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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Thursday, 26 April 2012

Feedback


This week is a short post because I think last weeks post left a lot to chew over. I have been doing some self-reflection because that is what we are asking you to do. Yoga class is a great place to think about ego. (I am a pragmatist believe everything is connected) but one teacher talked about thinking of oneself as be made of three parts: body, ego and breath, which is interesting. In yoga I butt up against ego in terms of body and breath and it helps me think about it. I was thinking about it because sometimes it feels as if there is a bit of a battle between me and the advisee and I wonder if my ego is getting involved.  I have to make sure I am not just saying things because that’s the way I would do it. But at the same time my role is kinda to know some established ways of doing things. It is a delicate balance to keep between suggesting something rather than instructing someone they have to do it, but also in a way so they notice you are suggesting it.  It gets back to the relationship on this course between us all. It is one where the student is not sitting at the feet of the teacher but is empowered to go out pull information to them – this is a connectivism model: acknowledging how the internet has changed the dynamic of teaching by having some much information available. BUT information is not knowledge what we as advisors are trying to help you with is two things:
Looking at the quality and validity of the information
Using the information so it becomes knowledge.

It is here that the clash (that could be ego) happens because here we come across points when we feel we all ‘know’ something. And knowing something is an important feeling because it anchors us down. But 'knowing more' is not a threat – of course it changes what you know and change is scary. In these last few weeks of term there is a hanging on to things because there is so much to do and you are so busy. But in fact this is the time when things might change as you write them up, as you discuss them and there is nothing wrong with saying I thought this and as I started to put it into my reflection or plan or review I realised that…. You do not have to fight your corner and hang on to stuff. You are just asked to honestly evaluate and reflect. If you can explain it and give a good reason for it, than that is more than half of what we expect. Comments and feedback will shift things and change things for you and you will need a moment re-group. But it is not about ego, it is about the disarming, amazing experience of learning.

My advice is to get your work to best possible place before you send it for feedback. This is a much more daring thing to do than anything else because it means the feedback will shake what you have done because you have done your best so far. But then it can only get better with more exploration. If you send it knowing it is too long, or part of it is missing then you are taking the safe option of kinda controlling what your feedback will be because you already sort of know what you think you need to change (and you run the risk of only hearing the parts you already know.)

What do you think? How do you feel?
Adesola

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Details


Just did a piece of choreography with a Hip Hop Crew and they got me in “telling it how it is mode”!!!!! This week’s blog is all about the details. What ever module you are on please read all of this :)

11)    First, MODULE ONE please be assured we do not want you to write a critical reflection about how right we were to encourage you to learn more about Web 2.0. Really we are not asking you to reassure us we made a good decision in writing the module. It is not an exercise to make us feel good. WE really do want you to REFLECT CRITCALLY ON YOUR PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE using the experience of doing the module to inform how your thinking on your current and past professional experiences. Don’t just tell the story of the each module –“ web 2.0 is very useful.” Why in terms of your experiences, Is it really? How have you used it and has this changed? Also see    


Positioning of Self  16 October 2010


hhttp://www.adesolaa.blogspot.com/2010/10/positioning-of-self.html

22)    Read my post about ways to order what you write using a timeline can make it really hard to really reflect on something and makes it more like just a re-telling of an activity. also see 


Assessment portfolio 21 November 2010

http://adesolaa.blogspot.com/2010/11/assessment-portfolio.html


33)    Think of the blogs of students and advisors as a mine of information you can read what has been said about a module over the past three years. Three years of information and ideas about the very thing you are doing. Take the time to research the blogs themselves see how other people approached the assessment work. Why re-invent the wheel, make the same ‘mistakes’ someone has already made for you.

44)    The hand-in date is May 14th now don’t ask me again!!!!!!


55)    When you send work in for feedback you will not be told this is ‘right’ and this is ‘wrong’. There is not ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, there is make a well-articulated critical reflection about something. The feedback from your adviser will consist of questions aimed at making you think further, or comments that hope to stimulate you to work further on your ideas. The more comments the more great ideas to develop you have. Don’t wait for us to say that’s ‘right’ because we don’t think that is very helpful to you. Who would want to condemn someone to being at the end of their learning journey in life? The exciting part is that there is always more.

66)    Read my recent post on citations, PLEASE. Citations are a vital part of the paper because they tell the Reader how to link what is being said to the rest of the world (sort of). You have to get your head around them and follow the way you are meant to use them. 

Citations Jan 27th 2012

http://www.adesolaa.blogspot.com/2012/01/citations.html

77)    OK NOW LISTEN: having data is not the end result of the research process. It’s like going to the shops and coming back with flour, eggs, and sugar and a candle and saying you’ve got a birthday cake! Data is like the ingredients but the skill (and how you show you understand) something is WHAT YOU DO WITH IT.

