Joe Kincheloe's Critical Complex Epistemology/Pedagogy & Multidimensional Critical Complex Bricolage


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Paradis, V. J. (2013). Did Joe Lyons Kincheloe Discover the Golden Chalice for Knowledge Production? The Application of Critical Complex Epistemology and the Multidimensional Critical Complex Bricolage. (Doctoral Dissertation)


"Thus, a critical complex epistemology infused by radical love, enactivism, critical ontology and subjugated knowledges contributes to the emergence of a new world" (Kincheloe, 2008c, p. 180).




Bricolage is being used for research in many disciplines but none of the applications encountered in the literature and examined for this study meet the rigor Kincheloe calls for with his critical complex epistemology and multidimensional critical complex bricolage. One of the most common approaches for bricolage, particularly in education, is to present multiple perspectives in a “quilt-like” manner but failing to adequately interpret, analyze, or synthesize these perspectives for various contexts. If any analysis is done at all, it tends to address only surface level features and produces very little in the way of in-depth understandings and it typically fails to address the deeper, hidden structures. Thus, processes that lead to thick descriptions of the greater reality surrounding objects of study which can lead to knowledge production, contextual application, and productive actions are being short-changed. This, perhaps, is the symptom of the over-simplified, “technicist forms of education” we’ve been subjected to—the very issue Kincheloe’s work has been devised to counteract (Kincheloe, 2006a, p. 3). In my research, I have learned that this presents as a nearly immutable “catch 22” in that people must first of all realize they don’t really know. In other words, we have to come to realize how ignorant we are so that we put forth a sincere effort to overcome that ignorance (and as is often framed, we are all ignorant of something). It is the sustained effort for greater understanding that can lead to higher order cognition and a shift to higher consciousness. However, the entire system or matrix is rigged so that most people cannot accomplish that to any great degree. And while bricolage as Kincheloe conceptualizes it can lead us out of this quagmire, with each passing day, more blocks are put in place to see that we remain ignorant and fenced in, whether it’s how Internet searches are controlled to keep us from accessing knowledge, how we are forced to take slave jobs in exchange for our souls, how we are prevented from establishing our own gainful work, how children are streamed into being service provider slaves, fodder for the military, indentured servants for corporations,  or prisoners in a highly profitable prison system—or how we are obliged to live destitute if we fail to fall into place within our predetermined roles (unless one is of the “elite” class) (Giroux, 2007). The belief in scarcity and fear of doing without, which is kept very much alive globally, keeps people maintaining this hegemonic system. Fear is the most powerful controlling mechanism there is and it is fear that keeps people from true love.

Kincheloe’s advanced conceptualization specifies a more rigorous research process for bricolage that requires critically examining wider and more diverse perspectives of reality and maintaining love in the equation. When researchers actively seek difference and consider new ways of viewing the world, it inevitably leads to inner transformation, greater understanding, and creative change in the world. With enough people taking this approach to learning and researching, more options can be found to navigate the matrix and make changes that will make a difference. It does take people working together, because as Kincheloe maintains, reality is socially constructed. A few people working alone cannot stop the Apocalypse. “With hard work and a cultivation of the imagination epistemological history is much closer to the beginning of the birth of knowledge than to the last days of knowledge” (Kincheloe, 2008c, p. 210) [author’s italics]. Thus, this study has examined Kincheloe’s bricolage research process, explicating its potential contribution to changing education and research. It has demonstrated the process in several different contexts so that researchers who are interested in rigorous knowledge production and creating positive change can go forward with this process.

The Research Questions: How Did I Do?

The original research questions that initiated this study, Did Joe Lyons Kincheloe discover the golden chalice for knowledge production?: The application of critical complex epistemology and the multidimensional critical complex bricolage include: How is bricolage research currently being used in education and other domains? How are these applications different from and similar to Kincheloe’s critical complex bricolage and to what extent? How do the research outcomes and knowledge production in these examined studies, including this current study, reflect the degree of rigor with which the bricolage or the critical complex bricolage has been applied? What is the nature of the new knowledge produced by this study? How might it be useful? What are the implications of the findings for future educational research? What additional insight is provided by performing an analysis of Berry’s (2004a) Point of Entry Text as a way of launching an inquiry? How might the knowledge produced be evaluated? These questions and many more have been thoroughly addressed within the discourse presented in Chapter 4 and will not be reiterated here as that would simply be redundant. This current discussion summarizes and presents an evaluation of the study using several frames of reference and highlights the profound contribution this form of research has for empirically studying phenomenological experiences.

