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.

Preparation for starting with BAPP

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Reflections on this week's campus sessions

Week 4: we had campus sessions this week. The idea of campus sessions is that the experience of the students at the campus session creates a ripple of ideas across the whole student community through students and advisors who attended blogging about the event and then thought he comment you post on their blogs and the questions you ask. Have a look at the blogs below for some of the summaries of the campus session on Module 1 and part of Module 3 then go to the blogs of the students who wrote the summaries for more in depth discussion of the experience.

Module 1ers at starting their reflection tasks and as I said in my last weekly blog all modules build on each other if you have ‘done’ module 1 you should still be practicing the things you learnt about using the tool (blogging), reflecting on your process in order to better understand what you are doing, and using / a being a constructive part of your networks.  

 We started the campus session on Reflection doing an exercise that got someone else to look at we do on a day-to-day basis. We were exploring the idea that in inquiry it is useful to attempt to see the familiar as unfamiliar’ that is look at things a new and notice how you can habitually ‘see’ things. It is also good to be open to ‘see the unfamiliar as familiar’ that is be open to explore ideas you had not considered a part of your ‘world’.  

Then we did an exercise where the doing of the exercise was more useful (taught us more) than the product of doing it. The was the process we learnt from. We summaries this as ‘Sometimes the activity is more useful than the story / content. This was appoint about keeping a reflective journal (THIS IS FOR EVERYONE ON ALL MODULES). The actually activity of regularly keeping the reflective journal is useful in itself, even if it appears that you have little to say. When you look back at what you wrote / thought you might find there is more that you noticed. This took us to the idea of noticing.   

I believe we notice what we value. As you progress through the course your values might change / widen/ shift you will notice new things in the things you thought and wrote. But you need to have the documented what you thought in order to see the progression you have made. We also made the point that as you doing something you get beyond the initial ideas of it and push yourself beyond the first reaction to something. “You start to be able to think more outside of your box.”

Then we did an exercise that was difficult (this can be anything, we used the activity of balancing sticks on our finger tips). Then we look at how we engaged with learning how to do this. This related to Kolb’s Learning Cycle.

We pointed out we all engage with the cycle but it is at the point in the cycle that we notice we are learning something that we are in our comfort zone. Some people might know all about the plan of something but its not until they actually do it that it becomes meaningful.  Or someone might do something but when they see it they get it….


Putting all the exercises together you get the ideas. That reflection is about looking at thing a new (familiar / unfamiliar), this is supported by a practice of noticing how and when things become meaningful to you and start to be a part of a learning (adding to your knowledge) experience.

What do you think of this?
Students summarised it as;
Reflection – is important to learn from
Familiar as unfamiliar
Notices in order to reflect
Notice when you learn
Learning is knowledge that is to say it is applying knowledge – experience generates knowledge and reflection allows you to capture experiences in order to reflect on them.
Sometimes the action of doing contains more learning that the content it generates.
Notice mistakes too, reflecting on them is how you learn too. (Learn through mistakes)
Listening to other people is a useful way to look at what you think. You can compare how people respond to something with how you respond.
Sometimes you need ‘silence’ or a ‘stillness’ in yourself to allow yourself to observe (notice).

I think these ideas are important for everyone.

In the campus session for Module 2 we looked at Ethics. 2ers should be being the tasks linked to the Reader on Ethics (5a, 5b etc..) it is a good idea to get on with this. If you have a number of questions chose one so that you can use it to do the tasks. You might find that the tasks themselves help you think more deeply about the question. BUT do not get stuck finding the perfect question. This is an example of the activity giving you the learning experience (see above). We also talked about the idea that ethical dilemmas often manifest in controls, and power structures around the physical body. This is to do with individuals’ rights, recognising inequalities and ‘free will’. (This is to do with philosophical debate as the Reader mentions, look at Hobbes, and Kant I also find Foucault and Bourdieu interesting coming from an embodied perspective – as a dance artist for instance). Looking at your interests and questions through an ethical lens really helps you find a deeper understanding of what the questions mean to you and those around you.

We also had a campus session on Module 3 . (See Paula’s blog). We talked about effective writing, planning the remaining activities of your research so that you stay on task. Know when you want your first draft to be done by and if you want Advisor feedback when their cut off date to drafts to be sent. Each advisors deadline might be slightly different. We also talked about the artefacts.

