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Monday, 23 March 2015

Module 1 reflective practice - a few notes on the campus session

The Part 2 session was mainly on reflective practice and referred to Reader 2.
Lisa, Irini and Tom attended so you may want to check out their blogs.

We talked about 2 related words:

reflexivity - which is about an awareness of the role of self in the making of knowledge "positionality"


  • reflectivity - which involves the ability to deconstruct (own) assumptions (Schon) and learn from the experience (Dewey)
  • Therefore being reflective aids awakens of self and ability be reflexive
  • the 'critical element' - recognition of the power dimensions of knowledge making and seeking to destabilise these for social practice.

(definitions from Fook's 'Reflexivity in research what it means in theory and practice' - powerpoint presentation)

We talked about keeping a journal and developing a sense of what is happening in terms of your 1. position and 2. reflecting upon people, places, things events (Paula's 'the nouns)

2 group exercises - the idea of reflection is about doing and thinking about the doing - in this exercise doing was interpreted as 'observation' looking at how others did things within a particular place (space)

1. people went to the Quad in the main building and 'observed' movement for around 5 minutes - and took notes - some photos (not of individuals) - an then fed back to the group about what the observed

the idea was to look and reflect on the experience and record some of what was observed

in this exercise the main point was to focus on movement - interesting how people interpreted movement - as groups of people - as the flow around the rom - as individual movement

2. people then went to the Quad and this time observed about the various types of 'learning' or communication taking place - so how people were connecting with learning in this space - around 70% of language in non-verbal - no other instructions were given

feedback form those who did the observations - people were alone and in groups - interacting and behaving in different ways - even the idea of looking for 'learning' might have been an interpretation -  reflecting on something brings meaning to the activity

this might also relate to social learning - also in Part 3

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Module 2 session 17.3.15 Part 5 - thinking about ethics and planning ahead for the professional inquiry

Happy St Patrick's day.

We had a very good discussion about Part 5 and where people are in Module 2 on campus. Here are some highlights and a bit of rambling from questions/discussions in the last week...

Ethics - there are differences between ethics and other versions of 'right and wrongs' like morals. Many practitioners already have ethical considerations in their workplace, but the tasks help make it possible to actually seek the rules and regulations out to read again. There is always more to learn about ethical practice...

2 main points to think about for ethical practice in Part 5
1. ethics for your professional practice - so the rules and regulations that you abide by in your professional roles or workplace
2. the ethical practice that is required to undertake your professional inquiry  - doing this you actually talk to members of the public (in Module 3!)

Who will you want to talk to about this experience?  In this module you are having informal trials at the different tools - so are just really trying out the various methods - like interviews - with friends or with others in your special interest groups or on BAPP Arts...

Planning involves learning about permissions in your workplace, gatekeepers, informed consent, etc. we  are pretty careful about the involvement of children under 16 - so be aware of this and look up the BERA guidelines suggested

There is a lot in Reader 5 and other articles on offer in the Reading list - scan these and read the ones that can help you with your inquiry planning.

Ethical practice DIRECTLY relates to who is is you want to talk to? and that depends on your 'research statement' - your area of interest/topic/context/issues? with your practitioner research questions - what you want to find out about the area of interest.

The plan/proposal that you design (NOTE - the outline/headings list for the plan is in the Module 2 Handbook) takes into account some type of activity/outcome that you accomplish using the practitioner research - what you found out. This is where the aims/objectives come in about the outcomes.

Think about planning other things like a trip..

An aim might be to go on holiday to Brittany - so an objective would be to learn to drive so that you can drive to the holiday. You might do some practitioner research - what is the surest way to learn to drive so that you can pass a driving test? you ask driving instructors and drivers who recently took the test and passed - and you take these findings and use some of the techniques to pass your driving test and then drive yourself to the holiday.

What permissions would you need to talk to driving instructors?
What permissions (informed consent) would you need to talk to learner drivers who passed the test?
How would you find the 'sample' (that represent greater number of people) of people - you can't talk to everyone who has passed their test in England! How you choose the people you talk to is important - that is also where the ethics form explains exactly who you want to talk to and why. The criteria you use - e.g. being a AA driving instructor - to choose your participants is a part of the ethical procedures.

