If life is what happens to our plans, then dance is what happens to our steps.
ideas sometimes when you wait they come to you.
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Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Feedback you Module Two submissions

Just a note to think about: You are asked to start Module Three by sending a response to your feedback from Module Two. You need to send your Advisor, your inquiry plan with where you have changed or developed things as a response to your feedback highlighted (maybe in red type). Then the paragraph that is your response to feedback would be at the beginning and indicate the pages where you had made changes that demonstrated your thinking about and developing-on from the feedback . 

The paragraph is not just so you say you know you were ‘wrong’ or something like that!!! It is about what the feedback has made you think and where you are developing the inquiry process in response. This is part of the inquiry already because it is about how you think more deeply about the inquiry and therefore the topic. 

The goal is getting to know the questions, finding the depth in them not having something perfect. There is no 'perfect' in a moving interactive approach to the lived experience. 


Sunday, 12 February 2017

Discussion, literature and getting started

Monday 13th  is the start of our 12 week term at BAPP. Last week we had some discussion group skype chats and generally got back into our Inquiring Selves. We had two Coffee shop Discussion Group chats.

On Monday 6th in the morning we discussed connecting ideas and mapping how things fit into a bigger picture .

On Tuesday 7th in the afternoon we discussed getting started, scheduling and library access.
Across both discussion the idea of Literature Reviews came up again and again.

I have noticed in the past that people start talking about the start of the module as if it was the start of a treasure hunt. As if  you are looking for clues for things you have to find to be told what to write so you can pass. People have talked about the module as if they were on their own having to invent or forage for any information they can get to know what the key is to passing.

For instance often people reflect by saying “I came across an article by Gill Jones that said…” = this gives the impression you happen to find something.
Instead this should read “Gill Jones (2009) suggests that…” = you did the research and you know what you are talking about.

You don’t need to invent answers or hunt for someone who can tell you what to think so you can write it down and pass. Many people before you have thought about similar subjects. They have thought about things, raised questions, explored ways to look at the subject and mapped how their thinking fits with other people who have done the same thing. It is not about the luck of ‘coming across’ something it is about looking up key words and seeing what people have said or choreographed or created in order to better understand your own experiences. So not looking for articles that say what you think already BUT looking at what people have said about a topic that is new to you that expands your understanding of it. In other words it’s not a treasure hunt for evidence you are right about something. It is an inquiry into how what you have thought and experienced fits with other people’s thoughts and experiences.  That is a literature review.

A literature review gives context to an idea because you look at many peoples ‘take’ on the idea.
It can help you connect ideas in new ways seeing how other people have made connections. It can give you structure helping you find out the areas within a topic that other people have noticed or organised into.
It can help you challenge your assumptions.
 It gives you a range of perspectives, so it is not just the loudest voice is right. Or the highest hit on Google is the authority on something.
It is about you having considered knowledge about things because you have thought about a lot of other people’s ideas in relation to your own.

Also think about this: just because it is the first time you have heard something does not mean it is the first time it has been told to you. Someone with the answer is not always someone amazingly wise, often it is someone who told you something at the right moment for you to hear it. So it is not just about what people say it is about how meaningful you allow it to be.

Getting started back into things, connecting with people, and many of the other points we discussed we talked about all seemed to be about looking beyond your panic for the loudest voice to tell you what to do to get 100%. Instead this is about respectfully listening and contributing to debate. Start looking at the MDX library on-line where you can use Summon to explore journals and books. Visit each others blog and start discussions there. Not “can anyone tell me how to start Module Two?” but “I just finished reading Jenny Gladsons’s book (Maths in the Magic of Dance, 2017)  about dancers in North Carolina who have used dance to develop a math curriculum for Kindergarteners, I had not thought about how closely dance and maths are linked. I am interested in other people’s experiences with arts in school?...”

Other people have posts about our discussions on Monday and Tuesday. Have a look at their  links. Have a look at what they say and please leave comments on the post you read. Please comment here too.

Please leave a message on these comments with a book or choreography that you have found interesting as you are studing and say why.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Starting back: Skype Discussion Group meeting

We are getting ready to start back February 13th.
If you are about to start Module two or Three you will be receiving feedback on the Module you just completed that week also.

Meanwhile we are having our first 'Tuesday' of the month Coffee shop discussion group skype meetings this week. Just to be different our 'First Tuesday' meetings will be on the first MONDAY of the month!!! at 11am (time in London) and first TUESDAY of the month at 7pm (time in London) this year.

