27 January 2009

What's an Audit Trail?

I recently read an article by Jerry Harste and Vivan Vasquez from a 1998 issue of Language Arts entitled "The Work We Do: Journal as Audit Trail." In the article, Harste and Vasquez analyzed the hardbound notebooks Harste jotted and drew ideas into as a roadmap of his work as a researcher and teacher educator. They called this the Audit Trail, defined by Wikipedia as a "chronological sequence of audit records, each of which contains evidence directly pertaining to and resulting from the execution of a business process or system function." It's a pretty powerful idea and one I am still attempting to fully wrap my head around, accounting for the various ways our ideas are impacted by the material we read, the experiences we have, and the baggage we carry around. It makes for an interesting ledger of how ideas are added to, changed, tweaked, and a possible tool for me to more fully to understand my own thinking and how it is changing. This is my attempt at creating an audit trail, making myself accountable for my ideas.

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