In this dissertation I have focused on the essential aspects of the late Joe Kincheloe’s multidimensional critical complex bricolage in order to clearly differentiate it from “bricolage” research that is now being done across nearly all domains. I have identified where the approach has been incompletely applied and found that to date, while researchers are using various components of bricolage, such as different methodologies, there is no example of this form of bricolage in its entirety other than Kincheloe’s own work until this study. I have provided an in-depth analysis of Semetsky’s (2011) Tarot card reading study which utilized some aspects of bricolage, have discussed specifically where it falls short of meeting the requisites of the multidimensional critical complex bricolage, and have provided ideas for taking it to the next level. I have discussed existing metaphors for bricolage and their influence toward reductionistic and mechanistic research that hinder knowledge production, and I have presented several new metaphors for bricolage that provide representations for expanded conceptualizations that better represent the rigorous research Kincheloe recommends. I have also demonstrated Kincheloe’s bricolage with this research and have proposed how the multidimensional critical complex bricolage can be applied in other domains, including teaching.

In addition, I have provided a map that delineates flexible and multidirectional research and writing approaches, and I have provided tips throughout the dissertation as guidance for future bricoleurs. This by no means constrains researchers, but can assist new bricoleurs with the exploration of multiple pathways this form of research supports and for blazing their own new trails. I have also described, in context, how and why I have used various research methodologies, theoretical frameworks, perspectives, and interpretive approaches in the process of engaging in bricolage. Finally, this study itself holistically represents an example of the rigorous form of bricolage for which Kincheloe was asking us to strive, as I will verify in the discussion that follows.


Evaluation of the Study: Knowledge Production and Rigor

There are several critical elements to this form of research. To ensure adequate exploration is completed in an improvisational manner, a fair amount of time is required up front for research, which I utilized to a very high degree. I found that staying open, flexible, and willing to explore the topic from many angles allowed for a natural emergence of consistent, repeating prompts (or “signs”) for further exploration. In this case, the concept of Divine Love/Twin Flames kept appearing in relation to maintaining the important love strand throughout as Kincheloe has highlighted in his own work is so critical to the project. As I had mentioned, I found myself spinning in hermeneutic circles until such time I had confirmed by virtue of overwhelming repetition in many different contexts that the Twin Flame concept was a satisfactory interpretation that met Kincheloe’s criteria for getting out of the circle. Thus, for me, the research process was like an exploratory journey and spinning around in the circle gave me time to learn and assimilate a lot of new information that would never be taught in school in this era. It also confirmed in my mind that what emerged from the research was what was meant to emerge. As Kincheloe and Einstein both have contended, with research, we just never know what we will find. I had no preconceived notion of much of what is contained in this study. Taking an improvisational approach had allowed the research to “unfold” in some amazing and interesting ways. This is predicted by Kincheloe’s bricolage theory.

It is useful to view the bricolage process as a journey. In fact, many students find it useful to view dissertation research and writing in general as a journey. Thus, bricolage as Kincheloe has conceived it seems like a perfect fit as a process and map for this journey. He often refers to bricolage as a quest, and, indeed, it has been compared to a Dharma project or mission, or the quest for the golden chalice as discussed in this study. As I discovered during my research, the term golden chalice has many interpretations, but the meanings tended to converge toward divine love and knowledge. Thus, this validated the serendipitously-selected title for this dissertation since “love and knowledge” sum up the thrust of Kincheloe’s work and what he is recommending for bricoleurs. The creative epistemological road trips and treasure hunts as alluded to by Kincheloe in his work and as had naturally emerged as a part of my reality during my own research are suitable metaphors and activities for this exploratory phase, whether the research takes one on the road or merely searching the Internet. Once this initial research phase has been adequately engaged and the same road markers or, in a semiotic sense, the same signs, symbols, information, or universal knowledges, keep appearing in the forefront, then researchers can become more focused. While Kincheloe expresses that we do not “universalize” knowledge; that is, we do not intend to make what we learn become true for everyone in all places and times, on the other hand, existing “universal” knowledge or wisdom becomes highly significant to bricoleurs when it comes from many different corners of the globe in different contexts. It serves as a higher level “triangulation” process which has been noted is important for this type of research that is constructivist and qualitative in nature. However, understanding that consciousnesses are evolving, chaos and complexity are the rule, and new research is always bringing in new understandings, keeps bricoleurs on the alert for new interpretations.

