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, 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)
or
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
Adesola
:) 

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.

Adesola
:)

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

Ambiguity
Assumptions
Analysis

Ambiguity
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.

Assumptions
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.

Analysis
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:


  

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

Ambiguity
Assumptions
Analysis

Ambiguity
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.

Assumptions
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.

Analysis
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:


  

Sunday, 2 October 2016

The process and an artifact

An great Artifact from a former students that outlines Module 2 & Module 3

Developing Lines of Inquiry _ Friday 7th

On Friday October 7th at 8pm (time in London) we are having a Module 2 group skype
{of course anyone else is welcome as talking about Module 2 might be useful for someone starting Module 3 or someone wondering where the yare going as they start module 1}
Also remember the First Tuesday Group Chat on Oct 4th 10am or 7pm see the post below this one for more details.

We will be talking about Developing Lines of Inquiry: This is about how as you start Module 2 you need to have a field or topic, or question you are interested in finding out more about. This will become the field or topic or question you will find out more about through your inquiry activity in Module 3. It is not about finding the perfect question in order to find the perfect answer. It is much more loose than that. You need to have a general idea about the area you want to develop so that you can begin the rest of the activity in the Module 2 – designing a research inquiry.

How do you find the field or topic or question? Well in Module 1 you looked at what and how you have learnt over the start of your Professional Practice as you have emerged into your practice from formal compulsory education. The journey to your practice is unique and for many there have been surprises along the way and for others there has been a realisation what you trained for at school and what you want to do as your professional practice/career do not match up completely. All these shifts towards finding where your passion is career-wise have come from the experience of starting into your practice. Therefore, there may very well be areas you wish you had learnt more about, classes you didn’t think important back then but are relevant to you now, or classes you were not offered but would value now. In other words, areas, fields of practice or questions you have come across as part of the development of your career but that you want to learn more about. This course is your chance.

But it is not about turning a new corner completely (maybe you’ve always fancied being a skydiver) it is about filling the ‘hole’ that already exist for you. For instance Mary did musical theatre training and now having left college she is singing professionally but she has been getting jobs and find a passion for singing Jazz. When in the studio people are talking about Jazz singers and jazz references she does not know what they are talking about. She can smile and join in the conversation to some extent and these conversations don’t affect the fact she is doing well with her Jazz singing. But she wants to find out more about the background of Jazz singing. She wants to better understand the songs she is singing. So her area is going to be looking into the history of contemporary Jazz singing in UK. She’s got an area its big at the moment but as she works through Module 2 she will refine the area down to a plan for finding out more. Making the plan will help her get clearer on what she wants to know more about. At the moment it is just everything but she knows she need to have informed questions about Jazz in order to find the area she doesn’t know exist yet. So the research she will be doing to plan the inquiry will help her better understand what she doesn’t quite know yet.  

When we have the group skype on Friday we will be talking about Lines of Inquiry. Please indicate in the comments below if you can to join the chat. Also please add a line or two about what you have been thinking about as your line of inquiry. Have a look at each other ideas so we can also share ideas so you can come to the chat we some thoughts about other people’s ideas too. If you can’t come to the chat please still put in a comment on what ideas for inquiry you have been playing with. Then we can al talk about the ideas people have and strategies for developing them.

Looking forward to reading your comments

Adesola