Blogging: 3 years on

Perth to NYC, 2014: A blog begins

This week theeduflaneuse.com turns 3. I began this blog on the 23rd of August 2014 with a post about a travelling fellowship upon which I was about to embark. It was to be a way for me to think through my experiences and record these as they happened.

In October 2014 I spent one week in and around New York City, visiting school leaders, researchers, professional development providers and educational experts, in order to gain insights to inform, refine, and shape the implementation of the  coaching-for-professional-growth model I was developing at my school.

The fellowship finished in October 2014, but I kept blogging. Now this blog has more than 200 posts and is read in more than 110 countries. It has become, for me, about much more than a record or recount. It is a place where I think out loud. Where I learn. Where I share experiences, in order to develop my own ideas, connect with others who might choose to engage with me here, and contribute to others’ thinking and work. The notion of contribution is one influenced by what I get from the blogs of others. During my PhD I found reassurance and solidarity in the blogs of PhD candidates. I found generous advice in the blogs of professors and post-docs. I broaden my understandings by reading the blogs of educators who openly articulate their own workings and wonderings. Others’ blogs challenge my thinking, engage me in conversations, reduce feelings of isolation, and break me away from silos of thought that limit me to my own context. As I have written previously, blogging is a way into personal evolution and community transformation on a global scale. These reflections aren’t so different to those I had after one year of blogging, although their scope is now larger.

I began this blog with the concept of ‘édu flânerie’, of being a flâneuse of the education world. I based this on Baudelaire’s flâneur, the (in the 19th century, male) Parisian stroller. Yet as Sainte-Beuve noted, to flâne is not to do nothing, but to casually and keenly experience and observe. In a world of ever-increasing accountabilities and busy-ness, this blog gives my flâneuse the permission to slow down, to notice, to wander, and to contemplate.

I am fully aware that the notion of flânerie is one that indicates privilege. Being able to read, write, and immerse oneself in thought, is a first-world luxury. I am grateful for the opportunity to blog here, to toss out into the void my often unfinished musings, and to receive responses, whether here, on social media, at conferences, or in conversation. Blogging reveals diverse perspectives, sparks global conversations, and initiates relationships. It is these things, as well as the slightly addictive feeling that comes with carving out time and space to sit, think, and write, that act as the propulsive forces for theeduflaneuse.com. Roll on Year 4.

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12 thoughts on “Blogging: 3 years on

  1. Many happy returns and may there be many more 🙂

    As I begin my flâneric perambulations, I can’t help wondering whether it’s really possible to casually stroll, yet keenly observe? To be an ‘idler’, yet have a specific intent? Perhaps I’m seeing a contradiction where there is none, or more likely I don’t yet get flânerie! Is blogging flânerie?
    I hope the Elkin book might help me here, by troubling what we have traditionally come to recognise in flânerie as the pursuit of privileged, educated males, and offer instead alternative framings.

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    • It’s an interesting question, Aaron, and hard to know. I think I feel freer in terms in my blog writing because I’m more comfortable in this space. It’s not that I’ve figured out exactly what or who it’s for, but that writing my blog has become part of my thinking/writing routine. I enjoy it and somehow there’s always something about which to write.

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      • I guess what I am wondering is whether that ‘something’ is still the same that it was when you began? I have rambled on more about it here (readwriterespond.com/?p=2433), but really I am interested in development in a coaching sense maybe. Coaching as a strategy can help in developing a coachee over time, I wonder if the intentional space of a blog has the potential impact?

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