Saturday, July 4, 2009

PhD Viva Voce

For the last three and a half years I have been working on my PhD. This week - last Thursday to be specific - I completed my Viva Voce and the successful outcome was essentially the last step in the process.
My thesis is called Pathways to Competence and Participation in the Digital World - it is a study of the learning journey of adults who take up computer skills for the first time.
It's a nice feeling to complete research especially when the topic has always been of interest to me. It is great to have had the opportunity to learn in this way.
No doubt there is more to be done and I am planning some publications and perhaps a few blogs in the future will feature ideas from my research.
For now I am reflecting on why I decided to do a PhD in the first place and how I feel about that now.
I genuinely wanted to know more about the field of education - although I have extensive experience in terms of business and media especially television production - scholarly research is another way of looking at the world.
I have always been intrigued by learning - why and how we learn and (as a great learning theorist Knud Illeris puts it) why we sometimes don't.
Throughout our life, learning is perhaps the most important continuous process that we engage in. I continue to enjoy the journey.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Road - by Cormac Mc Carthy

I am a slow reader by choice.
I like to take my time with a book especially when it is well crafted and beautiful.
McCarthy's 'The Road' took some time - although it is not a big read and the comments on the cover suggested that it may (and should) be read in one session - I did the opposite and read two or three pages each night over the last few weeks.
Why does this book resonate?
At one level it could be described as bleak, lacking in plot and gruesome.
But there is something captured here that is difficult to describe and yet powerfully familiar.
It may be that this novel somehow connects with our collective unconscious and reveals a stark truth about existence.
Can't really work it out ... no need just let it be.