Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Module 6: Book Club

Part 1: Worksite.

To continue from last week, I am on the search committee for a tenure-track position. We have now whittled down the list of candidates to interview to 16. Sixteen down from 71. Our chair is working on getting them all scheduled for this week. I am not sure how we will be able to do it with our schedules, but the plan is to have at least three of us conducting each interview. I am relieved that we have at least gotten to this point. I do feel like there will be a bit of relativism from this point on. Meaning, our interpretations of the candidates will be tainted, both in good and bad ways, with our experiences coming into this situation. There are many lessons to be valued and utilized so we can select a good candidate, but at the same time, we are likely not going to find consensus. This concerns me as there is the potential for people to dig in their heels and not compromise or worse. People may not care enough to fight for things. Many of us are already feeling stressed and tired of this process because of the time constraints. I relate this back to my research. How will I be able to create an environment that will encourage participation, collaboration, and prevent burnout?

Part 2: Observation.

On April 18, I observed a book club, Coffee, Tea & Books, through the City of Tempe Library. They were discussing What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie Wiseman. It was held in the Connections CafĂ©. Six women attended this discussion. During first fifteen minutes, the women chatted in small groups in a social manner. One woman called the discussion to start since it did not appear that anyone else would be joining the group. The first part of the discussion were general impressions of the book. Women took turns, though it was clear that two of the women tended to be more vocal than the others, often interjecting. Discussion about the author’s first novel in comparison to this one ensued and this caused a lively debate between a couple of the participants. They also shared their opinions on the different time settings within the book. The discussion lasted an hour and a half, ending with a confirmation of next month’s book selection.

Part 3: Readings.

Lewis, C. (2015). What Is Improvement Science? Do We Need It in Education?. Educational Researcher, 44(1): 54-61.

Need basic knowledge from the discipline and how to enact the knowledge to organizations.

Knowledge includes generalizable and organizational-specific knowledge.

Basic knowledge is built through traditional research. Organizational-specific is built through action research. Need both to understand the interactions.

Organization knowledge – system of profound knowledge

To advance improvement science, there needs to be recognition of differences between experimental and improvement sciences, different types of generalizable knowledge, be able to take practical measurements, and collaborate between the “sides”.

Part 4: Integrations. Use this course journal part to track big ideas, bullet points, and questions. A fine length for this type of entry is just 50 words.

Be careful of some members of groups dominating over other members and the discussions. Encourage participation from all members.

Informal discussions are good; however, a lot of socializing does occur. Having one “leader” may be beneficial to keep people on tract. Perhaps questions to bring to the discussion would help guide the group.


Lewis, C. (2015). What Is Improvement Science? Do We Need It in Education?. Educational Researcher, 44(1): 54-61.

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