THE PLACE WE COME FROM... AND RETURN TO
I felt a little introduction was in order to contextualise where Caesura Collective stems from. Creating a website for and by forward thinkers has been on my mind for a while, but I just didn't know how to operationailse it. With the help and support of many incredible friends, Caesura Collective has finally launched. So where does Caesura come from? Well, I think it comes from all our individual places and our collective interaction, in person and online. I hope Caesura can become a living breathing think tank for researchers, teachers, parents, policy makers, and anyone interested in pondering the direction Education is headed in the 21st century. What are the ideas behind it? I really beleive Caesura needs to come FROM the readership - this is not a traditional blog where you are spoken to and distracted with catchy pieces. At Caesura, the reader is just as accountable as the writer, and in fact, I hope we can all engage in swtiching those roles up when we post and meet to talk about our ideas through various projects and activities. We're already on track to setting up engaging community projects that speak to us and adapt to our needs. And if anything is missing - we can create it!
We all have unique needs and paths to learning, but they also intersect at many places. I hope we can share and examine these intersections together to feed each others passions and interets.
Reflecting on my practice as a teacher in Japan and then a researcher in Canada, I am increasingly convinced of the merit in informing practice by theory and vice versa. Really, I view the two as interconnected and inseparable. Perhaps this is why I am very attuned to bell hooks’ conceptualisation of theory as a social practice. Our daily lives in the field, our interactions with peers, colleagues, students, the readings we absorb, they all inform our practice, as much as they inform our personal theoretical positions about learning and knowledge. The tricky part is tapping into this internalised theory and using it as a basis for developing our work. What is more, this internalised theory is not always regarded as authentic and powerful enough to truly form a basis in our doctoral research, teaching practice, what have you. With Caesura, I hope to bring validation to our ideas by bringing them to fruition and teasing them out in the social sphere.
It has been a long journey, but it is only once I came to appreciate the importance of context in informing who we are, our professional selves and practice that feel I was truly able to begin my journey as a teacher-researcher (a ‘tresearcher'?); not only acknowledging context, but living and breathing it, drawing strongly on it to develop practice, whether that practice be teaching in a classroom, or the practice of conducting research and writing a thesis. I have only been able to actualise myself as a teacher-researcher by finally engaging fully with my peers and with other artefacts of learning, such as books, social media, pop culture, etc. As I see it, by exposing my vulnerabilities, extending trust and mutual respect to my peers, we can engage with them in the collective liberation of our thoughts. For me, the author bell hooks has brought the idea of collective liberation grounded by theory as a social practice to life: this is what Caesura is.
Through various projects developed within our community, such as Book Clubs, Podcasts, Stat Chats, Passion Pieces, and more, we all engage our vulnerabilities with each other to find new interpretations of ideas, critical exchange and support. We can express, question, and situate ourselves in our individual and collective practices. We can become actively engaged in the formation of our learning and that of our peers. So it is with eager excitement that I look forward to interacting with you inside and outside of the pages of Caesura!
Painting by Krystian Guevara (Uncertain Path)