We compared the role of artefacts with the role of the Critical Review. The Critical Review is a formal, structured, and traditional document. It shows the whole process. The Artefact is in a format is more in tune with your professional practice. Its likely to be some that is recognisable in your field of professional practice. Both the Artefact and the Critical Review respond to the Research Question. The Artefact is not an add-on to the critical review. The artefact should be the natural development of the inquiry.  So for example if your question is about the singing your Artefact might involve a sound track. Also think about this: when you go to tell someone about this work who is in the field you want to work in they are not going to be that into reading the critical review (I would guess) but when you show them the artefact they would be interest and see how much work you must have done – and how well you understood the question because of the form of artefact. So it’s not just a documentation it is the embodiment of the knowledge.

I thought about three kinds of Artefact or three facets of an artefact.
The “Stones on the edge of the well’. If your inquiry has been talking about a kind of experience or embodied action and your critical review is about it then it would be nice to experience it!!. Like if you theorize about the sounds different ways of dropping stones down a well, it would be nice to have a well and some stones.

“The ‘X’ itself”. This the thing that you have said is needed itself. If you have written that you found that artists need a press-pack then the artefact could be the press-pack itself. Or if it was about what a show reel should look like the show reel itself…or dance or song etc…

Lastly, a “kind of documentation in the style of….” This is a something shows the points you have raised in the style of the field it comes from (the more familiar form or mirroring the forms of things from that area). For instance a big colourful (children’s book style) book that documents the main process and points of a creative project in a school- which is what I made and is used as an example in the reader. It was to be read by parents and they are more familiar with children’s books in the school that ‘reports’.

What do you all think – people that were there…people that were not there?


  1. Thanks for this info Adesola. Always very useful to be able to refer to a summery of what was missed for those of us who were unable to attend the campus sessions.

    As you have mentioned, even though I have numerous questions still developing, by choosing one of them to answer the tasks will create more focussed thinking into the question itself. I am working my way through the reader as we speak, as a dance artist I am very interested in how you are explaning that ethnical debate can often manifest in controls around the physical body itsself.

    In terms of looking into the codes of practise in my professional community, would you be able to give any advice as to here to start here... I am finding breaking down considerations into the ethics that apply at the dance school I teach in extremely wide and open. Am I right in basing my views on my professionalism code, thinking in terms of the schools license to practise in the way it does and the organisation of it's members?


  2. HI Adesola,
    it's been a while since we have skyped and since then I have been 'reflecting' for Task 2. Thankyou so much for the updates on the Campus Session, I agree with Sophie- it is really important for those of us who can't attend to read about what we missed.
    The pointers have made me think more about 'noticing' how and when I learn. I really like the summary list from the students about how reflection turns into a meaning and then into further knowledge from a certain experience.
    I hadn't thought about 'listening to others' as a form of reflection before, but now I see this is a really important way as to how we subconsciously absorb information to form our own opinions and ideas.
    I am about to write up Task 2b, I hope I'm on the right track.

  3. Hi Adesola,

    Thanks for your comment on my blog, you've given me a lot to think about!

    Regarding the comments solution, if you go to my post:


    That should explain the tool I am using and how to use it. See what you think!

  4. Hi Adesola,

    In the beginning of the reader you ask us Have you ever said "I learnt that by experience"?

    Can we mention about having competition with other actors/directors for example.

    If I was to say I learnt that patience is a key thing in practise and not to let other people put you down would it be a correct answer to this question?

    Because at the minute that's the only thing that really jumps out in my practise from a year ago to present.

    :S student

  5. Yes, Lily those are examples of things you might feel you learnt from experiences. And within each one there a number of lessons learnt I would think.
    Good ideas

  6. Thankyou!! You are a born lifesaver!! Have a great weekend. X

  7. Good discussion feed. Thanks for blog on the campus sessions Adesola.

  8. A very useful blog, even myself who was there. Reading your summary was more effective than looking at the notes I made on the day! Although I still don't know what to produce for my Artefact.

  9. I've just read this blog again and I love the idea of the artefact not just being "a documentation" but being "an embodiment of the knowledge". It is a really useful concept for me.