In this particular study, I attempted to walk a middle line between taking the analysis deep in relation to the focus on bricolage, divine love, and wisdom, yet staying broad in scope in order to demonstrate the wide range of applications for bricolage. This was done so that the study would be relevant to as many researchers as possible. During my research, a number of other topics emerged and the journey is far from over. Thus, there are many interesting things to follow up on with a deeper analysis, additional research, and further applications. It is hoped that new bricoleurs find enough here to help get them started with their own passionate research interests using this process.

The Data and Implications for Future Analyses

This dissertation does not adequately convey the massive amounts of data, analyses, and writing I have completed in the preparation for the write-up of the research for the reasons explained previously relating to university expectations and my goals with this particular project. I was “driven” to research and write absolutely every day. This means I was selective in what I chose to write about for this final discourse which is an important skill Kincheloe wanted bricoleurs to develop. The analyses and discernment contribute to increased cognitive abilities, which he contends are abilities we can all develop to higher levels (Kincheloe, 2006a). But on the other hand, this also means that the phenomena I have presented in this dissertation as representative of my experiences, no matter how unreal they may seem from a FIDURODian perspective, are backed up by immense amounts of supporting data. This data will no doubt be highly useful for future empirical phenomenological analyses and explications. The entire time I engaged in my research, my sense, my personal interpretation, was that Joe wanted evidence that people really can connect in other dimensions; it is not imagination, but rather it takes serious, rigorous mind work to reach the higher order cognitive functioning to develop the ability to become conscious of multidimensional experiences and telepathic communication.  I do not claim to have perfected that ability by any means (we all operate with blinders), but what has happened is that the effort has enhanced my abilities to write and create. I want to stress here once again (because to my dismay I keep seeing misconceptions published in the academic literature by people who should know better): Kincheloe did not throw out empirical or positivistic sciences or rational thinking! He is simply after a more sane way of approaching science and knowledge production, as he has made abundantly clear in his work.

As Kincheloe (2004a) states, and this perhaps can be more literally interpreted than most people would presuppose,

Thus, in the complex hermeneutics, epistemology, and ontology of the bricolage entities are not simply things-in-themselves. They are embedded in the world, existing in multiple horizons, in multiple, parallel, and intersecting universes. They cannot be reduced to smaller and smaller monads but must be seen in the same way Einstein saw gravity—a part of the process and structure of the universe. (p. xi)


I have learned that by engaging deeply in this form of research, one begins to get a profound experiential glimpse of what this entails. I will point out as well, the final written bricolage of this form of research, such as represented by this dissertation, also cannot be taken apart and analyzed in pieces because the writing is embedded and intertwined exactly as Kincheloe describes in the above passage. To take it apart and analyze it in pieces is an egregious error and would demonstrate a lack of knowledge on the part of reviewers who take this approach.

We are severely constrained, however, (including reviewers) from perceiving these other realities and dimensions by FIDUROD, as Kincheloe (2008c) describes in his last book. Many people cannot even perceive other people’s realities in this dimension. Education policies, for example, are developed that completely discount some students’ realities and those students then literally become nonexistent and cannot be listened to. They fall outside the highly structured sound-proof matrix built in stone and steel. Even where people put forth effort, communication and language hamper the understanding of multiple dimensional experiences. As Kincheloe (2004e) states, “Language as it now exists is also a limiting factor in our efforts to explore the multidimensionality of the cosmos, as we have no way of expressing the complexities that emerge when our conceptual lenses are readjusted” (Kincheloe, 2008c, p. 231). This issue still confronts me as I try to describe my experiences in writing to the best of my ability. I have come to realize how elementary and inadequate English is and how we will need to develop new epistemologies as Kincheloe recommends for describing the complex experiences and visions. His critical complex epistemology is imperative here. Kincheloe (2008c) observes:

There is no limit to the types of languages we can develop as we break away from the socio-linguistic blinders of Western culture. Indeed, in this context we can develop new telepathies of now invisible modes of expression. The quickest way to get to these new modes of communicating, thinking, and producing knowledge is to explore the previously dismissed, to take seriously subjugated experiences, and to dedicate ourselves to learning from difference (p. 231).


