Emergent reflections

A space where I can digest some thinking through the writing process - liminal, emergent and reflective.

Conference notes: The best of all-possible-beasts

Margaret.OCONNELL's picture

Pre-conference workshop day 8/8/07 (2007 ALARA conference, Adelaide)

Ted Sandercock and Susan Goff co-facilitated this very interesting and reflective session exploring various forms of disciplinary viewpoints. These are my notes (which may appear disjointed, but I hope it sparks some thinking in relation to your work!)...

Ted and Susan presented a case study with which participants could develop some approaches to resolving the dilemma raised. The case was that of a bank whose CEO had determined that in order to support his idealogical standpoint for reconciliation, decided that indigenous community members be given an equitable opportunity to work in the bank's branches. One such branch sought to employ such a person only to reneg at the last minute and offer the position to a whitefella.

So, workshop participants were asked to unpack the scenario and develop a range of approaches with which to address the situation (and in a bigger picture sense) so that such an action can be (i) understood and (ii) addressed, using participative methods. The otucome of this activity was to explore the notion of disciplines and ways we interpret multi, inter and trans disciplinary practices in our work.

Working with various kinds of knowledge and knowing...


  • pedagogy
  • psychology
  • sociology
  • history
  • human geography
  • law/justice
  • anthropology
  • ethnography
  • criminology


  • content/process tensions
  • respect/trust
  • multi-facetted perspectives
  • lack of attention to difference


  • experiential
  • interdependency
  • co-construction
  • iterative cycles
  • kinesthetics
  • energy, movements to fill the gaps


  • emergent
  • less about the 'expert' (more about expert as resource?)
  • more about participants
  • argues against power and priviledge
  • work at creating knowledge
  • generative
  • tranformation
  • conscious of knowing
  • liminality
  • subversive
  • knowledge as dynamic

Are you a transdisciplinary practitioner?
- does it need to be based in the concept of 'a discipline'...
- argues for 'how we know' rather than 'what we know'
- emergent beginnings with 'the knower'...

Edward.SANDERCOCK's picture


Great notes!!!! Did we actually do all that????


Margaret.OCONNELL's picture

Notes on the whiteboard

Thanks Ted, yes we did!! I wished I'd got a phtoo of the whiteboard - it was covered with this! :o)

Did you have a venn diagram that showed the intersection between these as well?

Cheers, Marg :o)

View my activities at
http://edge.edublogs.org/ OR http://www.alarpm.org.au/blog/133

Susan.GOFF's picture

Venn diagram

I'm with Ted - these are fantastic notes Marg! Ted and I developed a few notes before we arrived with a nice Venn diagram of Ted's making.... Why can't I upload it here?

Will do on my blog...
thanks for the beasts references - you darling!
Susan Goff

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