The rule of thumb with research is not to bother people if research about your topic is already available -not usually the case but also look for other data-sets that might inform your inquiry - for example

for salary information:
This relates back to the 'sample' literature you have looked at to inform your planning.

There are also a number of good books online about research REFER TO THE Module 2 Reading List - go to the MyLearning site - or you can go directly to the Middlesex Library after you go into the MYUniHub.
Doing your research project: a guide for first-time researchers in education, health and social science - Judith Bell 2010  - EASY TO READ - SCAN FOR TOOLS/METHODS
How to research - Loraine BlaxterChristina HughesMalcolm Tight2010GOOD EXPLANATIONS
Doing work based research: approaches to enquiry for insider-researchers - Carol CostleyGeoffrey ElliottPaul Gibbs c2010 (electronic resource) GOOD FOR INSIDER RESEARCH ADVICE
Doing practitioner research - Mark FoxGill GreenPeter J. Martin 2007 (electronic resource)

It would be god to scan these - and go back to them if there are points about the practitioner  research that you want to understand more or to plan better...

Some advice about what put on your action list...

Resources from Module 3 Part 7 Organising and analysing data 16.3.15

We had a great session
I hope these slides will help with issues that come up around this time...

Review for Session 2 Module 3 16.3.15 from Paula Nottingham

and here are a few words of advice for this stage:

I will work on the sound quality... of this when I get home from Edinburgh!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Reminder about campus and online Sessions for all Modules - PLEASE RSVP

Reminder about campus and online Sessions for all Modules 

PLEASE RSVP Paula for campus sessions on this blog  AND  directly to Adesola's blog  for online...

5th WEEK 16th of March

Campus Sessions (please RSVP to Paula for attendance)          

M3: Campus Session 2: Monday 16th of March 10am -12pm Room: S110  Shepperd Library
Part 7 Organising and analysing data.

M2: Campus Session 2:  Tuesday 17th of March 10am-12pm Room: CG45 College House
Part 5 Planning ethical practice.

M1: Campus Session 2: Tuesday 17th of March 2pm-4pm Room: CG03 College House
Part 2 Using reflective practice.

Online Sessions that follow same themed discussions. 
(send Adesola a contact request at aonthephone - send 2 days before)

M3: Online Session 2:  Monday 16th of March - Part 7   6-7pm ADESOLA

M2: Online Session 2: Tuesday 17th of March - Part 5   6-7pm  ADESOLA

M1: Online Session 2: Wednesday 18th of  March - Part 2  7-8 pm ADESOLA

Reminder about BAPP Arts blog addresses

Remember the blog addresses are on my blog (search blog addresses)

You could always  cut and paste them into a document for easy access in a file on your computer so the hyperinks are active!!

OR on the main MyUniHub - MyLearning  - main site for BA Professional Practice 135B99X site - these are all updated now.

OR use Feedly as an organiser - or google Feedly - it is free.

Good conversations about Module 2 areas of interests/deciding on topics - to be added to...

There are some good conversations going on now about areas of interest and topics

Emma mentioned a few and we are talking about how ideas/literature act to underpin and inform the inquiry - others are joining in

Emma mentioned creativity in education so I am just passing on a link to the Huffington press that also mentions Ken Robinson's new book (to update what he has said in the past about his issue).

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Reading list access Part 5 and transdisciplinarity definition from Leavy

Sarah was kind enough to tell me a couple of links were not working for Part 5 on WBS3630 so - here is a link  - and will try to update reading list on system

"Ethics of Theatre Practice (Woodruff) and Trans-disciplinary inquiry... (Doyle). I didn't have any problems with the others, please can you let me know if there is a problem or if there is another way for me to access them."

the other one is a chapter - checking this out with Adam to get right

My colleague Annette Fillery-Travis suggested a really great book about transdisciplinarity
here is a link with some taster materials

"Yet, for this work, Leavy focuses her attention on the academy: 
Transdisciplinarity is an approach to conducting social research that involves synergistic collaboration between two or more disciplines with high levels of integration between the disciplinary sets of knowledge. Transdisciplinary research practices are issue- or problem-centered and prioritize the problem at the center of research over discipline-specific concerns, theories or methods. (9)"

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Tim Berners-Lee -- reflecting on his practice - Module 1

As a segway into reflective practice - her is a video link form Tim Berniers-Lee from the Guardian - he is talking about the web - looking at 'what he did right'.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Gourlay on web 'utopia' - also the art of scanning and skimming

I saw this paper presented by Gourlay
The digital university, critique and utopian fantasies
Gourlay Lesley, Institute of Education, UK

It talks about how uses the web and technology could be seen as a 'utopia' - these are sort of made up worlds - but in the end technology is neither all good - or all evil!