This, I have accomplished to a degree and, as a consequence, I have learned in an experiential sense, what he is conveying here. Kincheloe believed we are all capable of developing these higher order processes but there is serious work and effort involved, as well as a sense of “letting go” and allowing the process to unfold. Thus, my experiences of “telepathies” provided me with insight, guidance, and prompts throughout my research. These came in various forms as described in the study, often viewed by most people as merely coincidences, intuition, or “just dreams” when they experience them.

From an empirical standpoint, the quality and quantity of “coincidences” and “synchronicities” are astonishing, even to me. When I read back over the data and discover how much I have forgotten of my own experiences or the messages I have received (forgotten, due to still being fully immersed in a FIDURODian world subsequent to the experiences), it amazes me as to their frequency and relevance. As cited in Bloomstein (2000), Jung had concluded, “What I have found were ‘coincidences’ which were connected so meaningfully that their ‘chance’ concurrence would represent a degree of improbability that would have to be expressed by an astronomical figure (1960/1973, p. 21)” (p. 158). Astronomical, indeed. I am at a loss as to how to unite this vast data encompassing my experiences with the sciences, but that is the next level. I realize that many people are not in the “place” yet to validate that level of significance to these experiences. I often experience FIDURODian doubts, myself, so I can relate to that position. But all I have to do when doubts set in is go back and remember a few of these amazing experiences. In fact, being instructed to search my back yard for a diamond ring and finding the yin yang talisman is one of the more profound experiences because at the time I did not have any clue at all as to what it represented nor was I accustomed to following telepathic instructions from someone I cannot see. I tended to put the incident behind me until during my research I came across information that described the object as a talisman and a gift of initiation into the Divine Wisdom knowledges. And I had not remembered that I was serendipitously gifted with the talisman on Mother’s Day until I went back and read through the documentation as I completed the write up for this study upon which I discovered multiple synchronicities had occurred that day. Nor did I realize the significance of a diamond ring being delivered to my door by a handyman and how it relates to Kincheloe’s “handyman bricoleur” until I wrote this dissertation. I know much more awaits discovery.

There is truly magic in the universe, otherwise described by Kincheloe’s hermeneutic symbiosis that seems to be fueled by love.  I have no alternative definitive explanation of these extraordinary experiences, only various interpretations, some of which I have covered in this study. There are other explanations and much depends also on the nature of the experience. String theory is perhaps closest to explaining multiple dimensions, the higher consciousness that permits the perception of those dimensions, quantum effects and how dimensions may overlap and intertwine at specific points, and the thin, layer-like quality of dimensions. What I have experienced is that it is the love and passion of seeking that can lead to higher states of consciousness; it is that metaphoric “quest for the golden chalice.” Love and passion become a feedback loop that grows compassion, gratitude, change, actions, and joy. Having gone through this process of learning bricolage, I completely relate to how impassioned Kincheloe was about researching what he loved as I also have become impassioned in the same way and I live each day for the purpose of learning, writing, and creating. It is the feeling of making a positive difference in the world even if it is known that the difference probably won’t occur until off in the distant future that keeps joy and consciousness at higher levels. It seems to be the very thing that the status quo, hidden power, and the complicit way we go about our hegemonic lives prevent most people from achieving. What are we afraid of?

Cosmology, Ontology, and Epistemology

            Kincheloe asks bricoleurs to incorporate multiple perspectives from all parts of the world and across many disciplines, listening to a diversity of voices, including those not typically cited in academic literature. In conjunction with this, he asks that bricoleurs incorporate cosmological, ontological, and epistemological features of those perspectives. I believe, without reiterating what is stated within, it is obvious throughout this study I have accomplished this to a high degree. This, of course, corresponds with engaging in broad research to gain as many perspectives as possible before narrowing down and synthesizing them. What are the benefits of this approach? According to Kincheloe (2004c), bricoleurs are not looking for “truth about reality,” but rather wish to avoid monological knowledge that fails to address assumptions or recognize how knowledge is connected through relationships (p. 24). The assumption here is that reality is constructed by “a wide variety of entities,” and, of course, reality is continuously changing (p. 24). Instead of presenting a one truth reality, “bricoleurs propose compelling insights into their engagement with reality and the unresolved contradictions that characterize such interactions” (p. 24). Incorporating the diversity exposes our existing assumptions and provides us with more ways of making sense of our experiences (Kincheloe 2004d, p. 60). We are capable, for example, of perceiving multiple truths simultaneously, despite our education that presents one truth realities so often. Going through this process also helps us see how intricately and multidimensionally knowledge is connected. Literally, everything and everyone are connected. This awareness, combined with recognizing the importance of intuitive, creative, and emotional aspects contribute greatly to the learning process and the ability to recall information. It will be essential for teachers of the future to develop these skills and be able to “think on their feet” drawing from a large reservoir of general knowledge with great research skills to know how to seek information and construct knowledge. In this way teachers (and students as they also learn this process) will be empowered to meet the curricular requirements of highly diverse needs and interests, which as Kincheloe well notes requires holistic and transdisciplinary approaches such as we have never seen previously. Thus, this research process is ideal for the education domain for embracing diversity, and this form of knowledge production is necessary if we are to solve the very complex problems facing us today.

