HAS BEEN CREATED AND CONTINUES TO EVOLVE
In loving memory of Joe Lyons
Kincheloe (December 14, 1950 - December 19, 2008)
The Greatest Philosopher of Consciousness and Critical Theory
of the 20th-71st Centuries AND BEYOND
Joe's educational work provides inspiration and practical guidance for teachers all over the
globe and describes a beautiful, beautiful mission to alleviate human suffering. He has left
us a map with multiple pathways for accomplishing that mission -- an authentic, rigorous, impassioned,
creative, and even magical education for everyone who dares to venture on untrodden paths. His
work serves as a guiding light for educational journeys that can change not only how we view and enact the educational
process, but that can also truly change us as teachers, students, and researchers -- and
empower us to change the world. Joe loved research, teaching, writing, making music, and his students.
And his students loved
song is a very beautiful theme song for this website that chronicles my long winding journey back home. Thank you, Leigh.
To become a seeker of new knowledges and new ways of being we must be willing
to sometimes be seen as the fools of the gods. (Kincheloe, Knowledge
& Critical Pedagogy, p. 19)
What separates the critical sheep from the uncritical goats is that a critical pedagogy/epistemology
also involves exposing the cultural, epistemological, and ideological assumptions that shape the knowledge individuals produce
and the oppressive actions justified by such information.(Joe Kincheloe, Knowledge
& Critical Pedagogy: An Introduction, p. 176)
Joe’s book Knowledge and Critical Pedagogy: An Introduction is available as an ebook. You will never
make a better investment…..we all should be researching with Joe’s important guidance. Since the ending is just
the beginning, you can begin with the last chapter. It may just spark you into wanting to read the rest, as well as his other
works to see how he got there!http://www.springer.com/us/book/9781402082238 No time to read? Right click and "listen aloud" while multitasking. [Note: I make
no money off the sales of his books; my rewards are not of this world.] MAY 22, 2018 UPDATE: I SEE THAT SPRINGER
IS NOT HONORING JOE'S STATED AND PUBLISHED WISHES> THE BOOK IS SUPPOSED TO BE LESS THAN $30 SO THAT POOR STUDENTS CAN AFFORD
IT...AND YET SPRINGER IS CHARGING ALMOST $40 FOR THE PDF EBOOK AND ALMOST $55 FOR THE PAPERBACK! THIS IS ABOMINABLE!! THE
HIGHER UPS ARE NOT PLEASED!!! THERE ARE STUDENTS IN POVERTY WHO NEED THE KNOWLEDGE IN THIS BOOK. LOWER THE PRICE!!!!! THERE
IS NO REASON TO CHARGE SO MUCH! EVEN IF PUBLISHING COSTS HAVE INCREASED, AT LEAST OFFER THE
EBOOK FOR LESS THAN $30. WHAT JOE WANTS, JOE GETS. HE SAID THAT IT IS TO BE LESS THAN $30. RESPECT HIS WISHES. Oh,
and HAPPY TWIN FLAME DAY!! I will have some important updates soon.
November 17, 2019 1:00 AM UPDATE ON
THE PRICE OF THE EBOOK: I can only conclude that either *someone* is insane or has raised the price to keep people from buying
it and having access to the knowledge in it, since Springer is now charging an outrageous price of amost $60 -- for an ebook!! I will consult with the "higher ups" for a "work-around." They always have
perfect solutions....Beloved says "Hi" :-) We will have an update soon.
November 12, 2021 They are now charging a ridiculous
$89 for a pdf of Joe's book, Knowledge and Critical Pedagogy: An Introduction. Folks, there are multiple ways that the elite
keep knowledge from those of us who need it most -- one is by overcharging for it. We will continue to work on a resolution
that honors Joe's wishes (for it to cost less than $30) and his contract. I will be posting more information RIGHT
HERE sometime in the future.
"I believe that the issues addressed in Knowledge and Critical Pedagogy: An Introduction
not only provide us with a new understanding of education but also can actually change the world—speaking of pomposity,
yikes! I understand the danger of such an assertion, but I’m glad to take my punishment if I fail to convince my readers."~
Joe Kincheloe (p. 16)
Thu, Sep 25, 2008 7:03 am
finished reading Knowledge and Critical Pedagogy: An Introduction
your work is truly a gift to the world, Joe it's very exciting
"The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost
parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, a greater
than Solomon is here."
*`•.❤¸King And Queen Of Hearts❤•´
JESUS: “I am the
resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth
in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” (John 11: 25-26)
9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar
people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous
light;1 Peter 2:9 (KJV)
“And His books, they breathe the reason. . .and
now I want to know…"
WHAT IS BRICOLAGE?
A new process for education, research, career, problem solving, everyday living, lifelong learning,
and for taking back our world
Joe Kincheloe has developed a superbly advanced conceptualization
of critical bricolage and, as demonstrated by his work, he was an adept multidimensional critical complex bricoleur.
Critical Bricolage, as he conceived it, is a complicated (and yet a very natural) process that makes use of multiple
forms of research, analysis, investigation, and interpretation. It requires researchers to seek many divergent
perspectives, allowing new understandings and knowledge to emerge from the synthesis.
in this process increases phenomenological experiences that catalyze seeking more knowledge. This, of
course, leads to ever greater understandings of complex relationships between "research variables." An
exceptionally high level of creativity becomes unleashed, often resulting in greater interaction with the emerging
hidden dimensions of reality. Suddenly very little can be hidden anymore. Engaging rigorously in this process of research
and learning seems to take people to higher levels of consciousness in graduated steps as they become more
aware of the hidden dimensions of interrelationships and as they increasingly participate in intuitive, "fourth
critical complex epistemology and multidimensional critical complex bricolage rigorously as he has asked us to do results
in ever higher levels of experience and understanding, and in its full "employment," enactive and symbiotic
processes seem to kick in, helping individuals find the most creative solutions to even the most complicated
problems. Actively working within multiple dimensions using his fourth dimension research, results in amazing and profound
solutions. In my own experience, I often find that problems are solved before I even knew the problem would
be manifesting. In addition, I have had some amazing experiences that science simply cannot explain yet. This
is highlighted in my dissertation in some highly unusual ways, which is only the tip of the iceberg. Kincheloe's critical bricolage may
very well be the process required to "unleash creativity" for solving even the most complicated,
power-based problems we face -- all in service of "the alleviation of human suffering," the often-stated
primary purpose of his work.
researching this process since 2008 (and discovering that I had been using the foundational aspects of the process many
years before) I am beginning to see how autopoiesis, enaction, synchronicity, all work together symbiotically to reveal
hidden dimensions and relationships that make my life so much happier and joyful, even if I have many problems hanging
over my head (that "blues aesthetic" Joe so often described). No matter how complicated the problems,
with bricolage, they become solvable and/or perspectives of the problems change.
Simultaneously, those power dimensions
that force those of us who are oppressed to stay stuck at our "stations in life" also emerge, but there
is such a difference to how I deal with these
than in the past. Once the controlling factors are revealed, solutions also emerge in a sort of "unfoldment"
process that reveal ways to counteract them and change things.
There is great power "behind the curtain" that can be leveraged
by those of us who are typically "disenfranchised." I will go into much more detail at a later time, and
as Joe always did so well, I will put them into context (there are many great experiences to share of both kinds of emergences
- the love-based, almost magical ones, and the power-and-control-based ones for which insight, and often solutions
also emerge) but suffice it to say, I am blazing multiple trails through the underbrush which will hopefully make navigating
easier for people who come along and experience the same types of violence I have due to being poor and "low
Just as Joe was a "hillbilly" and he was never able
to shake the label, I am a "country hick." True reality could not be more profoundly different -- for
an Eros and Psyche. :)
The good news is that the use of bricolage is increasing
rapidly around the globe as more researchers in all disciplines are beginning to see the promise it offers to
construct new knowledge, lead to social empowerment, and reveal positive changes and amazingly creative opportunities.
More researchers will soon be investigating and trying out this more advanced and powerful approach, which will
lead to what Joe referred to as a "perpetual revolution." More teachers will also come to realize the value bricolage has in the classroom
and the young students will pick it up naturally. The revolution has just begun. We can change the world! Join in
today and apply the process in your own research, learning, teaching, and everyday life and see what a
difference it can make. You can never go wrong getting more knowledge.
