Volume 7, No. 4, Art. 27 – September 2006

Beyond Coteaching: Power Dynamics, Cosmopolitanism and the Psychoanalytic Dimension

Christopher Emdin

Abstract: This article draws upon the results of coteaching arrangements implemented by GALLO-FOX et al. (2006) and LEHNER (2006) and provides responses to those studies. By employing criticality and providing a new theoretical lens for the analysis of coteaching experiences and cogenerative dialogues, this article serves to uncover existent power dynamics among research participants and explains how these dynamics impact a research study.

Key words: coteaching, cogenerative dialogue, psychoanalytic dimension, cosmopolitanism

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

1.1 Tools for discussion

2. Sifting through GALLO-FOX, WASSEL, SCANTLEBURY, and JUCK with LEHNER

2.1 Teacher allegiances and the assignment of roles

2.2 Mirroring theories of oppression

2.3 Power dynamics at play

2.4 We know it but don't say it: Silenced speech

2.5 The results of alienation: A theory of oppression

2.6 Being informed by research stance

2.7 An issue, cogenerative dialogues, and a solution: Cogenerative dialogues, issues, and solutions

3. Infusing New Dimensions into our Social Concepts

3.1 The psychoanalytic dimension

3.2 Where has the voice gone?

3.3 Bridging the dualism

4. Organizational Structures on Individual Agency: Silence and Tactical Resistance

4.1 Matt's response to an oppressive structure: Imposed silence

4.2 Organizational structures on individual agency: Tactical resistance

5. Cogenerative Dialogues and Cosmopolitanism

5.1 Cynical cosmopolitanism, interest convergence, and one-on-one dialogue

5.2 Trivial educational disputes = large ideological differences

5.3 Nationalism misconstrued as cosmopolitanism

6. Revisiting the Psychoanalytic Dimension

6.1 Lights to the path of discussion: Signals of what is to come

6.2 Signals in GALLO FOX et al.

6.3 Signals in LEHNER's work

7. Coda

Acknowledgments

References

Author

Citation

 

1. Introduction

As educators and researchers with a vested interest in locating, addressing, and disseminating the results of transformative social research in the field of education, we often lie in the midst of an internal battle to maintain both "emic" and "etic" perspectives of our interactions with, within, and outside of, various research contexts. Many of the core issues that emerge from engaging in this type of research, in which one is fully immersed in multiple roles, stems from attempts to bridge the gaps between ones role as researcher and the burdens and advantages that this role carries. The researcher is often in a position of privilege that greatly influences the way that those being studied perceive him or her. This issue is complicated by the fact that we hold on to the different roles and responsibilities we have inherited as the researcher and the researched despite attempts to break from a bifurcated perception of researcher and research subject. An awareness of the difference between these roles (the insider|outsider positionality), opens up an arena where we can "explore both the internal workings of the individual and the relationships between what an individual is and how an individual behaves" in various settings (TUHIWAI SMITH, 1999, p.47). The study of what one becomes and how one behaves in the research study is integral to the troubling of the work of (GALLO-FOX, WASSEL, SCANTLEBURY, and JUCK (2006) and LEHNER (2006). The ethical dilemmas that abound in these papers are the direct results of the complex relationships between self and the other and will be further explored in this paper. [1]

1.1 Tools for discussion

While reading the work of GALLO-FOX, WASSEL, SCANTLEBURY, and JUCK, the pronouncements of the various actors in the co-teaching arrangement described in the paper vividly describe the dilemmas that emerge as a research study progresses. The struggles among the clinical supervisors, program researchers, teaching interns, and teacher supervisors delineates the complexities of the battle between researcher and participant, as well as the nuances of the interactions among those engaged in the roles mentioned above. These complex interactions are usually results of attributes that each faction either self imposes or is subjected to by others. I argue that these role inscriptions made on individuals are existent prior to the research study and lay dormant until the participants in the study provide the opportunities for them to be expressed. The dilemmas then are explorations of the roles one plays and the ethical implications of one's enactment of these roles. The GALLO FOX et al. paper and the consequent response by LEHNER provide fertile ground not only for an investigation of ways that these dilemmas could possibly be viewed to inform research practice, but also provides an awakening of the spirits of criticality, cosmopolitanism, and theories of oppression as tools to further till the ground that the issues brought forth in these papers lie. [2]