Diversity and drawing from multiple domains was accomplished throughout this study in various ways. For example, the primary metaphor, golden chalice, was explored from many different perspectives, cultures, and world views and it was shown how each perspective helps provide another facet of understanding of bricolage. It was interesting how this concept tying love, knowledge, and higher consciousness together is quite universal and reinforces the “Divine Love” metaphor for bricolage. Many other metaphors for bricolage were mentioned, each providing more insight to the research process. On a more personal level, I explored multiple interpretations and views of my unusual and seemingly magical phenomenological experiences, emphasizing that these are merely interpretations that help me explain and better understand the reality I experience and that these interpretations are subject to change as I learn more. The implications of the results of analyzing these phenomena accentuate the need to study consciousness, as Kincheloe has articulated throughout his work. What is consciousness? Is my consciousness so expansive that I have x-ray vision and can see seven inches beneath the grass to notice that there is a yin yang talisman hiding there? Somehow, I don’t believe that to be true. Did I access “all knowledge” and simply know that someone had lost that talisman in that exact spot many years ago? How did all my experiences come together to form a “story” that coincides so precisely with Kincheloe’s theoretical work, including a hidden “love” dimension which most people have not noticed? I guarantee that had I tried, I could not have concocted such amazing results that have occurred for me throughout this journey nor thought up stories as amazing as my experiences. Kincheloe’s theory has us looking at relationships for answers with his symbiotic hermeneutics and its focus on relationships but I do not yet begin to understand how it manifests in life. When we consider that consciousness exists in multiple dimensions it begins to make sense. I hold to Kincheloe’s theory as based on Einstein’s theory that relationships are what hold the key. In my mind, he and I were working together on this project, along with many other people who seemed to have had the ability to share consciousness/communicate telepathically. This appeared in many contexts both for me and for people I came in contact with during this research. Most often people were not aware that this was even happening such as when the handyman delivered me the diamond ring and told me he had “argued with himself” about bringing it over when he figured I wouldn’t be interested in it, he was going to be working, and it would just be in his way in his pocket. When we “argue with ourselves” who is it we are arguing with? As Kincheloe and, of course, many other researchers and scientists are calling for, much more research into consciousness is needed to better understand and explain these occurrences (e.g., Stephens & Graham, 2000/2003).

            In terms of limitations in incorporating diverse views into this study, while I have consciously incorporated many different perspectives and have tried to keep an open mind, I still have educational, cultural, social, and personal blinders that prevent me from seeing all there is and which have me holding particular assumptions. Also, there are so many different views encountered in this form of research that researchers must make selections, which will inherently be subjective. A plethora of criteria are implicated when deciding what to include and what not to include. In addition, my emotions have influenced my interpretations; in fact, this entire project has been an extremely emotional endeavor for me. It was very difficult losing Joe and then suddenly having life-altering experiences that FIDUROD can’t explain. Fortunately, his multidimensional critical complex bricolage moved my understanding forward profoundly.

