In the months since completing my Masters thesis, I have been very happy to sit back quietly and allow the pressures of completion and examination to drift quietly away, and to permit the experience and subsequent learning to sink gently into my bones.
This last week has provided opportunities for some fabulously critical conversations about the transformative value of storytelling. I have been reinvigorated.
I believe that coming to know and become the greatest version of oneself – and identifying and utilising one’s capacity – needs to begin with the story of the self … facilitated by experienced, skilled and knowledgeable practitioners.
From this beginning point we can begin to identify and critique the external structures and influences that have contributed to our perspective of self, of others, and of our place and potential in life.
As the last week’s conversations have highlighted, it is only when we begin to recognise the assumptions and externally imposed constrictions that have guided our choices and life circumstances, that we are able to more fully recognise the importance and potency of our own authority – and take on authorship of our own lives. We can then begin to exercise our own voice and stretch our muscle towards determining the most authentic way forward.
We are always an individual within social, cultural and political constructions … but we also have a choice about how we perceive and respond to our environment. My experience is that once individuals begin to emerge from the haze of unexplored assumptions, they start to see through new lenses, and to uncover incredible power, both for themselves, and for others who have also lived in the ‘haze’.
So my first challenge is to pick up again on the research to identify the measurable benefits from this methodological approach; then to identify how we can incorporate professional development to awaken personal knowing in our educators, and lastly to generate the necessary support and resources to imbed the methodology into practice within vocational education and training (VET) and Adult Community Education (ACE). Hopefully then each individual might have the opportunity they deserve to shine in their truest light.
The conversations I’ve been having over the last week have certainly stirred and re-affirmed my passion and commitment to changing the system, and I extend my thanks to my peers for their challenge and interest in my work. The time is coming to explore PhD options …