Monday 6th we have a meeting at 11am


Tuesday 7th we have a meeting at 7pm

Please let us know which one you will be attending by commenting below. In order to prepare for the meeting think about something you would like to discuss or share. 

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on getting started and what you have been up-to in your study over the winter break..


Sunday, 18 December 2016

Going into the Holiday Break

Happy Holidays

Rest: My computer needs a healing !!  so it will be out of action for a couple of days.

Feedback: if you are waiting for me to respond to an email - write to me again, because I don't realize you are waiting. I feel like I have double checked everyone and have answered everyone. So I may have missed the email.

Talk: if you have quick question or want to have a quick de-freak-out feel free to skype me.


Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Quick up-date

The University has let us know UniHub will be down for a couple of days. Students who are due to submit on 6 January (that's us) will be unable to access UniHub on Mon 19 and Tues 20 December 2016.


Friday, 9 December 2016

Talking to people

On Tuesday we had some great conversations.
AM we talked about Module Two planning and Module Three reflection. We found it really helpful to try to concisely tell each other what we were doing. When you try to tell someone what you are doing you notice the parts where you waffle!! or don’t complete a sentence!! These could well be parts you yourself have not completely worked out your thoughts on or that you don’t yet understand.

We asked each other to repeat back what they thought they heard. Doing this you can see where you have been clear, where you are going on about something that is not important and what parts you are explaining well.

You have to have it straight in your own head before you try to write it down. For many people writing helps them sort out their thoughts. (For many other people going for a walk or having a bath or dancing or doing yoga helps them sort out their thoughts). Whatever you do to think things through and understand what you think! Is fine but if your way is to write that does not mean what you write is what you hand in. It is just a means for you to get things organised for yourself. Don’t get writing-to-organise-ideas mixed up with writing-a-reflection-on-something. The way to make sure you have written the reflection / work you are handing in is that you should be able to explain it in a couple of verbal sentences to a number of different people. You should be able to explain it to someone who doesn’t know anything about the BAPP course as well as to someone who knows all about it. These would be different explanations of course but it is good practice to make sure you really understand what you are trying to communicate in what you hand-in.

We talked about how what you hand-in is always about the process of the Module/term. In each Module it is about reflection on that module and discussing what you did, what you learnt and how it resonates with your general Professional Practice.

In the PM chat we talked about the same thing of explaining your process but in that chat we also talked about Module One. Module One work to hand-in is reflecting on the process of the Module and what you have learnt about yourself as a learner. It is not about proving you have read the hand-book! And just writing what the handbook says. The important part is what you think of it all.

As so often it was really good to talk to other people on the course.
Have a look at some blogs and leave comments.

What do you feel? Please comment below


Sunday, 4 December 2016

First Tuesday skype chat.

This Tuesday (December 6th) is a First Tuesday group chat. It is a great time to talk through your ideas, and talk to people in other places, and on other modules. This helps with some of the feeling people can have of isolation in a distance learning course.
We have two chats

AM : 10am (time in London)
PM: 7pm (time in  London)

For students who don't know me or have never joined a chat, it would be great to talk to you too. Comment below to indicate what chat you want to join. Also put something about what you will be talking about, what you have been thinking about, whats-going-on in your process.

Speak soon

Claiming You within your work...

I put up a blog post about presentation of work. It was meant to be funny but it might have seemed a bit harsh - sorry.

What I was saying was: As you are nearing the end of the module you are on, it is important to start to think about your work in a wider context. There is a lot of inner reflection thats part of the process of the modules and it is easy to start to see your work just from the perspective of your own inner reflective process of getting to where you are.

But what you are handing in is going to be read on its own terms - the person reading it does not know the process that got you to where you are to write what you hand-in. (We are not inside your head, don't leave it up to the reader to make sense of what you are handing-in).

So you need to make sure you have the wider context in your work this includes simple things like making sure your name and student number is clearly on your work. It also includes the way you introduce or begin your work. Start with an introduction that explains who you are and what it is we will be reading in the paper you are handing in. Do not assume the person who is reading your work knows all about you.

All this is about positioning yourself and having confidence in your work. The Professional Practice element of this course connects with how you present yourself and the confidence within which you do this. Just like at an audition - even if you know the directors really well you still do the audition as if they had never seem you before.