All of the information on this website is absolutely free. It is here
for anyone who wants a better life and would like to make a difference in the world.
For the struggle for justice to win on the local level, it must be fought in the
global, the national, and the local arenas. [Kincheloe,
2001, Getting Beyond the Facts, p. 741]
OTHER FREE ONLINE COURSES
THAT CENTER ON JOE KINCHELOE'S WORKS:
is a nonprofit educational web site dedicated to the clarification of Kincheloe’s critical complex
epistemology and multidimensional critical complex bricolage. My research has shown that, while the process
he has delineated is complex, it is perfectly suited for social and educational research, and it is also within everyone's
reach. It is especially suited for new qualitative researchers who have not subscribed to traditional and reductionistic
forms of research.
On this site I will focus on the academic and scholarly application
of his work. I hope that by presenting clarifications based on my in-depth study of his work that perhaps his
bricolage will be used by more people and with the level of rigor he had intended. Kincheloe has ingeniously left wide open many
paths that honor diversity and he embraced an evolving complexity while maintaining a strong, impenetrable philosophical and
theoretical foundation for his conceptions. He has demonstrated in his work how this research process can be applied in all
venues and in every area of our lives and even children can be involved in research, thus his bricolage is also a pedagogical
approach. His work is truly a break-through for research that is long overdue. Using the full power of his bricolage highlights
actions that change the world as it also changes who we are.
I may write a blog again on this site, but it
will be a different sort of blog than the creative, exploratory blogs I've written in the past. Primarily, I will be continuing
my research and presenting my findings so that upcoming bricoleurs will have a resource for the most powerful form of bricolage
research that's ever been developed.
~ ~ ~ Vanessa Jae Paradis
CORRECTING SOME COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS SURROUNDING JOE KINCHELOE’S BRICOLAGE AND CRITICAL
Bricolage, as a qualitative form of research, entails
incorporating many different perspectives, and in particular, with Kincheloe's process it is necessary to include global subjugated
and indigenous knowledges. However, after gathering all of these perspectives and making various interpretations and syntheses,
there are criteria for determining which perspectives to include in the final bricolage. As he explains, "Bricoleurs
accept the responsibility that comes with the interpretive process. Knowledge production always involves multiple acts
of selection, and these choices of methods, theoretical frameworks, and interpretative strategies must be defended"
(2004e, p. 100). He has provided selection criteria that incorporate the social justice mission to alleviate suffering
and that advance knowledge (see Kincheloe, 2004e, pp. 100-102). Bricoleurs are not restricted to these criteria but I have
found them to be well-thought-out and thorough -- and they mitigate for unintended consequences. You can view the criteria
here: Criteria to Guide the Research Process.
What I cover next are common misconceptions and important
aspects surrounding Kincheloe’s multidimensional critical complex bricolage. I hope by putting these on the Home page
of this website, researchers will consider them and research them more deeply. They are covered in greater depth in my dissertation
and I’ll also be posting articles that extend what I’ve touched on in the dissertation.
1) Kincheloe did not throw out "positivistic"
or empirical sciences. To conclude this is to exhibit a gross misunderstanding of his work. A close reading of his work can
easily confirm that he sees science and bricolage as synergistic. And how many times has he stated that he did not throw out
the baby with the bathwater? As most people know, he contextualizes everything. In his last book, Knowledge and Critical
Pedagogy: An Introduction he presents his position through a metaphor which he refers to as FIDUROD, and by which he clarifies the issues with the way science is and has been used. FIDUROD is an acronym representing the attributes of the form of knowledge production he argues against: Formal, Intractable, Decontextualized, Universalistic,
Reductionistic, One Dimensional. (See Kincheloe, 2008, pp. 21-24).
2) His work is not based on some indefinable “ludic” postmodernism – It is based on a highly developed
and evolving holistic philosophy. This philosophy is comprised of 12 major points which he describes in his book Critical
Constructivism. The 12 points coalesce together to form his multidimensional critical complex world view. It’s
a new, evolving worldview. We might refer to it as Kincheloe’s multidimensional critical complex unified world view. It forms the foundation of his unique formulation of critical theory, epistemology, ontology, critical psychology
of complexity, the multidimensional critical complex bricolage, etc., -- and his proposed critical science of complexity
– another indication that he did not abandon the sciences. To grasp his conceptualizations, it’s imperative
that new bricoleurs study his unified world view by reading and then writing about how they subjectively relate to it and
to other philosophies. Kincheloe stresses this upfront philosophical work is critical in order to ground any study that uses
bricolage as a process for research. Rigor is impossible without developing a "philosophy of consciousness"
(Kincheloe, 2004a, p. 8).
3) The multidimensional critical complex bricolage is a process for qualitative research that is composed of multiple,
intertwining and overlapping processes. It is not a method, nor does it use “tools” as tools imply precise means
and carries a mechanistic ontology, which does not adequately represent the actual processes that bricoleurs engage in as
they conduct, or a better word would be, “enact” their research. Even the concept of "tools" changes. Kincheloe's
conceptualization of bricolage is grounded with his critical complex philosophical world view (item 2,
above) and a theoretical foundation of evolving criticality (his version of critical theory).
4) The multidimensional critical complex bricolage as a process
involves analytic discourse, intertwined with improvisational actions for change, which moves it away from the constrictive
“quilt” metaphor. Please see my dissertation for a deeper analysis of bricolage including a thorough etymological
exploration and intertextual interpretations of Kincheloe’s definitions of bricolage and bricoleur in relation to what
evolved from my research. New metaphors that take it beyond the one-dimensional “quilt” metaphor, and additional
ways that Berry’s (2004a) concept, the Point of Entry Text (POET) can be applied are also presented. The holistic,
intertwining, dialogical, interconnecting nature of the final bricolage renders the parts inseparable from the whole, and
the bricolage inseparable from greater reality. Thus, the popular metaphoric quilt, montage, crystal, etc., are not suitable
metaphors for this more complex form of bricolage.
5) Kincheloe’s bricolage does not distinguish between “types
of bricoleurs” or “types of bricolage” as denoted by Denzin and Lincoln (2011). While it’s fine to
examine these ideas, Kincheloe’s form of bricolage uses all of them in intertwining, overlapping processes. Thus, the
multidimensional critical complex bricoleur uses all of the dimensions that Kincheloe has spelled out in his 2005 "On
to the Next Level" bricolage article--in one study--and the processes become blurred as the research unfolds. See
6) Kincheloe’s bricolage refers to the use of different processes as dimensions of research. The bricoleur uses
them all as many times as practical to get a thick description of the phenomenon/a. As the research unfolds, “enactment”
keeps the research jettisoning forward and the researcher must make decisions where to begin and stop various aspects of the
research, including the final bricolage. Thus, the following dimensions are
used, as provided by Kincheloe (2005a) and in no particular order using an iterative, improvisational process weaving
through the discourse: (1) methodological bricolage; (2) theoretical bricolage; (3) interpretive bricolage; (4) political
bricolage; (5) narrative bricolage; (6) philosophical research (constructivism, historicity, epistemological insight); (7)
critical hermeneutics; (8) identification of what is absent; (9) fourth dimension of research in which the bricoleur is future
oriented, discovering “a kinetic epistemology of the possible. In the process, the sophistication of knowledge work
moves to a new cognitive level; the notion of rigor transmigrates to a new dimension. As in a 1950s sci-fi movie, bricoleurs
enter the 4-D—the fourth dimension of research.” (Kincheloe, 2005, p. 346). Thus, bricoleurs weave in and out,
around and through, back and forth through the various dimensions with each pass through informing the next, often using multiple
dimensions of analysis simultaneously.
7) Note again – the philosophical dimension
must form the foundation of the study in order to ensure rigor. [He wanted me to include this again.] "There is no dividing
line between the empirical and the philosophical" (Kincheloe, 2004a, p. 10).