2. Sifting through GALLO-FOX, WASSEL, SCANTLEBURY, and JUCK with LEHNER

In both GALLO-FOX et al.'s and LEHNER's papers, the authors provide a similar framework for the benefits of enacting coteaching within schools. In their respective papers, references to "teaching at the elbow of another" and an emphasis on the value of developing practices that are "like the other" in the process of coteaching as described by (ROTH & TOBIN, 2002) were discussed. Furthermore both papers acknowledge the importance of consistently refining coteaching practice by identifying contradictions to seamless transitions between coteachers. This recognition of the communal nature of coteaching provides a much-needed analysis of the importance of multiple perspectives and ideologies in the process of becoming a better teacher and learner. However, the absence of an active role of classroom students in the analysis of the complexities of coteaching emerges as an area that both papers fail to explore in detail. Utilizing student standpoints may provide new perspectives on both the strengths and weaknesses of a specific coteaching model and the interactions among participants in the research study. Students may also be able to provide insights into questions about teachers and interns' interactions with each other and the effects of the misalignments in ideologies on classroom teaching and learning among interns, teachers and researchers. [3]

2.1 Teacher allegiances and the assignment of roles

As GALLOFOX et al. mention, different interpretations of coteaching exist with teachers and researchers from different settings who have allegiances to different models of what student teaching should look like. Understanding these differences in perspective and philosophical approach sets the stage for an investigation of the reasons behind these varying perspectives. Through the creation of "a tale from the field," the authors have articulately built the nuances of the complex relationships between all actors in their coteaching research arrangement to a crescendo. They have also begun an investigation into why and how certain enactments occur through the provision of vivid descriptions of the actor's experiences in their own words. By taking the next steps to ask the question of where the perspectives articulated by actors in the "tale from the field" come from, and by looking at how these points of view have played out over the course of the study, our analysis becomes more multilayered. The door becomes opened for an investigation of how and why roles are constructed and how and why these constructions play out in everyday life. In the proper context, students may once again serve as an additional resource in providing first hand accounts of interactions within the classroom that could serve as fodder for more critical questioning. Attaching value to their roles would undoubtedly enrich the results of any coteaching study. [4]

2.2 Mirroring theories of oppression

The situating of clinical supervisors, program researchers and supervisors, teaching interns, and students in a hierarchical structure supported by power differentials is evident in the "tales from the field" as well as in the remainder of the GALLO FOX paper. This proves to be problematic as this structure inherently values certain perspectives and displays this preferential treatment throughout the research. As a result of the valuing of certain perspectives (evident in GALLO-FOX et al.'s acknowledgment of placing the teacher supervisors role on the periphery of the research study, and the absence of student roles), the privileging of certain perspectives was met with a devaluing of others. This process results in the creation of an almost insurmountable psychic space among research participants that exists despite the "ethics of care" employed in the research. Psychic space refers to the "representations of selves and others and parts thereof" (BONDI, 2003, p.64) that may not necessarily be physically expressed but that shape ones thoughts, emotions and attitudes towards others. In this framework, the oppressed faction (people lowest on the hierarchy provided in this study) will always remain at a disadvantage socially, economically, politically, emotionally, or otherwise despite the best efforts of the factions with more power to exercise ethics when they interact with the lower placed group. When the supervisors receive significantly lower wages than other actors within the coteaching model and are not being perceived or acknowledged as central members of the research project, the wealth of knowledge that they bring to the classrooms is invalidated and we mirror an arena where exploitation of the abilities and services of an "othered population" comes into play. [5]

2.3 Power dynamics at play

While both the LEHNER and GALLO-FOX et al.'s papers discuss cogenerative dialogues as a means to discuss the disagreements that result from misalignments in ideology and philosophy, the power play and search for position within this structure need to be addressed prior to engaging in a research study of this type. Without doing this, the results of cogenerative dialogues serve as empty plans of action that temporarily pacify each of the actors on an immediate level yet eventually reinstates the existent power structure. When Matt JUCK, who is a coteacher, describes a scenario where the classroom teacher refers to him as "my student teacher" (emphasis my own) it is apparent that Matt is deeply affected by the teacher's comment and that the statement causes him to question his position in the coteaching structure. He has been relegated to the position of belonging to a teacher rather than being an intern working with the teacher. This experience leads him to remember another instance where he has not been allowed to enact the agency to co-plan a unit because the teacher already has planned the materials for the unit to be taught. The traumatic idea (the initial comment by the teacher of referring to Matt as "my student teacher") becomes displaced into another event, idea, body, or object (OLIVER, 2004) and shapes Matt's future interactions with the teacher. [6]

2.4 We know it but don't say it: Silenced speech

GALLO FOX et al. touch upon the fact that certain dysfunctional relationships are surrounded by "issues of control" and mention relationships that feed into this model of power and control within their research study. The discussion about Sheila (one of the teacher supervisors) who had a perception of the program administrator as "the boss" exemplifies this power model. The structures in this particular relationship (Sheila's relationship to the program administrator) caused her to be cautious in her critique of coteaching and may have been responsible for her implementing processes that may have jeopardized the coteaching model in the student teaching scenarios where she was supervising. [7]

2.5 The results of alienation: A theory of oppression

In his description of the responses to oppression employed by colonized peoples FANON suggests that they target a practice or enactment that represents the structure that alienates them. He then describes the process where the oppressed population casts all exacerbated hatred and rage into a new direction (FANON, 1963). While the magnitude and implications of the oppression and response to oppression described in FANON's work transcends the scope of this study and provides inroads into larger global issues and concerns, his work serves as a model for situations where one or more individuals are aware of the power differentials at play in the enactment of a study and realize that they are not validated in the enactment of the research project. In these instances, one may exercise one's limited power to act within prescribed devalued roles to leverage their stance within the hierarchical structure. This psychoanalytic dimension fuels the student teacher's angst towards coteaching and explains the continued implementation of non-coteaching practices with student teachers. By exercising power in this way, there is maintenance of the existent hegemony within the enactment of social life because the focus is on the specific interaction (ignoring coteaching). Nevertheless, subverting the model of the power wielders satisfies the oppressed faction. [8]

2.6 Being informed by research stance

As researchers within a western tradition of research in education, we must acknowledge that generally, the individual serves as "the basic social unit from which other social organizations and social relations form" (TUHIWAI SMITH, 1999, p.48). In this study, we can see that if multiple individuals perceive their individual interactions as based on dialogue between the socially organized unit one represents (intern, teacher, supervisor etc) and other social units, there is a necessity to engage in a deconstruction of existent social units/groups prior to engagement in the study. It is necessary to establish a singular social organization that addresses an oppressive hierarchical structure. When the program researchers in the GALLO FOX et al. paper were out of their roles as supervisor, we see the seperatedness and even deliberation in moving outside of the social unit they belong to within the study despite the innate inclination to do so. "There were a number of times when I struggled with my role as a confidential set of eyes and ears" (GALLO FOX et al., 2006, ¶36) [9]

2.7 An issue, cogenerative dialogues, and a solution: Cogenerative dialogues, issues, and solutions

I argue that without creating a situation from the beginning of a study where the framework for addressing the power relations within research studies is paramount, there will be a constant revisitation of power differentials and issues surrounding the perceptions of self in relation to the roles one plays within a research study. The interplay between power, self, and stance will constantly interfere with the true enactment of the proposed research model. In other words, coteaching where the sharing of physical and temporal spaces becomes second nature presented in (ROTH, TOBIN, CARAMBO, & DALLAND, 2005) will be more challenging when philosophical and ideological differences and their psychoanalytic offspring (anger, shame, pain etc.) are not addressed prior to engagement in the study. Without engaging in cogenerative dialogues surrounding these issues prior to the study, the researchers end up having to engage in them concurrently with everyday miscommunications that are already existent in any research study. By trying to establish an even playing ground with all participants in a research study while simultaneously addressing issues that cannot be predicted and problems that are bound to occur, we end up spinning our wheels and do not properly address any of our concerns. Without addressing existent power and identity issues that are inherently brought into the research study, a power/hierarchy model where domination and oppression have weighed in evenly with the enactment of the existent social order becomes set in place. [10]

