The current metaphor allows me to picture ways-of-knowing as a constellation, like an image of the Milky Way.
I imagine a set of beliefs at the core with long tentacles spiraling outward, extending into different dimensions that inform what we know and build upon what we believe.
One of my mentors at the University of Wisconsin, Jack McLeod, asked us to draw a picture of a model we saw when thinking of mass media effects.
Some of Jack’s students developed intricate, multi-layered models that remind me of a rendering of the guts inside a motherboard: a diagram with myriad links running hither and yon, so complex it makes your brain spin.
The trickster in me wants to present a nonsensical model at a research conference based on a motherboard, full of boxes and arrows and r-squares: a visual joke because we take this stuff so seriously.
I borrowed Jack’s suggestion and often ask my students to draw a picture of the theories or models they’re mulling over. I provide blank paper and wax crayons and ask them to draw.
Some are terrified at the prospect of creating a picture but I think it’s a sound tactic to move outside your comfort zone and consider a different dimension of your thoughts.
What would your thoughts look like?
[Picture of the Milky Way from the website windows2universe.org]