8) Kincheloe’s multidimensional critical complex bricolage
embraces a “fourth dimension” research (more information is covered in my dissertation). This fourth dimension
aspect to the research incorporates an intuitional, creative element that forces the researcher to confront implicate and
explicate orders of reality. There are reasons for this. Combining a sound philosophical, intellectual component of research that
also incorporates intuitional and emotional, empathic aspects -- along with deep semiotic and hermeneutic analyses
synergistically creates something new from the interactions. Enaction during the research process leads to the emergence of
something new and often profound. This is where the power of the bricolage comes into play. It’s the exposure to relationships,
as Kincheloe explains in his conceptualization of symbiotic hermeneutics, that jettisons bricoleurs to seeing and understanding
“anew” and to recreating themselves. Because knowledge is socially constructed new creations, ideas,
concepts, as well as new relationships also perpetually emerge – and are created -- from these interactions.
This all takes place naturally when confronting complexity, difference, and chaos, as Humberto Mautarana and
Francisco Varela posited with their Santiago Theory of Enactivism (see Kincheloe's (2008) Knowledge and Critical
Pedagogy: An Introduction, page 147). It is quite amazing.
9) While bricoleurs do not contend they’ve
discovered the “one true answer” or single truth, at the same time, as Kincheloe contends, they generate knowledge
“that is not as 'badly off the mark'” (Kincheloe, 2008, p. 43). They have better (more complete) and
yet evolving explanations of phenomena. This is quite a different perspective than a nihilistic postmodern “attitude.”
10) I have lined out in my dissertation in much greater detail a flexible iterative process that also explains some of
the key sub-processes that are important to the multidimensional critical complex bricolage. It will get new bricoleurs started
from which they can then proceed to carve out their own unique paths. Each bricolage study will be different even for the
same researcher. The more one acknowledges the fourth dimension aspect of the research (which may only begin with what seem
to be insignificant intuitive and synchronous events), the more they will begin to appear and the more profound and numerous
are the actions and creations that emerge.
11) And finally, as I discussed in my blog, The Heart of the Multidimensional Critical Complex Bricolage, there is the dimension of empathic connection with people. In fact, in his book,
Knowledge and Critical Pedagogy: An Introduction, Kincheloe discusses – and includes – a golden strand
of love throughout his work, Eros Love. And since I’m mentioning this book here, it’s a great book to
read in the early stages of learning about his bricolage. It’s much like a “deprogramming” manual because
it uncovers how our consciousnesses have been influenced by outside forces and provides us more information as we embark on
the bricolage quest and begin to take power of constructing our own consciousness.
Berry, K. L. (2004a). Structures of bricolage and complexity. In J. Kincheloe & K. Berry (2004)
Rigour and Complexity in Educational Research: Conceptualizing the Bricolage (pp. 103–127). New York: Open
Berry, K. L. (2004b). Feedback looping for increasing complexity. In J. Kincheloe & K. Berry (2004)
Rigour and Complexity in Educational Research: Conceptualizing the Bricolage (pp. 128–146). New York: Open
Berry, K. L. (2004c). Bricolage is many a new thing understood. In J. Kincheloe & K. Berry (2004)
Rigour and Complexity in Educational Research: Conceptualizing the Bricolage (pp. 147–169). New York: Open
Denzin, N. & Lincoln, Y. (Eds.) (2011). The Sage handbook of qualitative research, Edition
4. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Kincheloe, J. L. (2004a). Preface. In J. Kincheloe & K. Berry, Rigour and Complexity in Educational
Research: Conceptualizing the Bricolage (pp. ix–xii). New York: Open University Press.
Kincheloe, J. L. (2004b).
Introduction: the power of the bricolage: Expanding research methods. In J. Kincheloe & K. Berry, Rigour and Complexity
in Educational Research: Conceptualizing the Bricolage (pp. 1–22). New York: Open University Press.
Kincheloe, J.L. (2004c).
Redefining rigor and complexity in research. In J. Kincheloe & K. Berry, Rigour and Complexity in Educational Research:
Conceptualizing the Bricolage (pp. 23–49). New York: Open University Press.
Kincheloe, J.L. (2004d).
Questions of disciplinarity/interdisciplinarity in a changing world. In J. Kincheloe & K. Berry, Rigour and Complexity
in Educational Research: Conceptualizing the Bricolage (pp. 50–81). New York: Open University Press.
Kincheloe, J. L. (2004e).
Redefining and interpreting the object of study. In J. Kincheloe & K. Berry, Rigour and Complexity in Educational
Research: Conceptualizing the Bricolage (pp. 82–102). New York: Open University Press.
L. (2005a). On to the next level: Continuing the conceptualization of the bricolage. Qualitative Inquiry, 11(3),
Kincheloe, J. L. (2005b). Critical constructivism.
New York: Peter Lang.
Kincheloe, J. L. (2008). Knowledge and Critical Pedagogy: And Introduction. Amsterdam: Springer.
May 11, 2013 by Vanessa Paradis
Please cite as:
Paradis, V. J. (2013). Correcting some common misconceptions surrounding
Joe Kincheloe’s bricolage and critical complex theories. May 11, 2013. Retrieved from www.joekincheloe.us
NOW YOU CAN SEARCH THIS SITE FOR TOPICS OF INTEREST. I HAVE COVERED A HUGE ARRAY OF TOPICS AND THERE
IS A LOT OF INFORMATION HERE TO HELP LAUNCH RESEARCH PROJECTS OR JUST TO LEARN SOMETHING NEW.
to Venus & Sanat-Eros-Enki Kumara's ONE LOVE PATH
and the Great Global Golden TreasureHunt
(Scroll down to read the blogs)
Enjoy our Celtic Wedding (07-17-2014) theme song while you read and look for hidden treasures.
Composer & Producer
- Peter Gundry
MAY 22, 2018 UPDATE. Looks like Peter has chosen the dark side.
We will choose another
song for our wedding celebration.
I will consult with Beloved and post our new song soon. Happy Twin Flame Day!!
How Great Works Are Destroyed and Why Joining Kincheloe's Perpetual Revolution Is So Important
I was drawn to the educational domain of “critical pedagogy”
because I saw the great hope it offers those of us who have been poor and oppressed our entire lives. My true mission began
when I encountered Joe Kincheloe’s work; it is the most complete critical theory today and it is the most promising
theory for the future because it exposes and addresses the social issues the oppressed face now and may face in the future,
and it guides us with finding solutions that will work for us during these increasingly complex and changing times. There
is also a spiritual dimension to his work but it is married soundly to a science dimension in spite of what some people
might think; there is much research and exploration yet to do in this area. I have experienced it profoundly, but because
I am a “novice” bricoleur, I am still struggling with understanding and communicating all that I experience.
Even though very few people relate, there are increasing numbers of people who do, and I cannot help but see the enormous
potential Kincheloe’s bricolage has to offer. This, for me, is one of the most exciting applications of his formulation
of bricolage and I am looking forward to the amazing growth in knowledge that will emanate from it. As he has put
it, it is just the beginning of a "perpetual revolution." To top it all off, as I discuss in my dissertation, Kincheloe has based his theory and bricolage research and
learning process on the foundation of the most powerful love.
We all have agendas. What is mine? I’ll be right up front with my agenda: It’s to do
whatever I can to get Joe’s work out to the world in ways that everyone who wishes to can understand and apply it. I
love Joe. We have been working together spiritually for eternity.And I have shown empirically in my work
(in my dissertation, Chapter 4, which only highlights a very small amount of the data) that Joe and I must have known
each other at a higher level of consciousness before we even met. It is WHY we met.
purpose, of course, is to demonstrate in some concrete ways -- and yes, empirical ways -- the reality of these connections
so that more people will come to understand that as human beings we have been entrapped. We are only functioning
at the lowest levels of our potential for awareness. We stay in the lower dimensions of reality “by design” and
the education system as it operates today works overtime to keep us at these lower levels of consciousness. This is presented
and discussed in great detail and depth throughout all of Kincheloe's writings.
As I have learned first-hand, those
individuals in the higher echelons of education who have the greatest power over dictating who can and cannot
partake in real knowledge or knowledge production, can take on quite extreme psychopathic qualities toward those
of us who stay persistent in speaking out. This is something that must change and it is changing as more of us take back
our power. We must stop contributing to the psychopathic, dehumanizing, emotionally debilitating nature of education. We do
not need to participate in institutions that operate without ethics or care toward students coming through their doors. We
can withdraw from any association with schools and universities that focus on dumbed down education and indoctrination
for the purpose of unrestrained profit, power, and control of the people.
