Myriam Coco giving a presentation on Action Research at EATBergen2010 This is my first week back at work after a half year’s maternity leave, and I’m lucky to be able to attend a few sessions of the Education and Technology summer research school that’s being organised by my colleagues in Digital Culture here at the University of Bergen. I’ll only be working a 16 hour work week for the next eight months, which I think will be a fantastic transition from full time at home to full time at work. This does mean I’m missing a lot of the presentations and discussions, but at least I’m here this morning for Myriam Coco‘s keynote on Action Research (“a way of generating knowledge about a social system while, at the same time, trying to change it” (Lewin)). I’ve brushed against action research many times, but it’s useful to have an overview of it neatly presented.

The summer school is a collaboration between the University of Bergen, Rzeszow University of Technology, Technische Universit‰t in Dresden and the University of Strasbourg, and this is the third time it has been held. Twenty or so PhD students gather with about a dozen professors for two intense weeks of presentations, discussions and extra-curricular activities (this afternoon they’re visiting the leprosy museum. That’s right – you didn’t know it was a Bergener found the cure to leprosy!?).

While I haven’t had the chance to fully immerse myself in the seminar, I’m loving that intense feeling of learning and discovery that exudes from the coffee room! That feeling was what got me hooked on academia – meeting people equally fascinated by the topics your engaged in, learning so many new things, discussions, coffee, late nights.

Academia at 16 hours a week with two tiny ones at home is a little different. But luckily I can still get a lot of that fix in bits and pieces online.

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