DATA IS NOT EVIDENCE TO PROVE YOU WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG.

It is something you use to better understand a situation.  MODULE TWOS as part of your plan you have to say what you will do with the information you gather in your interviews/ observations/ questionnaires. You could compare what you find to the literature – that is the basic analytical process.  You could compare it to your own historical / biographical experiences.   But the goal is not to have a volume of things people told you that you can pick through to prove a point you want to make. YOU HAVE TO EMBRACE WONDER.
MODULE THREES – great you’ve got data now don’t just basically tell us what it is as if we should have been at the interview too and you are having to tell us what happened. If that is all you do I could just as well as done it myself.  You are bring your unique experience and the literature you have read to the data, so you can share with us the wonder you found there , the way you found meaning (often by noticing themes), the things that surprised you, how you got meaning from the surprises. Also see   


Why research analysis is so important; it's not all data collection!  24 September 2009  http://www.adesolaa.blogspot.com/2009/09/why-research-analysis-is-so-important.html



88)    MODULE THREES – the time has come to think about and create your   artifacts. This is a thing that embodied the research experience, that allows you to express ideas and event without being limited to words. I know there is a work count max. but that is more to guild you towards the importance of the artefact. (Traditionally in universities the word count sort of indicates how much time to spend on something.) To make your artefact a word document that summaries the longer critical report you created is “kinda lame right”? It’s basically the same thing but shorter. Celebrate the embodied being you are not a head full of words. YOU KNOW THINGS outside the computer key board use you whole self.

99)    For those who have read my past blogs !!!! this may seem like I am repeating myself.  Imagine you are holding an audition and fifty people send you a file called “C.V.”

First problem:  You lift the file from the email of an auditionee and put it on your desktop say, great. The you do that again but the next file call “C.V.” replaces the first one or you have to spend time re-naming one of them. 

Second problem: imagine you some how got then to be all together in a folder maybe some ate call C.V. and others “C.V. for audition” etc… then when you look at them you do not know whose C.V. it is unless you open each one. 

I have literally been close to deleting a person’s application just because I was so exhausted and would have had to open the document. If you have 75 people already you think “I’m sure I can find someone from the people I already have.”

So my point is that you need to send files to people FOR THEM. The file name needs to help them know what it is NOT HELP YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS. If you are calling the file CV it because on your computer you have a number of things and you want to find your CV. It is named for you. But sending it out CV is what everyone else is sending too. Naming the file for the person who receives it means putting information on it you know already. You name it  “A. Akinleye CV”.

Likewise I have 20 people sending me a file called “critical review” !!!!! Great for your computer there is only one “critical review” but I now have 20 of them. I have to open and rename them so I don’t get them mixed–up.  Sending for the person who receives means thinking about their experience of you. Particularly, in an audition process as some many of us work in you want the experience to mean you are easy to find, notice, and clear and not giving them more work.  If I was going to give someone a job I want someone who will do the job not someone where I have to work first just to find out if I should hire them or not! Get it.

OK, talk to us, blog, email. What do you think of all this? Add some other tips in comments please. You can do it

Adesola



Thursday, 12 April 2012

Time

Time is rushing by. It just seems like yesterday I wrote the last blog. I have been in a weird flux where there are lots of things in my head and I know I have things to do but completely lack the energy to do them! Sometimes I think you have to trust yourself: that you are working through things even if it seems like you are doing unconventional things (like watching every episode of Glee in my case!!). Having a timetable of the term acts as a safety net because them you can make sure you don’t get behind while allowing yourself time to just brood on things. I wonder if you are feeling the same? Its kind of still Easter Break so I hope you have given yourself a bit of thinking time. A bit of a short post today.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Finding a focus

This week I spoke to a student in module two about the size of the project you are being asked to plan. I used a dance class metaphor that might be helpful for others: The topic area of your inquiry is like a dance class. You decide what field / area/ genre you are going to be exploring. This is like you deciding if you are going to be in a ballet class, a tango class, a hip-hop class that tells you the context of what you are doing, (ie an inquiry in the field of curriculum development for stage schools, or funding cuts in dance or marketing a small business). So now you know the topic the class type in terms of the metaphor. But your inquiry is not the whole class. The inquiry is to find one exercise in the class to focus on and really look into.

So in my area of a ballet class my inquiry is to look really carefully at how I do my tendues. I look at this really closely and carefully within the context of the whole class but I do not try to take on looking really closely at all the exercises in the whole class its too much at one time. It is important to do one thing really well and with real care and that will inform, support and connect to a bigger picture. So you are looking at your field of inquiry and finding something you really want to know more about. Not looking at the whole field as a site for proving things you already know. In terms of the metaphor you are deciding the type of environment / type of dance class you but then you are focusing down to look at a particular thing / one exercise to really work at.

Does that metaphor work for you?

Well, I hope everyone is having a good Easter Break

Adesola