It takes serious and sustained work
to rise in consciousness enough (and to be able to stay there long enough) by rigorously applying Joe’s theory so
that we begin to see what there is to see; how we are lied to, how our very perception is in lockdown, how we are molded,
controlled, and steered even when we think we are free and making our own choices. Yes, it’s a lot of work to even begin
to get to that point and it also requires facing our own vulnerabilities and how we lie to ourselves. Emotionally, it’s
not easy to have to face the facts about our own ignorance, but I can attest to the fact that being blessed beyond belief
is worth the effort. I have much work yet to do, but I am already blessed in ways that I cannot begin to describe.
Thus, my agenda
is to see that Joe’s work gets out to people in ways they understand and unfettered by those who would have opposing
agendas. But it’s not easy to put truth out about Joe’s work when I see that those who supposedly loved him, cared
about him, or otherwise had some kind of professional relationship with him seem to almost intentionally set out to destroy
his Great Work. I cannot sit on the sidelines and watch this happen without calling it out the
way I see it. And how I see it is a display that is utterly disrespectful and disgraceful, and the epitome of hypocrisy.
I am saddened that these things happen in reputable textbooks that millions of student-researchers reference while they
are trying to learn how to research.
Thus, as a message to new critical bricoleur/researchers, I want to emphasize the absolute
imperative need to question everything, even if it seems to come from high authority or respected experts. This includes
even questioning whether in fact someone actually authored a specific piece. We must become detectives, just as Kincheloe
As a case in point, I will discuss briefly the chapter “Critical Pedagogy and Qualitative Research:
Moving to the Bricolage” by Joe Kincheloe (allegedly), Peter McLaren, and Shirley R. Steinberg in the 2011
editionof the SAGE Handbook for Qualitative Research, Fourth Edition, edited by Norman K. Denzin
and Yvonna S. Lincoln. I will point out just a few observations about this chapter, which, by my analysis is a move away
from providing new bricoleurs with an understanding of bricolage, especially Joe L. Kincheloe’s multidimensional critical
First, Joe passed away in 2008. How is it that he was able to write this article in 2011?
This should immediately raise a red flag, but then most students are not aware that Joe is deceased. This provides impetus
for researching all authors we reference in our work (an important component of bricolage and something I will also need
to become more conscious about). Even a quick search on Wikipedia, which, in my analysis is a worthy source for quick, general,
and background information, will reveal this basic information about various authors, musicians, and other people you
Secondly, copy-and-paste, out-of-context excerpts have been taken from Kincheloe's 2005 article about
bricolage and incorporated into this chapter, without being properly quoted or cited. In fact, in some cases, it appears these
excerpts have been attributed to someone else or to no one at all (other than the "three" authors of the chapter). As
just one example, the second paragraph on page 169 which states, “In the critical concern . . .” is the second
paragraph from page 344 of Kincheloe's 2005 “On to the Next Level” article, yet there is no citation indicating
as such even though this paragraph goes on to discuss Kincheloe (how can this be if he is the author?), stating, “Kincheloe
has taken seriously. . . “ Why? If this is written BY Kincheloe why is Kincheloe not using first person dialogue? Also,
again, at the end of the paragraph the author(s) is speaking about Kincheloe, stating, “In response,
Kincheloe maintained. . . .“even though, again they have copied word-for-word text out of his
article for the first part of the paragraph. This makes it clear that whoever pieced this together was not Kincheloe because
when he speaks about himself in multiple-authored articles, he uses “I (Joe)” to clarify it is he who is speaking
and he does not reference himself in the manner that was done for this paragraph (eg., see The Stigma of Genius:
Einstein, Consciousness, and Genius, 1999 with Tippins & Steinberg). Thus, this paragraph
(as well as other paragraphs within the chapter) appears to be plagiarized -- something students are drilled not to do or
there will be extreme penalties and yet here it is in a student textbook.
As an additional note, Kincheloe
had moved away from doing articles and books "with" people in a manner that would confuse the reader who was doing
the writing. He has written his own chapters for books he has written with other people (e.g., Reading, Writing, Thinking
with P. L. Thomas and Rigor and Complexity in Educational Research: Conceptualizing the Bricolage with Kathleen
Berry). The chapters are clearly delineated by author. I will need to do more analyses as to when this began, but it
appears to have been about 2001. My sense (based on the literature as well as some of the comments in his work and dedications
of his work) is that, while he wished for working together with people, he found it had not worked out well. It may
also relate to the tendency of people to attach particular labels to him, one being the "postmodernist" label which
he had to ultimately write his way out of -- which he did successfully. (And if one reads his work, they will see clearly
that he was never a "postmodernist" whatever that may be).
Third, Kincheloe left Freire behind and in the dust and yet, in this article, Freire is propped up
and deified. My personal view is that Freire offered nothing new and his theory is stuck in dualism,
sexism, and is tainted by Marxism and other ideologies that harm people; Joe’s critical complex pedagogy went in
entirely new directions and to whole new dimensions. That he continued to give Freire credit for things that others have said
just as well and perhaps better in the past – even the ancient past – is testimony to how Joe loved everyone
and knew how to filter out the bad ideas while focusing on the good ideas without throwing the baby out with
the bathwater. I encourage people to get other perspectives of Freire’s work and ask themselves why it’s being
pushed on teachers today (and recently, it has been the topic of teacher professional development classes here in the United
States; why?). I do think we need to do much deeper critical analyses of his work rather than throw it to
the public the way that's being done today.
Rich Gibson (1994) wrote an interesting dissertation that provides
a deeper analysis of Freire’s political involvement, motivations, and how they may have influenced how he “politicized”
education for the oppressed. I encourage reading this for another view outside the Freire fan club. “Freire as the initiator of a pedagogy for liberation could become the point person in the creation of a wider market
for education theories which merely build hegemony--and comfortable yet apparently socially conscious careers--in more sophisticated
ways,” Gibson (1994) had observed (The Promethean Literacy, Chapter One). This can be even more clearly seen today. As Gibson points out, Freire’s work has not been thoroughly historicized,
not even yet today, in spite of it being widely applied. Much as Kincheloe detached himself from the hegemonic, nihilistic
proponents of what was being labeled as postmodernism, he has also pulled Freire’s work out of the muck by leaving
most of it behind. It is time to give credit where credit is due.
Fourth, Kincheloe did not subscribe to Marxism, yet in this article his work is tainted with
an emphasis on Marxist theory. Apparently, from Kincheloe's perspective, there are no babies to save in the
Marxist bathwater, and yet the authors (McLaren & Steinberg) took it upon themselves to make statements I do not
believe Joe would have agreed to, making it appear that he did agree, e.g., propping up and listing Karl Marx first as
having provided “inspiration” to “critical traditions” (p., 163). Another example, and one which completely
counteracts the entire philosophical foundation of Kincheloe’s bricolage is the statement that, “We assert that
the insights of Marx and those working within the broad parameters of the Marxist tradition are foundational for any critical
research” (p. 165). Who is this "we"? This statement is someone else’s agenda; it is not a part of Kincheloe’s
formulation of bricolage and I question whether he would have signed off on this article.
Kincheloe's theory is
a generous theory (it's too bad that more people do not follow his lead). His theory allows for looking at issues from many
vantage points and it does not ascribe to any one particular ideology as “foundational.” His theory maintains
a sense of tentativeness and evolution (i.e., there will always be more to learn; more voices to incorporate;
more changes). He also did not throw out the desires of people to analyze from their "Marxist perspectives"
and had even invited Peter McLaren to critique his early concepts of bricolage.
Kincheloe's work, as I have demonstrated in my dissertation, is based on a highly developed philosophical foundation, which
he had presented as a "unified world view" in his book, Critical Constructivism. Again, he took epistemological liberties with this term which
might be better represented as a "multidimensional critical complex constructivism." He acknowledged the many
voices, including the many voices of Marxism and critical pedagogy; he in no way shut people down. However,
the way Marxism is highlighted in this article that he allegedly has had a hand in writing does exactly that: by making
Marxism the foundation of bricolage, many voices are essentially disregarded and shut down. For example, as I state on page
64 of my dissertation:
Sandy Grande (2004) raises important questions in relation to Marxists and their “socialist commitment”
[citingMcLaren & Frahmandpur, 2001, p. 306)], including questions about assuming that “the ‘egalitarian
distribution’ of colonialized lands constitute greater justice for Indigenous peoples” and how it can be considered
“liberatory for American Indians” as long as “power, exchange, and labor remain tied to whitestream notions
of property” (p. 49). As much as Kincheloe has stressed Indigenous perspectives, it seems blatantly wrong to form a
quilt of his work by juxtaposing out-of-context “cut-and-paste” excerpts from his critical bricolage articles
alongside Marxist dialogue that is fixated on Western notions of property, economics, and materialism, as has been done with
his work after his death.
Do the true authors of this chapter about bricolage in Denzin
and Lincoln's Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research Handbook understand Kincheloe's work, or do they not
care? They certainly are not helping new bricoleurs come to understand bricolage, much less Kincheloe's conceptualization.
They seem to have their own agenda, one of which suspiciously appears to be to cloud Kincheloe’s work. This is
all interpretation, of course and I do not know what goes on behind the closed doors of the education publishing business,
but one thing is certain: students will not understand Kincheloe’s critical complex bricolage from reading this article
and they may even come away with the message that bricolage is "copy-and-paste." And what's even more distressing
is that this very same article has been published in at least three works relating to research, demonstrating the tactic,
if it's said enough times, people will believe it.
My advice, with a concept as important and complex as this is to go to the
primary source - Kincheloe and Berry's works. I've included more information and direct links to Kincheloe's seminal articles
here on this website. I will clarify that my writing about Kincheloe's work is, of course, my own interpretation as supported
by text from his writings and based on my research.
Kincheloe’s purpose was to work toward solving
the social ills, providing a quality education to everyone, and alleviating suffering. In this article/chapter under
discussion, his purpose has been fettered with, diminished, and counteracted -- and the article does not begin to provide
readers with an understanding of critical bricolage; it has clouded and confused what critical bricolage research involves. The
way Kincheloe's Great Work has been diminished, in my view, is a most debased form of oppression; he can
hardly defend himself from where he is – but sadly, it also seems to be an accurate representation of the true
Janus face of education today. And this very type of behavior has been going on for thousands of years; even the Bible
was changed to serve an elite King.
Education today is especially psychopathological and harmful -- and
it must change. It is time to take action and join in on Kincheloe's "perpetual revolution."
Gibson, R. (1994). The promethean literacy: Paulo Freire’s pedagogy of reading, praxis, and
liberation. [Doctoral dissertation.]. Retrieved from http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~rgibson/freirall.htm
Grande, S. (2004).
Red pedagogy: Native American social and political thought. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield
Kincheloe, J. L. (2005a). On to the next level: Continuing the conceptualization of the bricolage.
Qualitative Inquiry, 11(3), 323–350.
Kincheloe, J. L. (2005b). Critical constructivism.
New York: Peter Lang.
Kincheloe, J.L. (POSTHUMOUSLY?), McLaren, P., & Steinberg, S. (2011). Critical pedagogy and qualitative
research: Moving to the bricolage. In N. Denzin & Y. Lincoln, (2011) (Eds.), The Sage handbook of qualitative research
(4th ed.).Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Writing Research Proposals for Multidimensional Critical Complex Bricolage, Part 2: If We Knew What We Were Going to Find
We Wouldn’t Be Calling It Research
Last time I discussed the issue with squeezing an innovative, improvisational,
knowledge-producing form of research, the multidimensional critical complex bricolage, into the rigid, template-form
of proposal recipes so many universities expect today based on their corporate servitude for producing reductionistic
forms of inquiry. Of course, they require that researchers spell out their research questions and, in many cases, even project
what the answers might be. However, as both Kincheloe and Einstein have been noted as stating, “If we knew what we were
going to find we wouldn’t be calling it research.” Kincheloe has clearly theorized that we don’t even know
what the real questions are--those “Level 3” questions that get revealed during the deep layers of implicate-order
investigations and fourth dimension research (Kincheloe, 2001).
So, sometimes researchers just have to “wing it.” That should go over well with the elite research
community. Seriously, though: follow your heart. What do you feel passionate about changing? What are you passionate about
learning more about? Consider what you want to become “one” with, because, believe me, if you do multidimensional
critical complex bricolage rigorously as Kincheloe recommends, you will become one with your subject/object of research!
And you will change things!
This is totally new territory in case you have not figured it out. My original research proposal
is available as just one example of how I handled the dilemma of fitting a round peg into a square hole (as I put it in my
last blog). I think it will be exciting to see how the new, upcoming, and very innovative research bricoleurs will handle
this. Can we change things? Yes, we can! According to Kincheloe’s philosophy, nothing is more powerful than LOVE – er, I mean BRICOLAGE.
And just wait until we (the true “powers-that-be” which would
be “us” not the evil and greedy cabal within the belly of the beast)* fully develop our
new form of PHD for future education – the PHE!! It will make the current, deified but very deficient PHD look quite
stupid, indeed. That is new information that was just provided to me yesterday during my fourth dimension research.There will be the new PHE, or maybe we will call it the PhDE. And who do you suppose has power to decide
if we, ourselves, have enough knowledge in any given area to grant ourselves one? That’s a loaded question.
Onward and Upward!
Vanessa Paradis, PhDE
*This dot-us website does not in any way represent the United States from the perspective presented
on this website. It stands for us—“we the people of the world.” The U.S. needs to get over itself
-- and quickly!
J. L. (2001). Getting Beyond the Facts: Teaching Social Studies/Social Sciences in the Twenty-First Century.
New York: Peter Lang.
Writing a Multidimensional Critical Complex Bricolage Research Proposal Is Like Trying to Fit a Round Peg into a Square Hole
Speaking of idioms, a very weird thing happened to me as I studied
and became familiar with Joe’s work: I came to understand such things as idioms and metaphors! It was like magic because,
believe me, I used to get very frustrated and cry in grade school during class discussions about idioms. Everyone understood
them but me! And then in middle school I was bullied by the teachers because I didn’t understand the secret code language other kids seemed
to know (Joe broke that code, thankfully). I could tell you about my middle school science class experience . . . but to me,
the sentences and what people did with them were just crazy. Thanks to Joe, who somehow uses idioms in ways that lets
the reader just know what he means, I have gotten much better at using and understanding them. I still fail from time-to-time,
but at least now I feel like there is hope.
So how do we fit a Multidimensional Critical Complex Bricolage proposal into those square, precisely delineated
and quantified specifications that universities love so much? It’s a dilemma, and each bricolage proposal
is going to be different. For my own proposal, I bowed to the university's “way” (to a degree) because
I wanted to get it past the initial gate (little did I know how many more contrived gates there were yet ahead;
some of them even seemed to have manifested out of thin air). Thus, in looking at Chapter 1 in the Table of Contents of
my dissertation, it pretty much adheres to the nondescript titles the university enforces. All of their proposals look
the same and, while you can find out what page the “important” elements (according to them) are on, the titles
tell you nothing whatsoever about the topic of the dissertation itself or give you clues as to why the research is important.
So what you have in the Table of Contents are such things as Introduction to the Problem, Background of the Study, Statement of the
Problem, Purpose of the Study, Rationale for the Study, Research Questions, Nature of the Study, and Significance of the Study.
While I did deviate only so slightly by including a “Prologue: Epistemological Road Trips” and a section about
Joe’s “Critical Constructivism,” the rest of the sections of Chapter 1 really tell readers nothing whatsoever
about the study. They simply provide page numbers.
As if that’s not bad enough, I found that, as a result of trying to fit the holistic, round
peg of the multidimensional critical complex bricolage into the overly defined and formulaic recipe, there turned out to be
a lot of redundancy. That’s redundancy I will want to take out of any future book written about my research, but at
the same time, perhaps since Joe's theoretical work is so cutting edge, the redundancy is a good thing.
With bricolage we can expect
redundancy (Kincheloe & Berry, 2004). However, with bricolage it makes sense! We are exploring the same concepts, the
same phenomenon/a, in multiple contexts. The redundancy of research proposals that some universities require, like idioms
of the past, do not make sense to me. In the future bricoleurs will find much more creative ways to write great proposals.
P.S. I know, I know: I have the round peg/square hole idiom "backwards" (so they
say). . . . although, with Joe's critical complex epistemology, we have the power to change things.
References Kincheloe & K. Berry (2004) Rigour and Complexity in Educational Research:
Conceptualizing the Bricolage. New York: Open University Press.
Joe Kincheloe’s Nine-Step Dance: It’s Complicated But a Lot of Fun!
That was a title that was telepathically “handed down” to me a couple of days
ago. I didn’t listen at the time. I mean, I heard it in the form of one of those “epiphanic moments” and
I did listen to it, but I didn’t take action on it or even write the title down or write the article that was meant
to go with the title. Action is always required when you engage in Kincheloe’s Nine-Step Dance. You must take a step
if you’re serious about dancing, so when I didn’t, it was given to me again yesterday morning during my regular
“conversations” (often “lesson plans”) through transmitted writings. This is just one of many processes
I use to “enact” my own idiosyncratic interpretation of Kincheloe’s “fourth dimension” research.
This process of learning to write to “dead people” was one I learned in the very first publication I had read
written by Kincheloe.
He had included his “lesson” in the
introductory chapter of Critical Pedagogy: Where Are We Now?, a book he had edited with Peter McLaren, and it was
the very first writing of Kincheloe’s I had encountered during my studies in education. As he had framed it, when he
explained writing letters to his beloved deceased Aunt, “Some folks see dead people; I write to them” (Kincheloe,
2007, p. 11). The sentence literally shouted out at me right off the page of the book the first time I had
read it and even though I had never ever considered writing to dead people, it stayed in the back of my mind.
glad I paid attention to that sentence because following just this one suggestion for fourth dimension research has led to
the emergence of far more creative ideas than I can ever possibly follow through with during an entire lifetime. It has also
been what’s led to the many, almost daily, “magical” experiences that are real, but many people have a hard
time believing and would rather assign me a label representing something other than being highly in tune with a much greater
and expansive reality than they are able to perceive. It’s quite amazing what “emerges” during the fourth
dimension bricolage research process when bricoleurs actively engage with those people on the other side of the curtain. And
so I get to pick and choose from a nearly infinite supply of creative ideas, adjust them however I wish, and sometimes, when
they’re especially important, I get written reminders from beyond the curtain like I did yesterday.
love the title, actually. Kincheloe was an adept dancer and his dance steps are complicated and fun! I learned that during
our interactions on his website. He was conscious; I was not, but I danced the best I could. We all have to start somewhere
and the best place is where we are in the moment.
To simplify his bricolage dance process, or to at least bring
it down some so that more people can relate to it, (he did not like having to simplify things and neither do I) he had presented
nine “dimensions of research,” which I refer to here as his “Nine-Step Dance.” Of course, as typical
with all of Kincheloe’s work, it’s not really that simple! Each of the nine dimensions is comprised of many more
dimensions and on top of that, you never know which step you need to take next! I have listed the nine dimensions on the Home
page of the website dedicated to his work (www.joekincheloe.us) and on the website I will be presenting much more detail based on my research to help new
bricoleurs begin to conceptualize how they might form their own unique dance using his dance steps. I will even be presenting
how children can learn the dance, and believe me, children love it! Every dance is different and just to ensure new bricoleurs
are prepared for the future: after learning the nine steps, there will be more! (That doesn’t surprise you does it?)
course “nine steps” is a gross oversimplification of the true complexity (we might have more than a million steps
for one dissertation or research paper or special creative project), but we have to begin somewhere. And even with 9 steps
that gives us two-to-the-ninth-power possibilities. Calculated out, that’s 2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2 = 512 possibilities for
the next step. Which step will it be for you?
This is all just metaphoric speaking, of course.
But I do know Joe loved to dance and that he considered his engagement in research and the presentation of his bricolage in
his books and articles as metaphorically performing a dance.
The concept of polysemy, in which words take
on different meanings in different contexts and are ideologically inscribed, provide just one such opportunity for dancing
through the labyrinth of dimensions. He presents the example of how politicians use this feature to impart ideological meanings
to divergent groups of people for “winning their consent to oppression,” even their own oppression (Kincheloe,
2004e, p. 94). People interpret things the way they wish and politicians know how to leverage this and so they purposely choose
words that have one meaning for one group of people and another meaning for another group of people. That way they get more
votes since each group will interpret it to mean what’s best for them. They also might assign new meanings to words
and phrases such as they have done in education with the “No Child Left Behind Act.”
at the top of the chain also use polysemy to speak to each other in their scholarly literature beneath the awareness of “outsiders.”
(And believe me, we are ALL outsiders to THEM). They have entire conversations going on within an “implicate order of
reality,” as you will discover when you become skilled with bricolage. Joe Kincheloe calls this out and refers to it
as “Janus speak” and “obfuscation.” (Janus was the “two-faced” god).
No one could keep secrets from Joe Kincheloe! And he did not believe in keeping secrets. He clarifies how
bricoleurs can use polysemy for more positive purposes such as to uncover those multidimensional layers of meaning so that
they can find ways to reclaim personal power. It is also a process for keeping their own interpretations open so that they
don’t become just another “cog in the engine of the mechanisms of dominant power that harm people in all of our
communities and around the world” (Kincheloe, 2008b, p. xi).
use polysemy in a hermeneutic context to challenge the meanings given to certain texts and social artefacts by experts in
the dominant culture. My book, The Sign of the Burger, presents polysemous resistant readings of the social role
of McDonald’s. Not content with perspectives positioning McDonald’s as little-company-made-good achieving the
American Dream, I wanted to present interpretations of McDonald’s that questioned the socio-political effects of McDonald’s
American success story.
My effort was not to prove that McDonald’s is not an American success story –
it is. Instead, I provided other interpretations that might cause readers to rethink the meaning of such a story. Throughout
the book these diverse meanings of McDonald’s engage in a dance. My hope as the author is that the dance, like a hula
dance, tells a story. As a bricoleur I want it to enrich our understanding of McDonald’s as a socio-political and pedagogical
phenomenon in a way that leads to progressive social action. Bricoleurs employ polysemy to keep discussion open around particular
phenomena, knowing that authoritarianism operates best when analysis is finalized (Ceccarelli, 1998; Marcum, 1998). (Kincheloe,
2004e, p. 95)
In other words, bricoleurs don’t proclaim a final truth about complex social and educational
issues or that they're an "authority" or "expert" – just that they
have put forth an effort toward greater understanding from looking at many angles, acknowledging that their
work is always "in progress." However, the more connections bricoleurs uncover the greater possibility and
probability that intelligent solutions will emerge for solving complicated social problems.
bricolage dance truly can be a lot of fun as we explore our chosen topic from many different angles and employ
polysemy, along with other dimensions of analysis and interpretation. Bricoleurs quickly learn to keep an eye open to see
what surprises emerge from interacting with different dance partners. And trust me: you will be surprised and sometimes even
caught off-guard with what emerges. Bricoleurs always consider, of course, who benefits from any given dance step and how
new steps might move us closer to serving the social good.
Although I must admit, due to social conditioning, FIDUROD,
and what-have-you, it can be easy for new bricoleurs to take a step backward when they should take a step sidewise –
and they may even get tripped up from time-to-time. Nevertheless, bricoleurs do not plan the sequence of dance steps –
that would take the complexity and excitement out of the dance – and besides, there’s a lot of assistance, often
J.I.T. (just in time), when “symbiotic hermeneutics” gets added to the mix and unseen entities arrive on the scene
to “save the day” (Kincheloe, 2004d., p. 67). Bricoleurs don’t need to worry about being a perfect dancer,
either, because as long as they put forth a sincere effort to dance well they always know there will the next dance and maybe
even one “last dance” with their someone special as they journey joyfully forward on their Dancing Quest
-- and as all bricoleurs will come to know -- the ending is ”just the beginning” (Kincheloe, 2008c, p. 227).
L. (2004a). Preface. In J. Kincheloe & K. Berry, Rigour and Complexity in Educational Research: Conceptualizing the
Bricolage (pp. ix–xii). New York: Open University Press.
Kincheloe, J. L. (2004b). Introduction:
the power of the bricolage: Expanding research methods. In J. Kincheloe & K. Berry, Rigour and Complexity in Educational
Research: Conceptualizing the Bricolage (pp. 1–22). New York: Open University Press.
(2004c). Redefining rigor and complexity in research. In J. Kincheloe & K. Berry, Rigour and Complexity in Educational
Research: Conceptualizing the Bricolage (pp. 23–49). New York: Open University Press.
(2004d). Questions of disciplinarity/interdisciplinarity in a changing world. In J. Kincheloe & K. Berry, Rigour and
Complexity in Educational Research: Conceptualizing the Bricolage (pp. 50–81). New York: Open University Press.
L. (2004e). Redefining and interpreting the object of study. In J. Kincheloe & K. Berry, Rigour and Complexity in
Educational Research: Conceptualizing the Bricolage (pp. 82–102). New York: Open University Press.
L. (2007b). Critical pedagogy in the twenty-first century Evolution for survival. In P. McLaren & J. L. Kincheloe (Eds.),
Critical Pedagogy. Where Are We Now? (pp. 9-42). New York: Peter Lang.
Kincheloe, J. L. (2008b). Critical pedagogy
( 2nd ed.). New York: Peter Lang.
Kincheloe, J. (2008c). Knowledge and critical pedagogy: An introduction. Amsterdam:
The Heart of the Multidimensional Critical Complex Bricolage
"The notion of criticality at its core revolves around the effort to understand
the causes of human suffering and to do what is necessary to end it. A critical complex epistemology begins with the effort
to internalize the nature of this suffering and to use such an understanding as grounding for not only all knowledge that
we produce but also to reshape who we are in the world" (Joe Kincheloe, 2008, Knowledge and Critical Pedagogy: An Introduction,
What did Joe intend by that statement? It can be interpreted
many ways and in different contexts, but I have my own interpretation based on my personal experience. We might consider that
Joe had the quality of what’s often termed as that of being an “empath.” An empath feels other people’s
feelings in a most literal sense, and in particular those people who are subjugated, discriminated against, poor, and abused
by the system. I know this because I am “just like Joe” in that sense. Joe was always available to provide reassurance
and support for the “sensitives.” He understood the emotional side of “debilitating education” and
how particular people and groups of people are singled out for unfair treatment and abuse. Politically, this
extends to the western colonialization of peoples from other cultures and to the western world’s long and continuing
track record of genocide. In the education system it presents in a number of debilitating ways, as he has thoroughly discussed
in his work.
Joe rarely talked about
his own personal experiences in depth; he discussed them "in passing," just briefly. You must read between the lines
of his text and learn to be an empath and judging by the above quotation, he considers his critical complex epistemology a
process for learning to do just that. Everyone should be an epistemologist -- a critical complex epistemologist. Joe was sensitive
to the seemingly “triteness” and inappropriateness of highlighting his own personal experiences due to being a
Western white male but that does not mean he didn’t suffer. Empaths suffer more than those who have not developed a
great sense of empathy. He did acknowledge and highlight the fact that he was a “hillbilly,” and he wrote briefly
about some ofhis experiences. Discrimination of hillbillies has a long, dark history for people of
Irish descent (Paradis, 2011). Thus, for multiple reasons, Joe was one of those singled-out sensitives all of his life. .
. . and so have I been. . . . just like Joe. People just seem to know and attack in a multitude of ways. In fact, it can often
get very weird. . . I could tell you some true stories.
My work, like Joe’s work, is in behalf of those people who experience suffering
as a result of unfair, unjust, discriminatory actions of the greater society. Thus, my work is not for the elite of the system
who control all of the chess pieces even though they may suffer; although, I do hope at least some of those who
use evil tactics and self-serving manipulation will see that they cause their own suffering and will seek to change their
ways. By curtailing the suffering they impose upon other people, they can alleviate their own suffering. I really don’t
hold out much hope for that, however. At least not for those individuals who have absolutely no morals, ethics, heart, or
soul. No, I honestly believe it will take building a new way of doing education up underneath their current archon-infested,
mentally ill matrix as we watch their matrix crumble. If I’m wrong and it’s actually possible to build a viable
process for education from within, then that’s a good thing. I would rather be wrong.
I just went through another extremely intense period of
empathically feeling how Joe must have so felt many times in his life, and, in particular, just before he passed away. I stopped
short of experiencing his “death experience.” While I’ve experienced the death experiences of other people
and it’s not something I do by choice, but rather it just happens to me, I cannot go there in relation to Joe. . . but
last night I came pretty close. I felt quite literally like I was dying all night long, like I did when I remembered Sam Cooke’s
death experience. . . and no, he did not die in the manner that’s portrayed in the “record.” That’s
one of those “fiction formulas” that Joe discusses in his work—which supports the need to “bleach
bloodstains,” as he put it. I love Sam Cooke, and I hope Joe’s theory will in some way help to solve his
case and achieve some semblance of justice. I believe it can. Bricoleurs are much like “detectives,” as Joe has
described in his work. When they become adept, they’re better than detectives.
What I experienced, and what I feel I know in my heart is how Joe must
have felt to have invested so many years of his hard work, passion, his heart and soul into a promising project that, due
to the remorselessness of educational politics and economic greed, was doomed. I’m speaking of his dream to establish
a global network of teachers, researchers, and students who share openly, compassionately, and all work together for social
justice. I have just been dragged through a situation that also was doomed from the start totally unbeknownst to me and it
triggered those emotions I know Joe must have felt. And somehow, because I am so connected to Joe, a feedback loop intensified
the emotion. That’s what empathy does. And it works across the curtains—an example of “fourth dimension”
Thus, as the quotation
expresses, we invest effort into understanding what causes suffering. We internalize that suffering. We become empathic to
the point that we cannot tolerate the fact that other people experience such suffering. Our empathy and compassion drive us
passionately to doing whatever is within our power to change the world to alleviate suffering.
This is “the heart of the bricolage” as Joe
had told me during one of our many conversations about bricolage. During my research, I was often painfully confronted with
situations embedded in the debilitating educational process that cause emotional turmoil. I became conscious of how pathological
the education system really is. Using the processes of the multidimensional critical complex bricolage and getting multiple
views of the problems allow one to become hyper-aware of some of the major causes the problems. We identify the hidden connections
in the matrix that diabolically perpetuate suffering and can then take immediate actions as well as more long-term actions
that change things to bring about justice and alleviate suffering in the future. We share those experiences via knowledge
production and dissemination, providing a more useful form of knowledge than numbers and descriptions in which researchers
are isolated and disconnected from the people they are researching.
This gives great insight into why, in his dedication of the book, Rigour
and Complexity in Educational Research: Conceptualizing the Bricolage, he had referenced Warren Zevon’s song, “Accidentally
like a Martyr.” Indeed, anyone who sincerely and passionately works toward change in behalf of the oppressed within
the psychopathic realm of education experiences what may sometimes seem like martyrdom. It takes work to transcend it. Most
times we are successful; sometimes we are not. Applying the multidimensional critical complex bricolage to the full capacity
of its power is not for the faint-of-heart. However, the understandings that emanate from the “heart” of the bricolage
can contribute to that “grander purpose” Yvonna Lincoln (2001) had used to describe bricoleurs and by
which Joe had lived his life as an exemplary role model. And it is this grander purpose which he has embedded into his
conceptualization of bricolage (Kincheloe, 2004, p. 3). Bricoleurs can change the world (Kincheloe, 2004, 2008).
Kincheloe, J. L. (2004). Introduction:
The power of the bricolage. In Kincheloe & Berry (2004) Rigour and complexity in educational research: Conceptualizing
the bricolage. Open University Press.
Kincheloe, J. L. (2008). Knowledge and critical pedagogy: An introduction. Amsterdam: Springer.
Lincoln, Y. (2001). An emerging new bricoleur: Promises and possibilities -- a reaction to Joe Kincheloe's 'Describing
the bricoleur'. Qualitative Inquiry, 7, 6, pp. 693-6.
Paradis, Vanessa J.
(2011). Remembering Joe Lyons Kincheloe: A revered master. Journal
of Epistemology: for everyday living and lifelong learning, September, 2011.
All of the blogs that precede
this point are data and preparation work for the research for my dissertation titled, Did Joe Lyons Kincheloe Discover
the Golden Chalice for Knowledge Production? Critical Complex Epistemology and the Multidimensional Critical ComplexBricolage. Because he had continued to add to the conceptualization after his initial two
articles, there were various pieces in several different works that had to come together in order to develop a flexible
process. Please refer to my dissertation for more information and for a map that shows how I used his
multidimensional critical complex bricolage as my research process.
