Lands of Entropy: A dissenting alarmist's chaotic navigation of intuition, learning, and transcendence.

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dc.contributor.author Lynch, Joseph Michael
dc.date.accessioned 2021-04-15T21:49:29Z
dc.date.available 2021-04-15T21:49:29Z
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/2097/41395
dc.description.abstract If it is okay with you, I’ll set the tone now for the rest of what you will read. This is an introspection, but not for the purpose of generating a transformative autoethnographic product (Newman 2009) – I am not fooling myself into thinking that you and I are mutually invested in this endeavor – the words are the products of my tears and sweat – not blood, unless you count the stress pimples that I anxiously picked along the way – they are the products of acquired debt, lost family time, existential crises, receding lines of follicles, central serous retinopathy, and questions, lots of questions – of why it should be’s, where in the hell’s, when’s, and how in the fuck’s. They are products of “What was I thinking when I decided my career path?”, and “Why aren’t we doing better in our jobs?”, and “How do they get to tell me who I am and how I should be?” Those words may sound full of anger and resentment, but they are not – at least, they are not in in this timeframe, in the space that I now occupy, and in the way that I think about things. Everything that you have just read, and everything afterward, constitute strings of words and phrases that I have gauged in degrees of comfortability, entropy, and uncertainty, along with the realization that some things are unpredictable in their causal implications – I retract that F-word in the first paragraph. I do consider this to be an autoethnography, but perhaps it is a bit more than that. It is definitely an integration of process and product (Ellis & Adams, 2014), and it is also categorically “self-indulgent, narcissistic, introspective, and individualized” (Wall, 2016, p. 1) if you prefer to see it that way. I can’t shy away from such implications - I am tired of painting, and I’m not really sure anymore whether a portrayal is a representation of something in its real form or if it is simply a generatively spatial-chronal-temporal product of a nuanced iteration, a single node, the product of countless informational interactions (Tononi, 2008) in an infinitely expanding grid of nodes. If I were to put it quickly, and if I wanted to impress no one at a party, I would refer to it as an entropic autoethnography serving as a preliminary workspace for theoretical construction of methods (Haig, 2005) for the study of organic learning processes and transdisciplinary (Beauchamp & Beauchamp, 2013). The basic layout of the project is an autoethnographic narrative that aligns my personal experiences – primarily past occurrences and present mindset – with attempts to grapple with a theoretical landscape that is embedded within, and burdened by, a linear educational timeline. Therefore, it becomes necessary to re-conceptualize our landscapes of space and time in relation to how such landscapes govern our perceptions and, ultimately, the functionality of our intuitive consciousness – the means by which we navigate the intersectionality of spatial, chronal, and temporal features. I believe that the soul of this work is situated in how I try to advocate for trans-disciplinary learning systems (Carrasco, Serrano, & Garcia, 2014) and transcendent products of learning by way of modeling them, but it may be that I succeed more in advocating for them – I tend to problematize a lot, or maybe I am just complaining a lot, but all one can do is to hermeneutically try. Resultantly, the basic layout of the project is an autoethnographic narrative that aligns my personal experiences – primarily past occurrences and present mindset – with attempts to grapple with a theoretical landscape that is embedded within the educational timeline. Similarly to Bybee’s (2020) recollection of various theorists grappling with issues of how particular theory has been utilized and interpreted, I see this work as my version of efforts to “lament the ‘unproblematic domestication’ of [one’s] ideas into a ‘method’” (Macedo, 2000, quoted in Bybee, 2020, p. 419). Thus, the process involves questioning my positionality and its groundedness. It is how I think that we begin to work with contextuality in ways other than its pre-established spatial and chronal parameters of a temporal consciousness. Yet, how we contend with failure – and ultimately, entropy – will pave the fate of our contributions towards something other than what is currently functioning as the educational grid. It will pave how we connect those things which are seemingly dissonant. If we embark on reassessing a grid – in this case, a model derived by social constructionism (Mallon, 2019) - we inevitably must continually reassess ourselves along the way, taking charge of our narrative and its meta-constructs. Therefore, it additionally requires us to reexamine the state of methods for qualitative research, for its limitations are seen in how we “struggle to connect qualitative research to the hopes, needs, goals, and promises of a free democratic society” (Denzin & Lincoln, 2011, p.3). As I work through this narrative, it hopefully becomes clear how trans-disciplinarity possesses democratic undertones. Consequently, it speaks to various byproducts of theorizing that have created challenges with context as well as positionality and how to navigate their interplay (Denzin & Lincoln, 2011) while highlighting the dissonance that is created by researchers in compartmentalized disciplines choosing indirect pathways to explore and ascertain from each other’s respective disciplines. Is this an issue of insecurity arising from the prospect of engaging in discourse which superficially pits an “expert” against