“Complexity Demands the Rigour of the Bricolage”

A complete evaluation of rigorous bricolage should run through all of the attributes Kincheloe (2004c) provides in his section titled, “Complexity Demands the Rigour of the Bricolage” (p. 24). This evaluation includes ensuring that the following items have been explored in the research: explicate and implicate orders of reality; questioning universalism; polysemy (interpretation); the living process in which cultural entities are situated; the ontology of relationships and connections; intersecting contexts; the existence and utility of feedback loops; multiple epistemologies; intertextuality; discursive construction; the interpretative aspect of all knowledge; the fictive dimension of research findings; the cultural assumptions within all research methods; and the relationship between power and knowledge (pp. 25–29). Please refer to the book for detailed explanations of these constructs. Without reiterating the specifics since readers can reflect on how this has been accomplished in Chapter 4, all of these aspects have been incorporated in multiple ways within this current study. Thus, the study passes the test for rigor. As a reminder to reviewers who may question this approach to evaluation, one of the primary purposes of this study was to demonstrate Kincheloe’s bricolage process, thus, it makes logical sense to use the criteria he had developed for his conceptualization.

As Kincheloe as maintained, the research is process-oriented and different researchers will capture different descriptions depending on their positioning. As he states, “researchers will produce different descriptions of an object of inquiry depending on what part of the . . . river they have seen” (Kincheloe 2004d, p. 74). Bricolage, as accomplished in this study, surpasses traditional triangulation methods by describing multiple interrelationships “in as thick a way possible (Blommaert, 1997)” (p. 73). When similar phenomena appear in different contexts and have been interpreted similarly by different people and when illogical interpretations fall out, then validity, verifiability, and applicative dimensions have been met. But there is always more to know, which is why bricoleurs maintain the tentativeness and elasticity of their interpretations. Seeking a greater understanding of the multidimensionality of experiences contributes to consciousness expansion and knowledge production. While this is urgently needed in the present, I have come to view this as an eternal process as well.

“The Centrality of Critical Hermeneutics”

In relation to the object of study, Kincheloe (2004e) stresses “The Centrality of Critical Hermeneutics” (p. 82). As a reminder to reviewers who may question this approach to evaluation, one of the primary purposes of this study was to demonstrate Kincheloe’s bricolage process, thus, it makes logical sense to use the criteria he had developed for his conceptualization. Thus, an evaluation of rigor entails determining whether the object of inquiry was connected to many different contexts. In this study, the process of interpreting bricolage in many different contexts was so successful that bricolage came to mean almost everything and I had become “one” with both Kincheloe and the bricolage. This strange phenomenon in relation to research was brought out by Guru Mooji (2011) when he explained that if serious inquiry has been successful, we become one with the object of inquiry, whatever that object of inquiry might be. Perhaps this might be another evaluation point for Kincheloe’s advanced conceptualization of bricolage. If we literally feel “one” with the subject or object of inquiry, perhaps we have taken the research to the appropriate depth and breadth. The paradox is that while we “become one” we also have come to understand both ourselves and the object of the research better as separate entities, much as Jung describes the “individuation” process.

Another aspect of this process of becoming one with the object/subject of the research relates to what Kincheloe (2004) describes as “appreciating the relationship between researcher and that being researched” (p. 83). This was accomplished in this research with the analysis of rich qualitative data. As research is conducted, appreciation continues to build and just as the object of research shapes the researcher, the researcher shapes the object of the research. As Kincheloe has expressed it, they bring each other into being. This was accomplished experientially in profound ways which are beyond most people’s current levels of perception for which there is no FIDURODian scientific basis for understanding (at least not a complete or final explanation). This brings up the next critical hermeneutic attribute Kincheloe describes: “connecting the making of meaning to human experience.” In this study I used my own experiences to accomplish this, as supplemented by outside experiences and explanations from other people. The feedback looping or interaction that develops between researchers and the object or subject of their research can be very powerful and illustrates why it’s important to choose a topic we are passionate about.

The next attribute Kincheloe describes is “making use of textual forms of analysis while not forgetting that living and breathing human beings are the entities around which and with which meaning is being made” (p. 83). The study is replete with examples. The process of writing and rethreading through with additional information, a different perspective or taking the analysis deeper makes the study more rigorous.

