Seeking authentic educational development practice : a spiritual and philosophical journey
AbstractThis thesis is a spiritual and philosophical journey whose purpose is to explore the question: How can I realize my authenticity more fully in my practice as educational developer? The investigation is situated autobiographically in various dilemmas of educational development practice that I experienced. These experiences are consequences of tensions between the performative demands of the culture of western universities and the more ontological demands of authenticity. Authenticity calls us to a moral, "higher" educational purpose to become persons in a more developed sense. I propose that performative acts and utterances designed to create an impression of excellence and efficiency, and to improve competitiveness and wealth of universities, can obscure this higher educational purpose, denigrating authenticity of individual educators and of the institutions within which we work. I also propose that the Social Sciences research paradigms underpinning academic development as an emerging field of study and practice have methodological limitations for educational research. This lack of an authentically educational methodological paradigm, focused on the development of persons and rooted in educational practice, is at the heart of the stated problems of lack of legitimacy in the field of academic development. In this thesis I both employ and propose philosophical fieldwork as a new, inclusive paradigm for higher education research and practice that is concerned with the "higher" development of persons. This paradigm does not necessarily exclude or delegitimate performativie criteria or traditional or postmodern methodological approaches. It acknowledges and critiques them in the context of what it is to be educational. At the same time this paradigm includes and legitimizes a moral horizon (and language) of education that facilitates individual and institutional authenticity. I identify moral and spiritual dispositions and qualities of listening, thinking, and being underpinning this educational methodology--a pathway for realizing my authenticity more fully in my practice.
MacKenzie, Heather Ann <http://spectrum.library.concordia.ca/view/creators/MacKenzie=3AHeather_Ann=3A=3A.html> (2007) Seeking authentic educational development practice : a spiritual and philosophical journey. PhD thesis, Concordia University.