Here are some past blogs I have written about positioning of Self:



What do you feel? Please comment below.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Module Three tutorial

Our Module Three session on Friday was really useful. We talked about the three ways you are reporting on your inquiry.
Written essay
Professional artefact
Oral presentation

Each of these are forms for telling the whole story of your inquiry.
They all should include why you did it what you intended to do
What happened (the data)
What, what happened (the data) told you when you analysis it and triangulated with the literature and your own Professional practice experiences.
How it has impacted on your professional practice.

The artifact is not the result of the inquiry - The artifact is another way of saying what you say in the essay. It is just a professional artifact - 'a thing' that other professionals like yourself will engage with and understand.

Holly's inquiry has been about mapping how people get jobs in, get casted etc in the Musical Theatre industry - she is thinking of telling the story of her inquiry through designing a musical(thinking about lighting design to represent understanding, and staging to represent how things emerged and moving through the steps of the inquiry. 

Tim's inquiry has been about staying healthy on a cruise ship. She noticed her peers play a lot of video games in their spare time. He is retelling the inquiry through the levels of a video game where people can power up on healthy choices (like eating a good breakfast one of the themes that emerged), and loose power when they make bad choices (like not warming up properly - one of the themes that emerged in the inquiry).

We also talked about how important it is to be able to tell some succinctly what the how inquiry was about. If you find you end the story each time at the data being collected it means you have not yet analyzed  the data. You still need to do this. The end of the inquiry is not just organizing the data it is looking at what it tells you and why, from your point of view, from your professional practice.

Cassie is going to write more about the tutorial - http://cassievercoe.blogspot.co.uk/
So is Holly - www.Hollynancy.blogspot.co.uk

Have a look at what they thought also.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Module Three Skype tutorial

On Friday November 25th at 8pm we have a group skype tutorial for Module Three. We will be talking about the Artifact and Oral prez. Let me know if you will join in by writing in the comments below. You could also give a little up-date on where you are with thoughts on Module three so we can all be thinking about ideas to discuss and share when we have the tutorial.

Speak to you Friday


Sunday, 20 November 2016

Getting on with getting the first draft done.

Dear All
It is getting to week 9. That is 3/4 through the term. So whatever is happening its started. You need to move from a feeling of starting to a feeling of reflecting - critically reflecting on what has happened this term.

To help you do this you can get feedback from advisors (and each other on the blogs of course).
Please remember Paula and I want drafts in by November 27th at the latest to be able to give feedback to people.

Please remember the following as you work on your hand-in papers:

Module one - send a draft of your critical reflection:
It should be about you and your professional practice NOT something telling us what the module handbook was about !!! You are making a critical reflection of your practice using the lens of connection through reflection, social media and networks. Remember to include the theory in the handbook that means citing the theory in your essay.

Module two - you should be able to clearly bullet point what you are doing and why for your plan. It might be a good idea to bullet point the whole plan (before you write it up) so that you know you are not 'waffling' or 'preaching' but actually planning something with care reflection on the how you will do it and impact it will have on other people involved and your own practice. (I am happy to look at Bullet point outline before drafts if you want feedback on them first).
NB - Module Two's send your filled out ethics form and consent forms for feedback asap also. Well done Ben for getting yours all sorted already :)

Module Three - you should be able to explain your analysis process by now. Also you should have three to four published people /works that are relevant to your inquiry and make comment on the themes or mapping that have emerged during your inquiry. You should not have 'proved' anything or found the solution to anything. In just 12 weeks any solution to something worth the time of your inquiry would not be very deep. After all if you could 'solve' it in 12 weeks during your BA study what were all the professional people in your practice doing all this time?

When you send things for feedback make sure your name is on them!!! Yes, some people just send something called 'Reflective essay'!! Also send questions that you want us to look at.
For example "I have tried to show there are many different points of view about the use of chalk in the studio. Do you think this comes across or does it read more like I just talk about why we should use chalk?"
"I have cited Dewey a couple if times but I am not totally sure if I make it clear it is his theory on art as experience that I am referring to particularly".

Don't just send things off for your advisor to edit for you - make sure it is the best you can do and then the feedback will be valuable. If you send something you already know is too long - we will just tell you what you already know... it is too long!!

Be brave and get on with it.


Thursday, 27 October 2016

First Tuesday chat

We have our First Tuesday of the Month group chat on November 1st. These cross module chats are really helpful and inspiring. The whole course connects so it is great to hear from and connect with people on other modules or on you module in another place.

