Archive for the 'Research Status' Category

Eastern Canada site visits begin

January 12, 2007

Tonight I am off to St. John’s, Newfoundland, where I will begin a month-long round of site visits. After spending some time visiting PLIAN in St. John’s, I’ll leave for Halifax, then Charlottetown, Fredericton, Montreal, Ottawa, and finally Toronto. With some luck I will be able to post short dispatches about the trip from the road.

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Vancouver site visits complete; back in Edmonton

November 29, 2006

I have returned to Edmonton from three absolutely packed weeks of organizational visits, field observation, and interviews in Vancouver. Although I had originally planned to post blog entries about those visits as they happened, my full schedule and research ethics obligations changed my plans.

Beginning within the next week, I will be posting delayed “dispatches” from Vancouver and then some more comprehensive writeups.

Vancouver site visits begin

November 6, 2006

Edmonton to Vancouver
No juicy research results—just a status note: I’ve arrived in Vancouver, and tomorrow will begin meeting PLE folks here and attending their programs.

PLE organization case studies

October 12, 2006

Currently, and for at least the remainder of this month, I am conducting case studies of all of the sole-purpose PLEI organizations that Canada has seen over the past 35 years. A remarkable percentage of these organizations are still around; indeed, only a very few have completely evaporated.

The chief components of these case studies are (1) a history of each organization and (2) a compact index to each organization’s programs, both past and active. As I begin site visits to PLE organizations across Canada, later this year, I will add a third component: snapshots of current activity.

Based on comments I solicited at the 2005 (Saskatoon) and 2006 (Canmore) PLEAC conferences, I think these components will be a helpful way for me to spend my time as I look at these organizations. That is, over and over I heard from PLE providers that they wanted to know more about what other providers were doing. I hope that these histories and program indexes will increase awareness of what’s going on in PLE around the country and even rescue a few long-past programs from obscurity. If resources and time permit, I will ultimately make a master compilation of the program indexes that could be made searchable and available online.

Thumbnails of the organizational histories will start appearing on this blog very soon. I’m starting with the oldest organizations and making my way through the decades to the present. The People’s Law School (BC/Vancouver) will be the first I’ll post, sometime next week.

Legal Resource Centre main archive sorting is complete

October 2, 2006

Last week, slightly ahead of schedule, I finished sorting catalog records of over thirty years of PLE materials, originally collected by the Legal Resource Centre (LRC) and now held by the University of Alberta Libraries. In all, I’ve organized over 5,100 records, representing PLE and PLE-related materials from between 1924 to 2006 (though the great majority of the materials are from between 1965 to 1997). I still have to sort records from additional collections held by the Legal Studies Program (LSP) (LRC’s successor) outside of the U of A libraries’ catalog, and the post-1997 materials at LSP that remain uncataloged.The value of this sorting is that I can now work from a database of PLE materials that is organized into helpful categories beyond author, title, and date. Specifically, I’ve grouped the LRC PLE archive into the following categories, which roughly follow the organization of the Theory & Practice of PLE in Canada website:

  • Sole-purpose PLE Organizations
    • Canada
      • Organizational documents (annual reports, constitutions, etc.) [125]
      • Organizational evaluations [24]
    • USA [8]
    • International [6]
  • PLE Programming
    • Canada
      • Program materials and descriptions (pamphlets, videos, audio materials, etc.)
        • From sole-purpose PLE organizations
          • 1960s [1]
          • 1970s [135]
          • 1980s [696]
          • 1990s [276]
          • 2000s [13]
        • From government entities [513]
        • From Self-Counsel Press [110]
        • From other organizations [1040]
      • Program inventories and directories [119]
      • Program evaluations [69]
    • USA [671]
    • International [110]
  • PLE Research and How-To
    • Canada
      • General PLE research
        • Studies and reports [191]
        • Bibliographies [57]
        • Histories [5]
      • PLE organization management
        • Financial management [1]
        • Funding [47]
        • Handbooks and manuals (training, charity legal issues, etc.) [70]
        • Marketing and publicity [11]
        • Organizational structure [5]
        • Personnel [9]
        • Strategic planning [12]
      • PLE programming
        • Needs assessment [115]
        • Design [18]
        • Development [6]
        • Delivery [65]
        • Evaluation [70]
      • PLE theory
        • Citizenship theory [6]
        • Educational theory [14]
        • Legal theory [4]
      • Research on research [5]
    • USA [172]
    • International [35]

Although I’ve provided [in brackets] the record counts for each bottom-level category, it is important to note that these count statistics do not necessarily reflect tendencies in the real-world PLE field. This is because large portions of the LRC collection were donated to places other than the U of A libraries; places which may have taken the bulk of certain categories of materials. Indeed, the 5,000 or so materials from the LRC collection held at the U of A represent only about 20% of the pre-1997 LRC library.

If you are interested in examining this records database, please don’t hesitate to email me. The database was created and is currently managed using RefWorks, which permits export to a variety of formats, including EndNote, ProCite, BibTeX, XML, and plain text citation lists. Eventually, many of the records in the database will be incorporated as references on the Theory & Practice of PLE in Canada website. But note, of course, that access to the materials recorded in the database can be had only in Edmonton or through an Inter-Library Loan service.