Second day: Alan, Peter and I began with our presentation. We shared about the curriculum at BAPP and got some good feedback. A lot of people were really excited about the programme. The other paper that was presented with ours was a case study of a programme for Design students to work with companies to help create real products. It was very interesting.
After this I went to a seminar that looked at the role of ‘threshold concepts’. Ideas that completely change your point of view and mean you never go back to think the way you did before you absorbed the concept. During the talk about the paper we also talked about the ‘pedagogy of Ambiguity’ (the importance of confusion and NOT understanding to the process of constructing (understanding)). In the Arts particularly it is important for some peoples practise not to know what they will create but to set up a process by which creation will happen. For many learning is the same if you know what you are going to learn from the start how will you ever learn something new? If your way to recognising learning is to need it to be ‘clear’ ‘true’ &/or ‘right’ how do you ever understand about things you did not understand to begin with. It goes back to the words in the seminar the day before about ‘meaning, experience, and behaviour’ (see blog before this one). I want to find out more about the literature on both these ‘threshold concepts’ and ‘pedagogy of ambiguity’. I plan to do a literature search when I get back to London.
The other paper in this session was about a programme that used digital visual diaries. Some of the students work was shown and it was really lovely. The paper talked about using Story as a means to generate focus. Students had been asked to focus on a character (not necessarily human) and an environment. The Character becomes a vehicle for exploring identity and the environment augments this by developing a sense of place and interaction.
This was followed by the last Keynote who had been doing neuroscience and cognitive science with Wayne McGregor and his dancers. This was followed by lunch and the last session of the conference.
I went to a session with a paper about how people in different practises invariably think their practise is the most enlightened, or wonderful or has unique powers to change the world and that this goes hand in hand with thinking other practises are slightly inferior. This paper was saying that in fact there are more commonalities between practises than we think and it is the small differences with a field of practise that can be bigger. This was likened to post colonial theory that talks about the ‘other’ and how the ‘other’ shaped by ‘us’. The second paper talked about the changing status of the Arts in University settings. Both papers were talking about looking beyond your practise to understand the context you work in. During the second paper the presenter said
“You may think you are on the verge of something revolutionary, but it is only within your own group”.
The conference ended.
What do you think of all of this?