Note (4-15-12): The introduction below was originally posted May, 2009 when this bricolage research project
first launched. It had been moved to the side bar as a download titled "Disclaimer," where it is also still
available. The research
for this dissertation project has been completed. Content will continue to be added to this website that demonstrates
Kincheloe's critical complex bricolage for a variety of purposes based on the research conducted. To understand the project,
one needs to begin at the beginning blog and follow the path and/or read the dissertation. And we must remember:
Joe warned us that the world is stranger than any of us can possibly imagine. In his last book, Knowledge and Critical
Pedagogy: An Introduction, he also states, "A critical complex epistemology, critical ontology, and critical
pedagogy are pattern-constructing dynamics that ultimately change who we are. Unless you are committed to resisting any authentic
connection with the new experiences criticality produces, you will return from this encounter with new patterns, processes
and contexts as a different being" (p. 252). He was right!!!!
LOVE is the only true answer! Joe worked so hard to get us all
to see that.
my book, Joe is Eros, the God of LOVE and he wins the Golden Chalice Award.
Introduction and welcome to this web site This site
serves dual purposes. The first and primary purpose is to serve as a resource for Joe Kincheloe’s brilliant work. Eventually
the page dedicated to him, “About Joe Kincheloe,” will list and describe all of the work he has left us, and thus
serve as an extensive resource one can come back to when seeking specific information about any of the numerous topics he
has researched and written about. Secondly, this site represents a creative interpretation of his postformal and bricolage
theories, thus, no claim is made that any particular idiosyncratic interpretation is specifically one that Joe Kincheloe would
endorse, although neither is it proclaimed that he would not endorse any of the work or authors and artists represented on this site. In reality, his philosophical and
theoretical formulations give people a green light to exercise their "creative imaginations." The articles, artworks, videos, music, blogs, and other resources outside of Joe’s specific works presented
on his special page, are merely some very creative ways and examples of how his work can be applied or have been applied in
order to provoke out-of-the-box thinking that can lead toward transformation, higher levels of cognitive awareness, and new
ways of being in the world – or what Joe has described as “new mind spaces.”
spirit of his work is represented, which allows total freedom of expression so that people have control over their own destinies
and they are not constrained by socially constructed expectations, barriers, chains, and shackles. It is, in other words,
the essence of freedom. As such, the creative expressions are not presented as reality and are not intended to be forced upon
other people who possess their own realities, but are merely presented as possibilities for new and different ways of seeing
and interpreting that can shed light on greater and deeper understandings. Perhaps even, on occasion, fairy tales are presented
that appear to come true – imaginative realities that have been created in the process of applying the powerful techniques
Joe has presented in his work – the techniques of the bricolage and individualistic postformal thinking and creating.
There are treasures and magic that evolve when applying the powerful juxtaposition of contrasting and imaginative perspectives.
The consequence can be an amazing hyperawareness that alerts us to what already exists subliminally, or below the threshold
of "normal" perception; new revelations then suddenly come to our immediate awareness and thus become perceived
as powerful and magical. Joe speaks often in his work of his great pleasure in what he referred to as “postformal treasure
hunts.” The experience can truly be joyful, exciting, and exhilarating.
If people are able to open their consciousness just a bit they
will gain a greater appreciation for our human abilities to create and construct our own realities and consciousness; thus,
we have the abiity to reclaim our power, taking it back from those outside ourselves who attempt to force us to work and learn
in ways that are not in our best interests but rather in the interest of maintaining some constructed status quo that only
serves those who hold power. While many of us are able to reclaim our power easily, with pleasure and enjoyment and without
fear, for some of us (and all of us, at times) it is more difficult and we need to work at it; for others it requires an existential
shock which the critical bricolage and its postformal expression can bring about, and for still others it becomes an impossibility
and thus they stay locked and embroiled within the true insanity of the world that is falling apart around them – a
world that critical pedagogy has clearly identified and described, but as yet has not resolved in the form of concrete action
sufficient to make a dent in the changes that are needed. This work Joe embarked on to take postformalism and the bricoalge
into the world for application in order to make the world a better place and alleviate human suffering – this mission
-- must continue in spite of and even because of all of these factors just mentioned.The goal of this site is to facilitate moving education – which is comprised of each and every
person since we are all teachers and learners -- forward to places we have never been before. So please take heed of the caution
sign and if you are in the latter group of people who do not wish to change, with all due respect, you best close out of this
web site as the information you find here may be disturbing to you. The rest of us are rejoicing for the GIFT Joe has left
for us and the promise for transformation and hope his work provides. As Joe clearly spelled out, “Postformalism
does not simply inform the quality of our thinking, it changes who we are. Caution: filling is hot” (p. 133). Yes, it
is hot, Joe – very hot. And
you ain’t seen nothin’ yet, Baby!
With Eternal and Radical Love,
Some Additional Posting that were made subsequent to this blog are included HERE. And, additionally, the blogs continued on another site, transformed into a story titled Eros and Psyche: The Code Blue Earth Mission....the saga continues on....
Sandbox. Sōferia, here, the Pleiadian alienated scholar from Planet Eros.
I know peoples probably wonder what in the world I am doing here and what I am trying to accomplish
on this website with my "crazy" blogs (below). Well, you see, like everybody else (whether
they remember or not) I am on Earth Planet to learn. This is my sandbox play. After I came across
Joe’s GREAT WORK I decided I want to try out ALL of his tools in every way
imaginable right here in this sandbox. After meeting Joe and knowing him (and, yes, loving him), and studying
his work in great detail, I believe I have his permission to explore his powerful tools and methods for
all kinds of purposes and share them with all the peoples of the world, so that’s exactly
what I’m doing. If he were here today, I can imagine he would be right here in the sandbox
playing along beside me!!!!
One thing I
will point out is that I will be taking all of my learning here to the NEXT LEVEL very soon. It takes time,
so be patient! Joe’s work is SO ADVANCED I am still racing to catch up with him!!!!
The above are links to my blogs. I did not know at
the time of writing them, especially when I first began, that I was recording my Spiritual Journey of Ascension with Joe,
who is my Twin Flame (which I also did not know when I began this journey, but I have provided undeniable evidence in my dissertation and much more evidence since writing it). All I knew when I began this journey after Joe’s death (by which I had
been extremely traumatized) was that I was compelled to write the blogs, every day at first, and I seemed to have been getting
instructions from Joe and from “Above.” I did not understand how the Celestial Spirits were guiding us along our
journey nor the Power they have due to their Love connection to God (as Joe tells us over and over again in his work, there
is nothing more powerful than love). My connection to Joe connected me powerfully to his love and to God’s Love, through
the Holy Spirit. My experiences as recorded in the blogs proves what Joe has taught us about the power of love—over
and over again (I’m a slow learner, for which I feel sad. I was totally asleep when I met Joe and did not even believe
in soulmates. I hope you will not be as slow a learner as I have been). Nevertheless, what an amazing, beautiful journey it
has been! It’s full of adventure, mystery, learning about the world, learning about our past, present and future, and
engaging in super fun and sometime hilarious treasure hunts.
If you want to follow the path and connect to God’s
amazing Love, begin reading at the first link 2009.05.03 and move forward. You will learn a lot!!
I did. And there are millions of Celestial Spirits just waiting to serve as your personal teachers and guides. They want to
take you treasure hunting (they do know where the treasures are) and guide you along your own personal path just like they
did for me. I will not be writing any more blogs here because now I will be teaching Joe’s material “up above”
and continuing along yet another amazing path. You can follow along the next leg of our journey by clicking on the links to
the various courses, treasure hunt quests, etc. We are creating multiple paths now in multiple directions. Are you ready?
There is something for everyone! All you need to do is engage sincerely with seeking knowledge and spreading love
in the world, and then God’s magic will appear in your life too…no more suffering…only love, bliss, joy,
passionate engagement with learning—for everyone, infinitely and eternally. God is Good!! Check it out! 20160227-1330 Rewards Of Developing My Will To Love
“As a child I wanted so
desperately for magic to be real. I would work for hours collecting what I hoped were just the right combination of ingredients
to make some type of magic potion that would provide me with special powers….I found such magic in words viewed in
a postformal matrix and I observe and practice that magic everyday.” (Kincheloe, 2006, Reading, Writing, Thinking,
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