If the idea interests you...

Just scan the paper below on the link but before you do think about how to read the piece quickly for meaning.

Scanning means quickly looking at a source but not reading line but line - so you get the 'just' of the critical thinking - the 'academic argument' or the point of view - it is what I sometimes refer to as 'shopping'

Scanning and skimming techniques allow you to see if the source is something to spend more time with...

here is the paper about the web...

Path for Middlesex Library and Summon

If you go to Unihub then MyUnihub you should be able to find the Library section - in this section you can look up

  • the reading lists
  • use Summon - a lot like Google - to look things up
  • and the Libguides for subject areas - Dance,Theatre Arts, but also Education and Business!
  • journals if you know the name you want

I love Summon - it is great!

Thinking about identity and identifying in art 'theory'- representation, semiotics, somatic practice - ways of thinking about meaning

Use this blog as you find it - ideas to use now or come back to - often people ask how to use 'art' or practice-based ideas in their inquiries - so this is a taster of some ways to do that... you might want to come back to it when you are shopping around for ideas...

Identity is a concept about finding out about ourselves and is a central one for the arts - who are you? how do you fit in with your generation? politics? social? culture? economics? geography (people and places)? Where do you work and how do you work?

Identifying is the ability to use ideas to explain or articulate meaning. In constructivist thinking there is no one set meaning, but many ways to interpret meaning.

These identifying themes are often used to try to conceptualise art forms...

Here is a small extract form Stuart Hall's Representation (2nd ed) (2013)

"just as people who belong to the same culture must share a broadly similar conceptual map, so so they must also share the same way of interpreting the signs of language, for only in this way can meanings be effectively exchanged between people. But how do we know which concept stands for which think? Or which word effectively represents which concept?... Visual signs and images, even when they bear a close resemblance to the things to which they refer, are still signs: they carry meaning and thus have to be interpreted (p. 5).

Theories of representation are often used in media studies to interpret what people see.

it is also called semiotic practice

This is the ideas of semiotics applied to dance

(quite intense article - but here is the conclusion)

"In conclusion, although it has characteristics of signal and symptom, human dance also entails symbolic qualities derived from its embedding in some cultural codes. It reveals a process specific to human semiosis: the "culturalization" of the natural or the motivated. Dance is a special expression and characteristic of human behavior. Dancing codes try to fix the spontaneity, the "naturality" of movements and feelings within a foreseeable and repeatable system of expression. In such a code — or body language — the flashing of life and emotion is taking shape. Dance involves a special form of "stylization" or abstraction and of codification... Dancing movement is also an intersection point of various codes, such as social, esthetical, (re)presentational, theatrical, and choreographic ones and thereby it acquires a symbolic character as a partially objectivated and conventionalized expression structure" (Pope, 2013, p.8). 

Another useful idea for identity and identifying is somatic practice...

"What Somatics is…Somatics is a holistic change theory that understands both personal and collective transformation from a radically different paradigm. Somatics understands both the individual and collective as a combination of biological, evolutionary, emotional and psychological aspects, shaped by social and historical norms and adaptive to a wide array of both resilient and oppressive forces. All of this gets embodied through both resilience and survival strategies, and social and cultural practices become “shapes” or embodied worldviews, habits, ways of relating, automatic actions and non-action. What we embody becomes familiar, “normal,” and habitual, even “feels” right…even when what we embody may not match up with our values or vision. Then, what we embody connects to our identity and how we see ourselves" (online, Generative Somatics).

Adesola is a good person to talk to about somatic practice if you want to know more...

Monday, 2 March 2015

Week 3 - time flies - sites for catching up with the news

I will be swinging along the blogs today and tomorrow - I know from a few visits that people have some great posts up.

I was just looking at the Women of the World Festival at the South Bank Centre in London to check out events - okay a bit late... but it does show some of the trends/issues being discussed now.

I also often read the news - mainly online - to give me ideas - and I know some of the rest of you do as well.

I also look at some of the american news

What are some other good news sites that are good to look at?