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Learning Partnerships - the art of handling ambiguity
Meaney, Patrick Anthony
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
This thesis is available for library use on the understanding that it is copyright material and that no quotation from the thesis may be published without proper acknowledgement. I certify that all material in this thesis which is not my own work has been identified and that no material has previously been submitted and approved for the award of a degree by this or any other university.
This intrinsic case study is about people who worked in partnerships. Each of the partnerships emerged from relationships formed between the business, education, government and community sectors. A principle aim of the cross-sector partnerships was to enhance learning opportunities, integral to which was the incorporation of ICT. The study explores through interweaving narratives, some of the key interrelationships that emerged from the evolving partnerships as they strived to accomplish their aims. The partnerships represented a rich and complex context for dynamic and strategic change occurring, not only in the evolving partnerships, but also in the systems they intended to consolidate and optimise. Furthermore, such complexity pervaded ideological notions of instability and discontinuity arising from difference that may be implicit or explicit in open, distributed complex systems. The metaphor of hypertext serves to both retain textural qualities of organisation and address key problematics associated with visualisation and representation and also as a means to reflect upon the study by encouraging improvisatory processes akin to those experienced by the participants. In this respect, hypertext is not used to simply challenge artificial boundaries, linearities and determinisms but rather, prompt the construction of meanings further to those partially represented. It also serves to maintain a clearer relationship between those contexts within which research has been, or becomes situated. The thesis largely rests on its representational form in terms of its self-sufficiency to portray, convey, express, evoke, engage and inform. Ambiguity forms a fundamental facet of the thesis. In addition to those that rest within the texts, graphic illustrations are used to provide narratives in different forms whereby, readers are not bound by the same inadequacies or constraints in drawing meaning about the subject from text alone. By taking the view of the artist, the illustrations provide a flexibility that overcomes some of the dimensional limitations of the thesis and further emphasises its connectionist, constructivist and aesthetic undertones. The links between components and nuanced meanings emphasises the interdependencies in terms that transcend the representational form of discursive language. The case is thus, synthesised in the following illustration:
PhD in Education