Colin Madland, MEd

educator | technologist | phd student

University of Victoria

Ideas published here should be considered half-baked, at best.

Image: Photo Credit: Colin Madland

Tonight marks the fourth meeting of our class exploring discourses in education at UVic. We are a fairly small class or 14 new PhD and 3 MEd students who meet for 3 hours per week. We are a diverse group with people from Tanzania, Nigeria, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Barbados, Canada, and other countries I can't recall. Many of the group have moved themselves and their families from far-off places to study in Victoria, and at least one is still unsure about being able to secure a study visa. It's an expensive prospect.

McGranahan, C. (2015). What is Ethnography? Teaching ethnographic sensibilities without fieldwork. Teaching Anthropology; Vol 4 (2014): Learning by Example.

The primary focus of this paper is a discussion of what seems to be a controversy about how and when to teach ethnography to under-graduates. As such, it's a little peripheral to my needs right now, but there are some very interesting examples of ways to get students thinking ethnographically that I found compelling.

Ling, M. 1999. The Anthropology of Everyday Life: Teaching about Culture in Schools. In R. Case & P. Clark (Eds.), The Canadian Anthology of Social Studies: Issues and Strategies for Teachers, pp. 51-58. Vancouver, BC: Pacific Educational Press.

McGlashan, Haley, & Fitzpatrick, K. (2017). LGBTQ youth activism and school: challenging sexuality and gender norms. Health Education, 117(5), 485–497. Retrieved from HE-10-2016-0053

Inclusion and cultural acceptance of LGBTQ students and staff is still a problem and this article highlights some of the challenges faced by members of the LGBTQ community infinding support, promoting acceptance in public, and avoiding 'outing' those who need confidential support but who may be harmed if the broader community is aware of their identity.

Erickson, F. (1987). Conceptions of School Culture: An Overview. Educational Administration Quarterly, 23(4), 11–24.

As I get into this course and seek strategies for writing while I read, I'm finding that this blog is a decent spot for doing that. It is one thing to doze your way through readings and presume that you have caught enough of the argument to have an intelligent conversation in class, but it is another to actively consider prompts and questions (conveniently provided by our prof) and write responses that can be exposed to a wider community who might actually respond!

Here is the first prompt for this article:

Why/how is knowledge about (un)familiar school cultures important?

Pelissier, C. (1991). The Anthropology of Teaching and Learning. Annual Review of Anthropology, 20, 75–95. Retrieved from

This post is just a lot of thinking out loud. There is no coherent argument found here. Consider yourself warned.

The first reading for week 3 of EDCI 614 is

Miner, H. (2012). Magical practices among the Nacirema. In D. J. Hodges, The anthropology of education : classic readings.

After the break are some questions provided to guide our thinking as we read the article...

The next several years of my life are going to be filled with more writing than I have done in a long time. Actually more than I have ever done. So, in an attempt to begin to get into a rhythm of writing and thinking, and thinking by writing, and writing while I read, here we go. Last night, I ordered We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social Change featuring Myles Horton and Paulo Friere 'talking a book' in 1987.

One of the significant drivers for many in the open education field is that of increasing access to higher education, often through reducing costs for course materials. Another approach is to scaffold multiple points of access to higher education through what Irvine, Code, and Richards 2013 call multi-access learning.

I learned from Bonni the other day that Jane Hart compiles a list of top tech tools for learning each year. Apparently one of the things to do is to write a blog post about your individual take. Here goes...