And finally, Kincheloe’s (2004) last attribute in relation to critical hermeneutics is to “build a bridge between these forms of understanding and informed action” (p. 83). Throughout this study, I have also raised many additional questions that need to be researched for subsequent actions, such as to compel changes in policy and the way we “do education.” More people are suffering every day due to the inhumane educational process with embedded policies that are too often soulless and heartless and maintain division, discrimination, and oppression. In the section, “Choosing Interpretations: Considering the Principles of Selection,” Kincheloe (2004e) provides detailed criteria to guide bricoleurs with delimiting and focusing their research (p. 100),which is helpful when considering the Level 3 questions and actions that are revealed that often require immediate attention. Throughout this study, I have provided the rationale for my choices for interpretation, as based on Kincheloe’s criteria. Thus, any particular chosen interpretation:

provides a richer insight into the text than did others; constructs an interconnected and cohesive portrait of the phenomenon; grants access to new possibilities of meaning; benefits marginalized groups in their struggle for empowerment; fits the phenomenon under study; accounts for many of the cultural and historical contexts in which the phenomenon is found; considers previous interpretations of the phenomenon in question; generates insight gained from the recognition of the dialectic of particularity and generalization, or wholes and parts; indicates an awareness of the forces that have constructed it; makes use of perspectives of multiple individuals coming from diverse social locations; and catalyzes just, intelligent, and worthwhile action. (pp. 100–102)


The Multidimensionality of the Research Process

Engaging in this research has clarified the multiple meanings of Kincheloe’s term “multidimensionality.” Of course, all social research is multidimensional and researchers should consider as many dimensions as possible when trying to understand the complexity of the topic being researched. Thus, as Kincheloe (2001b) recommends, that means including not only understanding the political, but also the psychological, historical, social, economical, and educational perspectives, and more. It means, as presented earlier, to include an interpretative, integrative, and an applicative dimension to the bricolage (2001b, p. 280). These have been accomplished with this research, and the research went to the next level by incorporating Kincheloe’s fourth dimension bricolage. Fourth dimension research may extend infinitely since no one yet knows how many dimensions there are or the many ways to access and research within those dimensions. More research on “intuition,” which describes some of these means of access is needed and to date, education researchers of intuition have been somewhat constrained due to conflicting research paradigms. None of them are yielding adequate information in and of themselves. Thus, multidimensional critical complex bricolage explorations of intuition could prove fruitful and provide more information about how people perceive, access, and learn from other dimensions.

While I have demonstrated the fourth dimension bricolage to a far greater extent than I had planned, it is merely the tip of the iceberg. Fourth dimension research is useful for accessing the possibilities for the future as well as for excavating historical information that is closer to truth than what is taught and taken for granted, particularly when combined with the multiple processes of bricolage. I have not discussed this aspect in depth, but remembering past lives (whether we actually experienced them or are somehow tapping into this knowledge), along with accessing other higher order knowledges will supplement existing knowledge and help clarify many things about history. I informally refer to the process of exposing new truths as “table flipping,” because we will be seeing many things that we take for granted today completely flipped from the way we currently understand them. Most of us have already witnessed these flips in small ways, but in the near future, it will be prevalent, changing almost everything we thought we knew about everything. The power of the bricolage is that it provides a process by which we can reveal these new truths and for going to the next level to produce new knowledge and take actions to create a more equitable world.

The multidimensional critical complex bricolage, in concert with critical complex epistemology, provides a powerful process for learning, researching, and teaching in all domains. Anyone can use it and it is promising for improving the quality of life for us all. The key strand as Kincheloe has demonstrated in his work and his actions is the maintaining of love and compassion as a solid foundation during the process. I felt that love, passion, and compassion throughout this research and learned that due to the quantity and significance of the patterns that emerged as a result that there must be a rationale to the universe, even if we can’t explain it. I am aware that disseminating what I’ve learned crosses borders. Some people will object, some will become angry, some will call me crazy, and some people may be thankful that finally someone is discussing these experiences in great detail in the scholarly literature. No matter what other people’s perspectives are, for me, this is merely the beginning of another leg of this journey that I now know began with Joe Kincheloe before he passed away—an eternal quest for knowledge in higher dimensions where new and better worlds are being created. Unrealized by most (including myself before completing this research), the Apocalypse is already well in progress for many. The best anyone can do at this point is to avoid contributing to it as much as is humanly possible and plant a few mustard seeds that can take root and grow sometime in the future. With enough people doing this, we will fulfill Kincheloe’s (2008c) wishes for a social, pedagogical, epistemological and ontological revolution (p. 252).

Paradis, V. J. (2013). Did Joe Lyons Kincheloe Discover the Golden Chalice for Knowledge Production? The Application of Critical Complex Epistemology and the Multidimensional Critical Complex Bricolage. (Doctoral Dissertation)

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“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, p. 13)
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