Tuesday, September 06, 2005

More watching

After further contemplating the idea of a project on the rise of Italian ports and the Renaissance, I came to the conclusion that I had assigned myself a traditional research essay. *laugh* So, I scrapped everything and went back to the beginning, looking for something that was actually meaningful to me. I came back to traveling in Italy with my family. I did some web-crawling on "travel with kids" type sites, read a bit about Rome in my son's Encyclopedia of the Ancient World and Mythology of the World, and started getting some idea of what it was I really wanted to know. Here's what I came up with:

--How do I plan a trip that is both fun and educational for myself, my husband, and our (soon, OMG) pre-teen son?

--How do I balance the interests of the adults with the interests and tolerance level of the kid?

--How can I make the "educational" parts more interesting for him?

--What can we do together before the trip to make the experience more rewarding?

(Just in case you're wondering, Liam is foaming at the mouth to get to Rome and see as many ruins and sites of bloody gladiator battles as he can get his hands on. Anything relating to mythology, empire, conquest, etc. is very cool. In fact, he's been asking to go to Greece and Rome since he was about five. However, art museums and fine Tuscan wine are going to try his patience.)

Feeling less than confident about whether I was hitting even close to the mark with this, I emailed Annette who was very reassuring. So, it looks like I have a topic I can enjoy and I will hopefully get some information I will really use. Yeah, I can definitely relate to Kuhlthau's "dip in confidence" now. :)

3 Comments:

At 11:01 AM, Blogger Jennifer Perry said...

I've been looking in more detail at Jamie McKenzie's work with the Research Cycle. I especially liked the section called "Which Questions Matter" in his article The Question is the Answer. I realize that I have been asking mostly How questions in this project. As McKenzie states, "[t]his question [how] is the basis for problem-solving and synthesis. Using questions to pull and change things around until a new, better version emerges."

As I wrap up this project, I had started to worry that I haven't really created anything new. I have mostly just brought together information found by other people, which is a lot like a typical "go and find out about X" project. However, I do feel like I have done just what McKenzie describes with this explanation of how questions. I have pulled and changed things around until I have formed a new understanding of how to make this trip good for my entire family. In a way, by putting these tips from divergent sources together in one place, I have created a new and better version of the answer to this specific information need, and it is one that might be useful to other families in the same situation.

 
At 11:03 AM, Blogger Jennifer Perry said...

Link for The Question is the Answer:


http://questioning.org/Q6/question.html

 
At 2:12 PM, Blogger Jennifer Perry said...

Link for Kuhlthau's "dip in confidence":

http://www.scils.rutgers.edu/%7Ekuhlthau/Search%20Process.htm

I especially like this quote:

"Rather than a steady increase in confidence from the beginning of a search to the conclusion, as might be expected, a dip in confidence is commonly experienced once an individual has initiated a search and begins to encounter conflicting and inconsistent information. A person "in the dip" is increasingly uncertain and confused until a focus is formed to provide a path for seeking meaning and criteria for judging relevance."

 

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