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AERA 2023, Chicago, April 13 to April 16

AERA 2023, Chicago, April 13 to April 16

April 10, 2023

Hi WinkWorld Readers,

I have completed my term of six years on the Board of Regents, and now I have one more conference to go, the American Educational Research Association with Dawn and and an a colleague from Australia, Nerida Blair.

Our time/location/ title is posted near the bottom of this WinkWorld.  However, my topic is  easy and fun for me.   I am speaking about The Power of Story. In what follows is a peak into a part of what I will share.

I have never written this before, but one of the problems with growing up mother-less is that you have no stories.  The reason that I love this photo so much is that it makes me wonder: Who put those curls in my hair?  Who  bought that dress?  Where was I going?

I am prepared with 4 short stories: The Chalk, Oh Fudge, Three Perspective, and The Blueberries. I am guessing that I will probably only get time for one or two stories, and I will decide which stories to share based the needs of the audience.  If they are serious experienced researchers, I will probably choose “The Chalk,” as it takes a funny story about a statistics class and leads to a greater discussion of the dominance of quantitative research to more acceptance of qualitative research. During my teaching and researching career, I experienced this transformation in all of the types of research.

The Chalk

I will begin with a brief mention of the significance of old-fashioned blackboards and chalk when I started teaching (Great Valley High School, Malvern, PA, Spanish 1, 2, 3, & 4) in 1966.  Often times in a presentation, I have participants, who have no experience with a blackboard. From here I jump right into the mid-1980s when I was working on  my Ph.D. at TX A&M.

The Chalk story is about a very serious gentleman professor who taught the doctoral level of statistics.  A friend had given me a heads-up and told me to sit front and center and not to take my eyes off the prof, which, of course, I did.  The prof did not allow us to use computers, nor calculators.  We did every weeks’ assignment on yellow legal pad: Pages and pages of yellow legal pad.  He reviewed every single page and returned the pages the following week with corrections.  He spent every class period working out each step of each problem on the blackboard.

As you might image, chalk dust flew in every  direction. Finally one day, when we were all bleary-eyed with statistics and chalk dust, and I am sure that I was the only student still keeping an eye on him, this highly-respected prof was writing on the chalk board and quietly popped an entire new stick of chalk into his mouth and chewed it and swallowed it. He continued to solve the problem on the board.  My friend had told me that he would do it, and he did.  To my absolute delight!   I turned around and looked all around the class, and I could not find one other student (of the 50 students) who saw him eat that chalk.  I do remember a small twinkle in his eye  as class continued.

Two Perspectives

Oh, Fudge

Three Perspectives (Dayna’s story)

The Blueberries by Jamie Vollmer

I think Vollmer’s story helps us understand why a school is not a business.

The Blueberry Story


TITLE of symposium

Education Research through Indigenous Frameworks, Story, and Scholarly Personal Narrative in Pursuit of Multiple Truths


April 13, 2023, Thursday

2:50 to 4:20 CDT

Chicago Marriott Downtown

4th Floor Armitage Avenue Ballroom








  • Carla Powell

    We had a teacher here in Kanab Utah that ate chalk also. He was famous among the students for eating chalk. He ate it up until about 2006 when he retired. I heard it was because it settled the excess gas in the stomach. Does that mean he didn’t fart in front of the students? Hello, I never knew you were motherless? Lots of love to a woman I always admire…I think I admire you the most of all the women I’ve known apart from my own mother.

  • Joan Wink

    Thanks, Dawn! When my fingers wrote that sentence, I thought: Dare I share something so personal? I left it there for you. xoxoxxo

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