It's been interesting to hear everyone's reflections as we continue our journey towards radical realtime transparency. I've asked Robin for permission to share some of her thoughts on that and on the progress of our little research project. Here they are in full, emphasis mine.
I should be clear about my bias. I feel the change idea is so undertheorized and that we only look at the people in that process as objects (they do or don't adopt something) - but don't look at them as learners. Those theories we do throw around (e.g., get administrative support, don't do this until you're tenured) seem to be a very limited view that creates barriers to change - and yet there are so many examples of people doing this stuff regardless of all the barriers...which suggests "there must be something else going on".
The "change knowledge" idea gives me a set of lenses to explore "the other bits" - that perhaps there is a lot of knowledge out there but that we don't give it full recognition perhaps because it runs counter to other ideas or because we have a limited view on "change" (e.g., it doesn't count as a change if you don't fully adopt someone else's idea yet a change happened). So... my bias... the developmental piece of change - and the transformative theory work seems to be a useful way to think about this.
As I was writing that last email I was thinking "how to get this in the public space" and out of "email space" so - yes - let's move it into the public space...do you think a blog is the way to go? what is something that captures our history (like a journal) but keeps the timeline/conversational bits (like a threaded conversation)? Oh - and it has to be something that is low motivation threshhold - in other words, super easy to naturally do.
And... people need to feel comfortable with it - or at least feel comfortable with being on the periphery until they feel comfortable joining in. It may be that we need to define "public" - e.g., it is in a public space but unless someone is doing a specific search to find us, [they] won't find us - so it is sort of protected in a "we don't know about you" place.
A thought that bubbled up in my mind (for a conversation down the road) - is if we think of this as a model - what would it mean if we invited teachers into something like this (or mentors?) who typically don't have access to data about people talking about their experiences. Would this be a new model for linking research and practice - a form of participatory research in which educators would help researchers see the important themes through their eyes and would gain a better understanding of how this kind of research can help them?
So yeah, this is what we sound like in each other's inboxes, long before anything gets formatted as a shiny journal paper - and this is the sort of conversations we're hoping to expose and make available to others. We will someday have an open mailing list... but first we need to get that data public, because "we have discussions regarding non-public data" is one of the biggest reasons it's a closed list right now.