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Thursday, 31 December 2009

New Year's Eve Looking at Blogs on 31.12.09

Right I am making a final swing through on comments - glad to see so many up at last. I have had a few queries by email to look at certain blogs so I am doing that and putting comments up... Comment on this post if you have any questions that might be useful to others on the course in this final stage - I am back in the office on 4th January 0208 411 5087.

Over the holiday, I have been doing my doctoral research on the topic of work based learning in Higher Education - doing some of the interview transcripts (long overdue!) with people talking about their interpretation of work-based learning and how they facilitate this form learning. It is really interesting stuff and relates a great deal to what we are doing on the BAPP programme. I get a lot of help from my Supervisor who also does WBL at Birkbeck.

I have also been trying to help final term BAPP students with feedback and info about their final BAPP project reports (the ones that are done in the 3rd module of BAPPS). Because of the schedules that arts professionals have over the holidays, what would be a holiday for many types of work is actually a busy season as you all well know. However, I am looking forward to seeing the final reports in January as people have chosen some good topics that relate to what that do in their workplace.


Monday, 14 December 2009

Blogsites to check out

Here are some blogsites you may want to visit that have conversations mixed in. REMEMBER - the peer comments are for your to use as you wish for your Final Task D - some people might say something about your piece that has not quite convinced you... so use only the comments you think are useful.

I will add to this Blog - Laura-Beth and I are discussing some clarifications but she is 8 hours behind us in California - so I will put them up when I speak to her.

I am actually on officially on holiday this week and the University closes on Friday the 18th December - it opens 4th January... I know we are not onsite doing this BUT for those who have not posted Task D and/or Task E time is running out. I strongly advise everyone to put something up ASAP - it might be linked to the issue of professionalism - how do you work professionally to meet deadlines? Do you work as a team to do this or individually?

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help...

Campus session video + list of blogsites

Go to my mobile me site to see a digital video of the movement exercise and a list of all the Blogs HERE. The blogsite starts with DRAFT in the title and the other starts with Campus Session. Please let me know if you can access ok?

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Arts Council project at Middlesex University

Under news - this successful dance bid came up:

Digital artist and lecturer Nic Sandiland of Middlesex University’s Lansdown Centre for Electronic Arts has been awarded a grant of picalmost £100,000 by the Arts Council for a collaborative dance and technology project. The grant will help to fund a new multi-media collaboration including dance events, taking place in the south-east over the next 18 months.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Check out Adesola's Blog for first half of the workshop

Adesola has put up a good post about the first half of the campus workshop that you have seen in pictures - the pictures are actually read with the meeting up in the circle first - and then the movement! find the Blog here

I also added a comment on Adesola's site - it is repeated here...

In response to Laura-Beth's question.

What Adesola and I did to link this 'kinesthetic' or movement process of conversation to the Tasks was to move into a discussion about the 3 learning styles of visual, audio, and kinesthetic - to using the conventions of academic conversation to think about and respond to the 3 writing styles in Task D... the academic structure is similar to the rules that the Movement exercise provided BUT people need to engage in the process for it to work... in Task E the job is to look at the styles of writing - pick out key points that discuss the content and structure of the Task D - and say something about the piece of writing in the COMMENT BOX that might help the writer clarify certain passages or be clearer in order to communicate ideas.

We did discuss the conventions of academic writing a bit - and luckily the group had really good questions about the process. For example, if 2 or 3 references are used in the writing to explain, back-up or expand upon a point of view, then use the Harvard method to cite these sources... the Harvard method is in the back of the Handbook. Check out for more explanation of the 2nd half of the workshop.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

photos of Adesola's creative conversations 7.12.09 campus workshop


I am still seeing (that is a visual learner trait) who contacts me about the Helping your co-workers... see previous Blog on the 3rd December. ALSO can you (the reader of this BLOG) encourage and/or help someone who has not posted Task D to put their writing up if you are able to do this? Everyone needs 3 comments/conversations for Task E - so this helps you as well... see Alan's new post on

Visual auditory and kinesthetic learning

Language is just another way of communication and learning - like the visual audio and kinesthetic that we talked about yesterday.
Here is the web source for the visual, auditory, kinesthetic learning style I talked about yesterday - VAK. I'm sure there are others. Many people learn in all three styles , but it is just an awareness to whatever works for you.
We also discussed briefly, as Adesola mentioned in the Induction to the course, that many people in the creative and cultural industries have learning conditions which affect reading and writing, such as dyslexia. There is support at the university. Also the more time you can give to completing the Tasks would be helpful, starting early is important.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Creative Conversations using the Academic style

Creative Conversations using the Academic style

Here are some terms we used as discussion points on Monday 7th December with Adesola's presentation using conversational dance as a kinesthetic learning experience.

Writing in an academic style - uses recognised conventions of relative neutrality and referencing (rules of engagement) to exchange ideas, comment and critique statements about scientific and social phenomena.

Academic arguments “are sets of ideas which are expressed… Making an argument … involves working out how to construct, communicate, support and substantiate….” (Mason 2003)

An academic style of writing informs and directs a point of view; when applied, it can structure an argument – and different academic disciplines interpret concepts and theories differently (Anita Walsh 2008). For example, a Health professional might be trained to understand practice in a clinical setting while a creative and cultural arts professional might be trained to develop technical expertise, expressive capacity and creative innovation.