3. Infusing New Dimensions into our Social Concepts

When analyzing the social aspects of interactions with participants in a study, the importance of acknowledging the relationship between the structure of the field and the agency of the participants is a fundamental part of the study. Oftentimes the structure|agency dialectic is employed in order to explain the recursive nature of the relationship between the structure of a field and an individual's ability to act within the specific field. LEHNER provides a theorizing of the Sheffer stroke between these two words and explains the misconception of the Sheffer stroke and its implications on viewing relationships between two words as dualistic rather than recursive. LEHNER further discusses that the participants in a study create a structure that facilitates either an unintentional employment of dualism (either one choice or another) or an instance where a participant in a study chooses to employ dualism. The presentation of an active process of choosing to employ dualism and/or creating a structure that facilitates dualism is problematic, as it does not consider issues that may shape and affect the existent structure, which in turn dictates the roles of the participants in the study. Furthermore, the limited choices within the reshaped recursive nature of particular dialectics limits one to making decisions based on phenomena that they have no hand in shaping but that shape their ability to act. If limiting structures are already in place, it is necessary to explore these limiting structures rather than blame participants for not exercising agency. Ignoring hierarchies and their impact on the attitudes, beliefs and actions of participants in a research study weakens the research study as it bases the results on observations that are not traced back to existent structures despite the fact that they precluded the study to begin with and that they will remain as a mainstay throughout the study and in the authors analysis of it. "Whatever is encountered in the environment must be valued or not or interacted with or not" (VARELA, 1999, p.56) but cannot be divorced from why and how one interacts within or with the environment. How and why one exercises agency within an environment is dependent on the inhabitants of the psychic space one enters into. [11]

3.1 The psychoanalytic dimension

Issues of alienation, melancholy, shame, anger, sublimation, idealization, resentment, pain, forgiveness, and affect are the offspring of hierarchical power structures and shape the ways that individuals act or interact within a setting (OLIVER, 2004). When coteaching is enacted with university partnerships and schools, the factions that represent the university are more often than not more highly regarded by all participants in the study than the participants in schools. Without considering the socio-historic construction of that fact in and of itself, we approach a research study with a limited scope. Valuing the basis for our constructions expands our lenses and causes us to recognize that "social hierarchies confer unequal weight and legitimacy to different voices, making dialogue a difficult ideal to achieve" (BOLER, 2004, p.3). While it is beneficial to gain insights on the occurrences within a study by zooming in, zooming out to look at the larger contextual framework that is brought into the study from our general interactions is a necessity. After acknowledging the implications of societal conditions that guide interactions among participants in a study, we can zoom-in to look at how the interactions within the research study mirror what happens in the larger context. This further assists us in pinpointing and attaching value to instances where the offspring of hierarchical structures mentioned above become exhibited. [12]

3.2 Where has the voice gone?

LEHNER makes an interesting point that without the presence of contrasting voices, an unintended "official" discourse can result. We must also keep in mind that in many instances, even when contrasting voices are present, they can be muffled within the existent power structure and forced to silence by the official discourse. When LEHNER refers to how certain rules and regulations are determined within a study by whoever exercises agency, this remains accurate in reference to who takes on certain roles within a study. Our societal reliance on a particular group or person needing to take the role of leader in a research study, necessarily truncates the agency of other participants. It is therefore necessary to address the faction that would traditionally be silenced and provide a scenario where the silenced individual is not only acknowledged but also privileged prior to an engagement in the study. This dialogue should address the societal and often times self-imposed praising or devaluing of certain perspectives merely for the sake of its alignment to a preferred ideology. One of the goals therefore is to make an attempt to deconstruct such culture through cogenerative dialogues. Perhaps these co-generated conversations are the avenues through which more critical conversations about the absence of participant voice in a research study can be addressed. [13]

3.3 Bridging the dualism

In his critique of GALLO-FOX et al., LEHNER discusses the dualism that the participants in the study display in their allegiances to either co-teaching or not co-teaching and including stakeholders, or not including stakeholders. LEHNER also presents a questioning of whether or not "the individual participants unconsciously created these dilemmas through their inaction" (LEHNER, 2006, ¶6). In other words, he believes that if participants in a study do not put forth the effort to expand their options or choices in a particular scenario, they will be forced to look at the situation they are in through lenses that are specific to prescribed roles. While I agree with the possibility of the assignment of roles through inaction, it is imperative that we revisit the psychoanalytic dimension of social interaction and investigate how this dimension influences the allegiances one becomes assigned to and the action or inaction that becomes exhibited by participants in a study. [14]