a “layman”? Nevertheless, I try to build on analogous connections of the essence of the qualitative researcher with not only the jazz musician but also the “bricoleur, as a maker of quilts, or, as in filmmaking, a person who assembles images into montages” (Denzin & Lincoln, 2011, p.4) To me, they seem to delineate bricoleur and bricolage with a dynamic akin to the craftsman and the craft, where adaptation and producing are latticed. Additionally, through a stylistic interplay of postmodern and meta-modern lenses, I am trying to reiterate a sentiment “that privileges no single authority, method, or paradigm” (Denzin & Lincoln, 2011, p.27) as I apply a hermeneutic influence in my analyses and approaches. I keep these things in mind as I attempt to conceptually map, and qualitatively code, intuition – something which is considered antagonistic to models of empiricism and quantification but arguably is the strongest temporal representation of cognitive processing. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, intuition is somewhat susceptible to macro-societal hegemony (Apple, 2004, p.4). Intuition is something which requires further exploration if we are to grapple with interactions of things for two reasons. First, we need to be okay with the openness of inquiry, so that we are more secure in our attempts rather than the outcomes (Darling-Hammond, 2010, p.20). In his conceptual overview of intuition in teaching and learning, Waks (2006) discussed the acquiring of “patterned activities unmediated by explicit justifications or plans” (2006, p.380), and I think that it requires considerable advocation towards process even if it is not discretely measurable as a product. Secondly, by considering – and plausibly confronting - a notion, one can take an intuitive inventory of sorts by transcending a priori conceptions and beliefs, which in turn might lead to insights that otherwise might not have been gleaned. Waks (2006) has also discussed intuition as a concept which holds practical implications but is often hindered by “epistemic bias” (2006, p. 380). While keeping those reasons in mind, I see this study as a methodological exercise, where my autoethnographic approach is, among various things, informally associated with the use of “thought experiments” in metaphysics, (Johnson, 2009, p.6). Such thought experiments posit hypothetical situations largely for the purpose of utilizing semantic and syntactic constructions as well as account for intuitive notions. I believe it is critical for us to perceive a constructivist benefit of engaging in methodological exercises prior to the development and application of a complex system, whether it be a programmed machine learning tool or a qualitative study. Thus, all the notions and explorations that I present in this project are in some way linked to my intuition – where it has taken me and how I have attempted to use it in a model of reasoning that blends it with the empirical reality of our educational context. Peripherally, it is an advocacy for humanistic intuition to be reconnected within a grid that values accuracy and efficiency. Consequently, intuition, a major driver for me, is responsible for the tumults of experiences and outcomes that have led me to this moment - while the wondrous prospect of future instantiations of intuition are saturating my space, for as long as my heart beats. The project is presented in five volumes which are structurally and stylistically functioning as an allusion to T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland. Volume I functions as an exercise of positioning myself through the anthropological lenses of adolescence and emergent adulthood, coming to terms with how much we do not know about consciousness – and, resultingly, ourselves. Volume II builds on the implied challenges of understanding ourselves in relation to neurology, psychology, and sociology as it analyses the systemic nature of organizations created and maintained by creatures of varied emotional and rational complexities. Volume III meta-analyses the ingrained subconscious effects of system dynamics while attempting to transcend boundaries of empiricism and advocating for intuitive space to be given more credence in alternative modes of curriculum discourse. In Volume IV, I present an attempt to align axials and layers of qualitative coding byproducts derived by the previous Volumes while alluding to the complexity and chaotic nature of the theorizing process. In Volume V, I concede my limitations, and then I transcend them. My hope is that by the conclusion of this project, you will at least have a sense how much the education sector means to me, and how highly I regard the profession of teaching. It is very candid in some places as it sheds some of that actor-situation transaction (Biesta, 2015, p. 626) that may occur in the ecological learning constructs where sense of agency is most certainly needed; as such, the topic of agency will continue to manifest throughout the proceeding sessions due to the fact that it is hard to think about what the beauty of our learning process holds without considering its potential for some sort of change – hopefully for the better. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject entropy en_US
dc.subject transdisciplinary en_US
dc.subject logic en_US
dc.subject autoethnography en_US
dc.subject consciousness en_US
dc.subject chaos en_US
dc.title Lands of Entropy: A dissenting alarmist's chaotic navigation of intuition, learning, and transcendence. en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US
dc.description.degree Doctor of Education en_US
dc.description.level Doctoral en_US
dc.description.department Curriculum and Instruction Programs en_US
dc.description.advisor Jeffrey S. Clark en_US
dc.date.published 2021 en_US
dc.date.graduationmonth May en_US


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