Academic arguments can use existing concepts and theories to state points of view.

Concept – an idea - “a unit of thought or element of knowledge that allows us to organize experience” (Janet Gail Donald 2001)

Theory –a rationale or justification based on ideas or evidence… - “a system of ideas intended to explain a phenomenon especially a system based on general principles and therefore independent of the target phenomenon” (Brewerton and Millward 2001) - theories can be used to relate to more than one ‘problem’ being examined or explored in the field (first hand phenomena)

Critical thinking is process that is used to think about topics and issues.

Glaser (influenced by Dewey) said “Critical thinking calls for a persistent effort to examine any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the evidence that supports it and the further conclusions to which it tends” (extract from Fisher 2001).

“Critical thinking is reasonable, reflective thinking that is focused on deciding what to believe or do” (Norris and Ennis, 1989,extracts from Fisher 2001).

Stella Cottrell (The Study Skills Handbook 3rd ed., 1999) says that Glaser emphasises 3 main points about critical thinking: 1. persistence 2. evidence 3. implications

You use critical reasoning to:

• Identify elements of a reasoned case
• Identify and evaluate assumptions
• Clarify and interpret expressions and ideas
• Judge the acceptability and credibility of the claims
• Evaluate the arguments of different kinds
• Analyse, evaluate and produce explanations
• Analyse, evaluate and make decisions
• Draw inferences
• Produce arguments (Fisher 2001)

Cottrell also suggests applying analytical thinking - being able to do things like
• “ looking for possible flaws in the reasoning of evidence, or the way in which the conclusions were drawn”
• “comparing the same issue from the point of view of other theorists or writers” and “checking for hidden assumptions” (Cottrell 1999).

These ideas are linked to what I call critical curiosity, your ability to want to know about something using a framework that is wider than what you already know…(Nottingham, 2009). This means extending your knowledge and understanding to learning that includes sources that go beyond the self to peers, professional networks and academic-related literature.

Campus Workshop 7th December

Thanks for all those who attended - Adesola's workshop was very interesting. See itinerary below - the Piccadilly line was down so it meant that we started late...

Part 1 Campus workshop about creative conversations using language and interactive movement: P’s, Q’s and R’s - Adesola

Part 2 of the Campus Workshop: Paula

Discuss Task D and Task E: (15 minutes with Question time) focus on Task E comments and critiques process using the academic style.

Form groups (random groups using 1 & 2 counting method).

Exercise 1: (10 minutes) Take the concepts from Part 1 interactive dance – use the 1. see, 2. notice and 3. wonder post-its to begin a verbal conversation in your group using a more academic style.

Discuss the concepts, critical thinking and critical curiosity elements that relate to the idea of self, peer and professional spheres of influence.

Write down any important points of the conversation for yourself – noting group and individual authorship points of the discussion …listen, write and review

Exercise 2: (15 minutes)

In the same group, use a given topic (a visit to a grocery store in Britain) and discuss this topic using critical thinking. Negotiate within the group a point of view about the topic – developing the academic argument from self, peers and professionals, and using national or international sources (some of these might be invented for the task…) that can inform a short piece of writing. Refer to the Peter’s rubric for academic writing to see if you understand how his suggestions can be applied… the following questions might be good starting points:

What argument are you trying to make about the topic – the visit to the grocery store?
Are you talking about the topic in a relatively neutral or objective manner?
What evidence are you using to convince the reader of your argument?
Can your statements be backed up with ‘research’ or ‘evidence’? What are these?
How can you reference your sources?
What types of sources would be good to use?

Collectively write up this piece of academic writing… approximately 500 words (or whatever time allows) on a piece of A4 writing.

Exercise 3: (10 minutes)

HAND this writing to another group to comment on the piece of writing. Critique the piece in order to help the 1st group with points they might have missed or have not been fully explained… Give the comments back to the group for a quick recap on what they might have missed or could add to the writing…

Plenary (5 minutes)

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Helping Co-workers to get Task D up on the Blog!

Writing Task D should now be going up - please help your co-workers to remind them to do this - Task E will be hard to do unless everyone is up and participating... I would note that Abbi has commented on a number of Blogs - Murat, Alys and Laura-Beth are up and running...we are now just making sure we have a complete list for everyone's Blogs... As an experiment - leave your name in a comment if you have read this Blog!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Japanese Dance event at MDX

Japanese Contemporary Dance Today

A Talk by Akiko Tachiki

Interest in Japanese contemporary dance has boomed in the past few years
but it is not always easy for those outside Japan to grasp what is going on and
to know who is emerging as the next artist with international impact.

Akiko Tachiki, one of Japan's most active dance journalists and critics,
will lead this special event, identifying current trends in
Japanese contemporary dance and revealing what the future is likely to hold.

This event offers a rare opportunity to find out about the most recent
developments in Japanese contemporary dance, to view video of the work of current practitioners
and to take part in a discussion with one of Japan's most eminent dance experts.

Date: 16 December 2009 from 6.00pm
Venue: Lecture Room The Place, 17 Duke's Road, London WC1H 9PY

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please email:, giving your name and those of any guests.
This event is co-organised by: the Japan Foundation, London; ResCen, Middlesex University; The Place.
Apologies for Cross Postings.
Prof Chris Bannerman
Head of ResCen, Centre for Research into Creation in the Performing Arts or