4. Organizational Structures on Individual Agency: Silence and Tactical Resistance

In the description of the interplay between individual agency and organizational structures described by SWARTZ (1997) and outlined by LEHNER (2006), we are provided with a synopsis of social interactions that effectively describe the possibility of an individual's ability to act in an unfamiliar structure that is accurate when psychoanalytic phenomena are ignored. In LEHNER's description, the notion of unfamiliarity is accounted for with a limited scope which relegates ones uneasiness, frustration, and the resultant quietness, passive expressions, and silence as a conscious choice that can be easily shut on or off. This notion of unfamiliarity must include a paralyzing of individual agency imposed by the organizational structure. This awareness causes us to realize that "Silence can be a form of resistance to domination (and in this mode even be regarded as speech), and conversely can be a manifestation of domination" (GLASS, 2004, p.18). [15]

4.1 Matt's response to an oppressive structure: Imposed silence

In GALLO-FOX et al., the author's descriptions of Matt (student intern) and his interactions with his student teacher were affected by the power dynamics that created the organizational structure he was placed in. When LEHNER mentions that Matt "always possessed the potential to change his situation" he accurately describes the ability of every individual to exercise agency in a structure that allows it. Furthermore, the description of ones increased likeliness to lose agency over prolonged periods of time in an oppressive structure rings true. However, the statement "Matt never lost his ability to act" ignores the power of the existent structure and makes no allowance for the possibility of silence as a response to the oppression of ones psychic space. [16]

4.2 Organizational structures on individual agency: Tactical resistance

In certain instances, the response to the "unfamiliarity" or oppressive nature of an organizational structure is more discursive and may result in tactical choices to undermine authority. This process involves the determination to exercise ones practice despite the imposition of a new practice. FANON (1963) describes a colonized population's desire to destroy any obstacle encountered in an oppressive structure and the need for the colonized to own the fact that they are "fundamentally different" from the faction that imposes the power. With the imposition of a Coteaching model on teachers that are entrenched in traditional teaching methodologies, the response to the top-down imposition of Coteaching results in situations like the ones described by GALLO-FOX et al. where "the coteachers quietly closed the door and the intern assumed all the responsibility for the class" (GALLO-FOX et al, 2006, ¶19). The act of rebellion against the coteaching model then takes on a life of its own as the act (coteaching) itself takes on the identity of the existent power structure. Participants in the study learn to live with the existent paradox and the undermining of the structure becomes a goal in itself despite its possible transformative qualities. It is therefore imperative that the addressing of the power structure and the consequent interplay is acknowledged and addressed with cogenerative dialogues before the research study is implemented. [17]

5. Cogenerative Dialogues and Cosmopolitanism

One on one cogenerative dialogue when structured properly may lead to avenues for discourse that in turn may provide opportunities for settling differences between two individuals (ROTH, LAWLESS, & TOBIN, 2000) and can serve as a decolonizing methodology (TUHIWAI SMITH, 1999) If these individuals represent a larger group and choose to address issues of power, domination and control and the effects thereof. The co-generated plan of action may be enacted and be accepted as a representative of the decision of all parties involved. Extending "the bonds of family, friendship, and camaraderie" (LEHNER, 2006, ¶36) to another person is also a beneficial practice both in cogenerative dialogues and in everyday practice. Engaging in cosmopolitan practice by functioning under the premise that we all belong to a single human community guides one towards engaging in ethical research practice. However, we should not mistake one's pronouncements of friendship, and camaraderie or one claiming to exhibit patience or kindness as an automatic engagement in a cosmopolitan ethos. [18]

