Submitted by Geoffrey Douglas Mead
for the degree of PhD
of the University of Bath
In writing this thesis, I address the "new scholarships" identified by Ernest Boyer and Donald Schon . In particular, I seek to make a contribution to an emerging "scholarship of inquiry" in which - in the spirit of the poet Rainer Maria Rilke (1934) - the focus is on living the questions rather than seeking answers. I do so through the self-study of four strands of my practice: as a man, in loving relationships, in search of healing and as an educator.
The thesis is both an account of my learning in these areas and an action research inquiry in its own right as, over the course of two years, I sustain a cyclical process of writing and reflection, searching for connections, contradictions and tensions between the various strands.
In its manner of presentation, the thesis responds to the "crisis of representation" identified by Denzin and Lincoln by using what Eisner calls "alternative forms of data representation". The stories of living inquiry are self-reflective narratives of lived experience including "artistically rendered forms" such as poetry, creative writing, paintings, sculpture and audio recordings, where these help to convey something of the emotional, aesthetic and spiritual qualities inherent in the inquiries.
Throughout the thesis I develop the idea of living inquiry, a holistic approach in which all aspects of life are potentially available as sources of learning. Living inquiry is a form of action research embracing first, second and third person inquiry. It consciously avoids adopting any single method, preferring Feyerabend's argument that there are no general solutions and that the best chance of advancing knowledge comes from the intuitive use of a pluralistic methodology
Agreeing with Lyotard that "the [postmodern] artist and the writer, are working without rules in order to formulate the rules of what will have been done", I realise my scholarship of living inquiry by reviewing the text to identify twelve distinctive ontological and epistemological standards of judgement and criteria of validity and by showing how they are both embodied in, and emerge from, my practice.
As the thesis draws to a close, eschewing the notion of a generalisable theory in favour of one that is situated and particular, I also identify six underlying principles that inform my continuing life of inquiry:
You can download the PhD in chapters which are in a Word 98 format.
The page numbers and footnotes may change if you open in a different format.
Title Page - (31kb)
Frontpiece - (53kb)
Contents - (105kb)
Acknowledgements - (51kb)
Abstract - (63kb)
Prelude: Go I know not whither, bring back I know not what - (189kb)
Introduction: Ending and beginning - (191kb)
Chapter One: Living Inquiry - (289kb)
Interlude one: Learning from the writing - (167kb)
Chapter Two: The Men's Room - (243kb)
Interlude 11: The Space between - (119kb)
Chapter Three: Postcards from the edge - (508kb)
Interlude III: Writing an Abstract - (139kb)
Men in Learning Organisations - Powerpoint Slides - (227kb)
Chapter Four: Healing Journeys - (369kb)
Interlude IV: The point of no return - (221kb)
Chapter Five: Reshaping my professional identity - (889kb)
Interlude V: Turning for home - (89kb)
Chapter Six: Living Inquiry (Reprise) - (204kb)
Ethical considerations - (20kb)
Bibliography - (227kb)
Appendix A: Police Stories - (227kb)
Appendix B: The Future for Men at Work - (227kb)
Appendix C: Jumping Mouse - (227kb)
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