Monday, October 16, 2006

Evolving Questions

Today in my CO301D class, we're going to work on discovering questions that will motivate case studies for the rest of the semester, so I want to use my questions about school violence as a case in point. Don't get me wrong, my questions are by no means set in stone. In fact, I expect them to develop, become more complex, perhaps even change entirely as I try to arrive at some provisional answers. But for now, I just want to talk about how they're coming along and why.

What did I do to find them? (NOTE: A numbered list follows, but I don't mean for it to be chronological. Many of these processes are occurring simultaneously.)

1. First of all, I became "inquisitorial." As you gathered if you read my last post, I essentially identified an area that was perplexing to me--you know, one of those areas that your mind just won't let go of.
2. I blogged about it to explore and organize my own thinking.
3. I talked to people about it, both verbally and on-line.
4. I read about it (in the newspaper, on other blogs, in responses to my blog, and in English Journal and the National Writing Project Quarterly).

When I first started this process, I didn't really have a question in mind beyond the ever-present "why," but as a result of all the above processes, here's what I currently want to know:

1) How can we be proactive in preventing violence *and* promoting peace? How do we go to the source of violence before it happens, as many experts/lay people/law enforcement officers/the president recommend?

2) How should we react when violence does occur both far away and close to home (articles written by a couple of CSU Writing Project teachers--Hilary Hughes and Emily Richards Moyer--have gotten me thinking in this direction)?

3) What have kids, teachers, and schools done in response to recent school violence? What have they learned? What will they do if it happens again?

As you can see, I really have SETS of related questions now rather than a single one. Answering one set of questions might provide some insight into the others, but any one of the sets would provide enough direction to get me started.

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