5.1 Cynical cosmopolitanism, interest convergence, and one-on-one dialogue

When enacted by a person deeply allegianced to a particular faction within a structure, the claim to exhibit cosmopolitan behavior may become jumbled with a condescending and patronizing undercurrent that is focused on tolerance rather than a critical, deconstructive and ultimately transgressive relationship with the other. While I provided groundwork for engaging in cosmopolitan practice in a recent paper (EMDIN & LEHNER, 2006), I would like to look more closely at the ways that the notion relates to our interactions with each other. The earlier paper provides a glossing over of my thoughts on cosmopolitanism and serves as an introduction to a theorizing of the topic and its relevance to ethics and education. Looking more deeply at cosmopolitanism and the ways it affects our work as teachers and researchers it is important to realize that functioning with broad notions of the concept in mind without seeking to explore the possibilities it opens up and the complexities endemic to its implementation simplifies everyday life and research practice. The trap to divulge sensational misalignments in ideology and utilize an engagement in a cosmopolitan ideal as a simple solution to such misalignments defeats the purpose of utilizing cosmopolitanism as a guide for ethical research or a theory for the expansion of an individual or groups goals. It is imperative that we utilize transformative research theories and ideologies as tools for a continued engagement in ethical practice that decolonize oppressed peoples within a particular structure and steer clear of the lure to use them as a mask for unresolved ideological misalignments. While interest in expanding existent societal beliefs to include a more expansive and accepting ethos is a noble effort, converging our interest in this aim with a secondary goal of making one agree to a particular belief system without critically questioning and addressing difference devalues the outcomes of both objectives. [19]

5.2 Trivial educational disputes = large ideological differences

LEHNER describes a scenario where two teachers (Michael and Nathan) consistently engaged in scenarios where they were on "opposite ends of the spectrum on educational disputes." Over time, these disputes bubbled over into a large argument about a statement that one of the teachers made about the students in the classroom. I argue that these types of discussions may be avoided with the articulation and consequent addressing of the ideological differences existent within schools and among factions within schools at the onset of a coteaching scenario or at the initial appearance of a "trivial educational dispute." LEHNER explains that blacks and whites in the United States often have different perspectives on events as a result of larger historical divides between the two races. He then describes an engagement in "cosmopolitan" behavior by the black teacher as the key to a discussion between the teachers that caused them to settle their differences. While this description does provide a seemingly clear-cut (problem to solution) analysis of the situation, we must be wary of an exploitative cooption of race as Nathan (the black teacher) is not necessarily the correct/right party despite how he is presented in LEHNER's paper. In fact, both Nathan and Michael have valid points. With an engagement in a truly cosmopolitan ethos, neither party is granted the right to be absolutely correct. This notion of extending an olive branch as a result of ones employment of the philosophical tenets of cosmopolitanism ignores the ideological differences that exist as a result of one's allegiances to a group (in this instance phenotypic, racial, cultural as well as ideological) and leaves the cogenerative dialogues to circle around the specific scenario being discussed while not deeply addressing the larger issues. We must ask the question of whether the ideological differences between these two teachers have truly been settled when seamless transitions from targeting difference, extending a hand to enlighten the other, and then an understanding of the other occur without a discussion of who holds or wields power in the classroom / school scenarios. This must happen prior to an engagement in the study in conjunction with questions about who wields the power outside of the classroom / school scenarios. With these investigations in place, we may be able to develop theories that explain who the power wielders are in different settings, why/how they inhabit these roles, and how the answers to these questions affect our research studies [20]

5.3 Nationalism misconstrued as cosmopolitanism

As we further critically address cosmopolitanism and the tenets that make the construct beneficial to our work as researchers it is imperative that we realize that while one who engages in cosmopolitanism perceives and acknowledges the other as a stranger, the perception of the other as an "enemy" or needing to be "cogenerating with the enemy" as described by LEHNER delineates a vernacular self-serving and nationalistic perspective of cosmopolitanism that actually serves as an antithesis to cosmopolitan behavior. With the awareness that LEHNER shares allegiances to Nathan as evidenced by his descriptions of his "cosmopolitan" behavior, we must acknowledge that If recognition is conceived as being conferred on others by the dominant group (LEHNER and Michael in this scenario), then it merely repeats the dynamic of privilege and domination (OLIVER, 2004). By viewing the other as an enemy and expressing ones positionality within the existent power dynamic as the facilitator of the conversation, a hierarchy is produced even in a one on one cogenerative dialogue. Misreading the ability to engage in a one on one cogenerative dialogue, as the enactment of cosmopolitanism is problematic if the goal is to impose a viewpoint, convert, or enlighten the other. This becomes an engagement in a form of moral absolutism, as one perceives her/his particular way of knowing as the way of knowing and being. The act of extending a hand to the other even though one is perceived not to "deserve these graces" serves to reify LEHNER's critique of APPIAH's notion of cosmopolitanism as a fundamental tenet of the philosophy is "interacting on terms with respect on those who see the world differently. We cosmopolitans think we might learn something even from those we disagree with. We think people have a right to their own lives" (APPIAH, 2006, p.146) and deserve our grace. [21]

6. Revisiting the Psychoanalytic Dimension

In both LEHNER's and GALLO-FOX et al.'s papers, the authors constantly visit a dimension occupied by feelings towards self and the other that may guide the future interactions of the participants in their studies. LEHNER describes this arena as a collaborative third space, which consists of new culture that is formed by participants in a study. I would include in this space the hidden ghosts of past oppression, hierarchical structures, and power dynamics that form a pre-existent structure that needs to be addressed prior to an engagement in a study. In the following section, I address the space created by these pre-existent structures in the work of GALLO-FOX et al. and LEHNER and discuss how they may relate to the application of theories of oppression and an extension of the previously laid out notion of cosmopolitanism. The complexity of perceiving the other in a certain light, and the signals that indicate that this perception is taking place are evident in my reading of GALLO-FOX et al. and LEHNER. "A discussion of the concept of empathy, which I describe psychoanalytically in terms of receiving, processing, and making available unconscious material transferred from one person to another" (BONDI, 2006, p.64) provides us insight into this psychoanalytic dimension of the research studies. [22]

6.1 Lights to the path of discussion: Signals of what is to come

An "ethic of care" (GUBA & LINCOLN, 1989) refers to the preservation of anonymity and privacy of the researched, coupled with a dredging up of an emotive dimension when interacting with or on behalf of this population. Within this construct, we harbor feelings of privilege, shame, resentment, and frustration while attempting to conduct or be an active participant in an ethical research study. Consequently our words and actions in a research study invoke feelings and beliefs that shape our interactions with the researched. [23]

6.2 Signals in GALLO FOX et al.

Matt's expression of his respect for his cooperating teacher and his consequent feelings of "not allowing for my [his] opinions to be acknowledged" (GALLO FOX et al., 2006, ¶16), Jenn and Beth's feelings on Sheila's acceptance of the Coteaching model, the perceptions of mixed messages by coteachers, supervisors and interns, Kate (the program supervisor's intuition about Sam and Sheila's insecurity about their positions, and Kate's admission of her power over the grades of interns serve as a few lights to the path of gaining inroads into how the study of GALLO-FOX et al. is riddled with a complex interplay within the psychoanalytic and affective dimensions. [24]

6.3 Signals in LEHNER's work

The response to the GALLO-FOX et al. paper by LEHNER further makes this point through the recommendations and examples put forth by the author. His acknowledgment of ideological differences between individuals, discussions of the choice afforded to actors in his study, the description of Michael and Nathan and "both men express(ing) regret," the description of Matt's choice to be quiet in an arena where he felt limited agency, and the description of most students making "deliberate choices" that put them in trouble of the law, describes a perception and ideology that sheds a light on the psychoanalytic dimensions of the authors and research participants and how they play out in the research studies. [25]

Respect, acceptance, perception, intuition, insecurity, acknowledgment, and choice often times are not discernable in the enactment of everyday life or research. However, they occupy the spaces we inhabit prior to and during our experiences. With this awareness in place, researchers must begin investigations and embark on studies with a heightened awareness of preexistent, oftentimes hidden structures that inhabit the spaces of our studies. Only then can we expand the criticality of our work and address issues that are often ignored but are integral to truly transformative research. [26]

7. Coda

The goal of this investigation into the works of GALLO-FOX et al. and LEHNER was to provide a possible resource for researchers engaged in similar studies to expand on the brilliant notions put forth by the authors. Through the expansion of existent concepts and the provision of additional theoretical lenses to investigate coteaching and one on one cogenerative dialogues, this paper encourages an expansion of a limited view of cosmopolitanism and a provision for the investigation into existent social and historical dynamics that impact a research study. The following quotation well expresses the steps we might want to take:

"My point was that empathy and commitment to dialogue, however noble in themselves, do not make one immune to ethnocentrism (or in our case, oppression of the other, domination, or truncating of ones agency). For methodological reasons, it seems advisable to start with the pessimistic assumption that constructions of the other are usually self-projections that need to be deconstructed." (KAUFMAN, 1990, p.161) [27]

Acknowledgments

The research in this paper is supported in part by the American National Science Foundation under grant number ESI-0412413 and DUE-0427570. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American National Science Foundation.

References

Appiah, Kwame (2006). Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a world of strangers. New York: W.H. Norton.

Boler, Megan (2004). Democratic dialogue in education: Troubling speech, disturbing silence. New York: Peter Lang.

Bondi, Liz (2003). Empathy and identification: conceptual resources for feminist fieldwork. ACME: International Journal of Critical Geography, 2, 64-76. Available at: http://www.acme-journal.org/vol2/Bondi.pdf [Date of access: June 28, 2006].

Emdin, Christopher & Lehner, Ed (2006). Situating cogenerative dialogue in a cosmopolitan ethic. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research [On-line Journal], 7(2), Art. 39. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs-texte/2-06/06-2-39-e.htm [Date of access: May 21, 2006].

Fanon, Frantz (1963). The wretched of the earth. New York: Grove Press.

Gallo-Fox, Jennifer, Wassell, Beth, Scantlebury, Kathryn & Juck, Matthew. (2006). Warts and All: Ethical dilemmas in implementing the coteaching model [44 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research [On-line Journal], 7(4), Art. 18.. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs-texte/4-06/06-4-18-e.htm [Date of access: July 4, 2006].

Glass, Ronald D. (2004). The challenge of creating spaces for social justice dialogue. In Megan Boler (Ed.), Democratic dialogue in education: troubling speech, disturbing silence (pp.15-32). New York: Peter Lang.

Guba, Egon, & Lincoln, Yvonne (1989). Fourth generation evaluation. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Kauffmann, Lane R. (1990). The other in question: Dialogical experiments in Montaigne, Kafka, and Cortazar. Tullio Maranhao (Ed.), The interpretation of dialogue (pp.157-194). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Lehner, Ed (2006). Creating collaborative third-space discourse to address contradictions in coteaching [37 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research [On-line Journal], 7(4), Art. 19. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs-texte/4-06/06-4-19-e.htm [Date of access: July 7, 2006].

Oliver, Kelly (2004). The colonization of psychic space: A psychoanalytic theory of oppression. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota press,

Roth, Wolff-Michael, & Tobin, Ken (2002). At the elbow of another: Learning to teach by coteaching. New York: Peter Lang.

Roth, Wolff-Michael; Lawless, Daniel V., & Tobin, Kenneth (2000). {Coteaching | cogenerative dialoguing} as praxis of dialectic method. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research [On-line Journal], 1(3), Art. 37. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs-texte/3-00/3-00rothetal-e.htm [Date of Access: July 8, 2006].

Roth, Wolff-Michael, Tobin, Kenneth; Carambo, Cristobal, & Dalland, Chris (2004). Coteaching: Creating resources for learning and learning to teach chemistry in urban high schools. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 41, 882-904.

Swartz, David (1997). Culture & power. Chicago. University of Chicago Press.

Tuhiwai-Smith, Linda (1999). Decolonizing methodologies: Research and indigenous peoples. New York: St Martins Press.

Varela, Francisco (1999). Ethical know-how: Action wisdom and cognition. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Author

Christopher EMDIN is a full time doctoral student in Urban Education at The Graduate Center of City University of New York. He currently teaches Physics and Chemistry in the New York City Public Schools. His research interests include Science and Mathematics education and the emergence of student culture within those fields.

Contact:

Christopher Emdin

PhD Student in Urban Education
The Graduate Center
City University of New York
365 Fifth Avenue
Fourth Floor
New York, NY 10016, USA

E-mail: Christopher_emdin@yahoo.com, cemdin@gc.cuny.edu

Citation

Emdin, Christopher (2006). Beyond Coteaching: Power Dynamics, Cosmopolitanism and the Psychoanalytic Dimension [27 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 7(4), Art. 27, http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0604279.



Copyright (c) 2006 Christopher Emdin

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.