a passion for education. 
A head nod to Colin Lansheare and Jim Marshall for having taught me that education actually had a purpose beyond social control; that if education is for anything it is for freedom.

Having an opportunity to talk with colleagues of what education is, or should be, provides opportunity also to talk of the UNs sustainability measures that frames the absence of internet access as a measure of poverty; as well as giving consideration to women's ways of knowing and doing. All a very brilliant way to spend a day. 

This will be the first post in a series, so far I've just reclaimed a passion for research, for freedom in education and reclaiming a  (this) women's way of being.