INKSHED XXIII May 5, 2006

Michael -- Participatory action research: Bringing inkshedding to Costa Rica

I'd like to hear more about how you see Inkshedding as an activity that could redress some of the imbalances in the present situation and how it could change the teaching practices and purposes of Costa Rican instruction. -- Geoff

Why not offer an alternative model through inkshedding? Is inkshedding alone the key to a more "contextualization and hebrogenous" approach? How is it going to make the spread of English less exploitative?

I wonder if the "Canadian innovation" aspect was stressed as a way of ensuring that inkshedding is not yet another manifestation of the "American" leveraging of English in non-English speaking countries. Was this at least partly a rhetorical strategy? Is Canada seen as a symbol of non-intervention? In other words, inkshedding as an inventional tool? This has helpful, practical implications for its uses in teaching writing generally. -- Amanda

Was there/is there opportunity for follow up to see if any teachers did in fact ever use/do inkshedding? How many times does a person need to be involved in inkshedding before they "own" the method? Was there any vehicle for the writers to have any record of the dialogues posted on the wall? Does there need to be? -- Pat S.

I found the reflective inkshedding (what Michael called "Inkshedding about Inkshedding) particularly interesting. I think such activities prompt writers to think about the subject of their responses and the activity of writing itself.

I am still afraid to "hang my writing out there" -- were these teachers not also a tad intimidated? So I am curious -- what is the first language of these teachers? Did the imposition (or was it an imposition?) of the "context" (English) pose a threat to individuals expressing their writing? Will you go back to see if Inkshedding was actually used by the teachers?

How did these teachers perceive the process of Inkshedding -- does culture come into play or is this over-ridden by the "academic culture"? -- Donna

This presentation made me feel sad. It was partly the idea of earnest students around the world but specifically in Central America, learning English and learning about teaching English in a context in which they are perpetually at a power disadvantage. Presenting "Inkshedding" as a technique to "improve critical writing skills" seems to be an imposition. I wasn't comfortable about it. -- Laura

What's more important, I guess, is the way in which inkshedding (here) is seen as focused on learning to write rather than creating community (very different from Miriam's presentation). This was clearly seen as a pedagogical strategy -- but it wasn't clear to me what its goals were (I mean, e.g., were Michael's ideas about what it does and how it works different from those of the Costa Ricans? They said, "yes, we'll try it" -- but it's not clear what they thought it was accomplishing.) -- Russ

Inkshed works by making writing public and then involving commentary response to that public act, but it is crucial to understand the community aspect. -- Roger