Am = 10am (time in London)
PM  = 7pm (time in London)
Let me know in the comments below which one you will join. Also put what you want to talk about or what you have been thinking about - what you want to discuss. Then we can be thinking about things before the chat.

Looking forward to it, speak to you Tuesday

Reflective Practitioner

Friday 28th at 8pm (in London)
We have a Module One group chat on Skype.

This will be looking at reflection and how this fits with your practice.
Please comment below if you are attending.


Monday, 10 October 2016

Module Two October 2016 session - inquiry is about finding more than one story and questioning your assumptions!

On Friday we had a Module Two session on SKYPE. We talked about three A’s


We were talking about the ‘finding a question’/’area of inquiry’ section of the module. This begins Module Two but it is not about finding a complete question or defined area. It is about finding a general direction. During Module two you are carving out an Inquiry Plan. The different tasks help you refine the general direction into an Inquiry plan BY THE END of the module. You are not expected to start the module by finding a completed question /inquiry. What would the rest of the module be about? You are carving out the plan and the first part is just deciding what it will be generally about (what it’s made of). Just like: if you were carving a sculpture you would need to start by deciding what material you will be using (what it is made of) – ice, wood, marble??? Then once you have the general shape of it then you carve at it bit by bit to make the final sculpture. At the beginning of Module Two all you are doing is finding the general material you will be working with. Through doing the task in Module Two and thinking and reading about the general direction you are going you will slowly carve away to make a final Inquiry plan by the end of the Module in December (January hand-in date).  

[Ambiguity = uncertainty, indistinctness.] It is ok for you to have some ambiguity around what exactly you are doing at this point. What you need to be able to do is describe in general terms what area you are looking at. This is quite hard because some people make the question/field too specific and others make it so general it would be impossible to research in 12 weeks.

So how do you find the middle ground. Look at your questions or statements about what you want to explore in your inquiry and ask yourself what assumptions you are making.

My question might be “what makes a good dancer?”
What assumptions are there here when I ask this question?
1)    That ‘good’ is the same for everyone. As if there was actually a good you could attain that everyone agreed is ‘good’.
2)    That we can define ‘dancer’.

When you look at it closely this question becomes so general it is practically impossible to research. (Especially in only the 12 weeks of Module Three). Or if you think well I mean good = triple pirouettes, and dancer means ballet dancer age 20-30 years old working in USA or Europe. The question becomes “what makes a ballet dancer age 20-30 years old working in USA or Europe do triple pirouettes?” Now it is so specific it will be hard to find information just about this and do you really want to spend 12 weeks on it. Is it likely you’ll actually find out?

The spirit of the question is something about wanting to know about dancers, you and other people admire. The assumptions of ‘good’ & ‘dancer’ are part of the spirit of the question. You might realise you have a particular idea of what ‘good’ is and what a ‘dancer’ is. It is these assumptions that could be what your inquiry is about – you know what you think ‘good’ is so why not find out what other people think. Hearing what other people think might inform your ideas or offer you ideas about dance you had not thought about. Your question could be ‘How would people describe a good dancer.’ Or ‘what makes a dancer ‘good’ to you?’ Then you are naturally led to start to think about the inquiry tool you need. How will ask people question about what they think? You could interview a dancer who is working on a contract in West End, another dancer who is on a cruise ship, a dancer who is training, a dance teacher, a dancer who has retired. You are interested in what all these people say about your question to them. They are not going to answer your question because they are just giving their opinion but their ideas will help you better understand and challenge your own. It is better understanding what a good dancer is in your own terms that was the spirit of the original question.

I am saying you are not trying to find a question you can ask and then go find out the answer to. Like asking a question and what people say is the answer. It’s not a treasure hunt or a telemarketing exercise. You are going out to gather data to add to your own ideas and then you are going to analyse the data. By analysing it you consider what it is telling you not just the direct answers but how the answers happened and why. That is all part of the analysis too. You compare what people said to what people have written about and what you have experiences and then you discuss how your own ideas about the topic has changed since doing the Inquiry. So your question is not to ask and be answered, it is to asked for conversation to happen: for inquiry to happen.

I feel that if you look at your own assumptions you find the places you could find out more about because assumptions manifest when we have one story about something and don’t realise it is one story.  Finding out more is at the heart of Module Two and Three. Have a look at this video to think more about the danger of one story: