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

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Literature & NOT getting the answer (One & Three)

On Tuesday we had Skype discussions with a Module Three focus. We talked about a number of things. Those attending will be posting significant moments or ideas on their blogs so have a read around the community. 

Overall, we discussed interviews and similar data collection tools. Some people are doing surveys. However, I would say due to the small numbers of respondent and the spaces for people to explain their ideas that people reported they are making in their surveys - they are really more like web-based interviews. The questions and topics are not ones where the number of people thinking X is important. This is because you are trying to find out more about something (X) - Not trying to find what to think. And why would you just automatically think the same as the largest number of people anyway!! So, we confirmed that hearing what people thought was important to nearly everyone’s inquiry in Module Three: it is not about numbers (quantitative data) it is about the quality and depth of understanding (qualitative data).

But then people were worried about getting the 'right' data. The interviews (data) are not the answer. You are not going to people to piece together an answer for your inquiry. You have to question and analyse the data - you are using to ask why does someone say that, how they said, is it what the literature said, what perspective does what they are saying come from. 
And where are 'you' in all this. You can't be invisible, non-bias, it’s your inquiry every choice you have made is 'bias'. it is not about disappearing and leaving it up to your participants to sort out for you through their answers. It is about being aware and reflective on your own presence in the research. How were you during the interview, did the weather affect you and how you spoke? Why did people say what they said and what response did you have and why that response? What did they challenge in your own assumptions. If it was exactly what you expected why?? 

In the PM chat we said it is like pieces of a puzzle (or adding spices to a pot) each bit of the inquiry - you, participants, literature, reflective journal - all add and mix together so you can discuss the topic with more knowledge at the end of the module than you could at the start.

We also pointed out that the literature is not to find someone to tell you the 'truth' or the 'history' of something. It is a 'truth' or a 'history' and there will be different versions. You are looking at the literature to find out what other people think. This is to use the literature to inform and question your own thinking. 

Points we made at the end of the discussion were:
  • Its about interpretation
  • Not looking for the answer in the interviews - looking for new why questions? 
  • its like a jigsaw puzzle
  • You can/have to be part of the picture 
  • Don't restrict yourself with the literature explore further afield - don't just have one source  
  • Us the literature to inform what you ask or look for in the data collection process.
  • All you are doing now is part of the inquiry - it’s not clean and simple "I go out and ask questions and get the answer". It is messy full of questions and changes and thinking/feeling - because you are trying to find out something new to you. 

Skypes with a Module One focus were on Monday. We asked Module three in the Tuesday discussions to write something useful or significant about Module One in the comments below on this post. If you are a Module Three and were not at the discussion you can still writing something in the comments below too – a gift to Module Ones…


  1. Module 1. My biggest impact from this module was learning how to keep a reflective diary. At first i thought how can this help me? After a few weeks it became part of my daily routine. Have a play with the different ways of doing a reflective journal, stick at it. Sooner or later you will be able to see the progress made and be able to reflect on your work.

  2. A gift to module one-

    Think of your practice as a 'thing' this quote from module one was the switch point for me in the first module. Thinking of it like that helped gain a deeper connection with the course and my practice.

    Remember to trust & ENJOY the process and your intention behind doing it- no doubt to better yourself as a professional.

  3. Message to Module 1:
    This course may seem overwhelming. I think at the end of the day, the important thing to remember is that what you are studying is something you're interested in and passionate about.

    If the work in the modules ever seems overwhelming, and organisation and time management gets difficult - interlinking what you are currently doing in your practice (i.e. workshops, auditions, creative projects, filming etc) with the course work (e.g. blogs, tasks) then it will be a lot easier AND relevant.

    Feel free to get my email from your tutors and email / comment on my blog with ANY questions.

    Eleanor M3

  4. As a module 2 I found this incredibly helpful in understanding how to approach and shape the topic for my inquiry! Thank you.

    I also have some advice for module 1s - something I'd go back and tell my self if I could!

    Always remember that this module is about you, your practice and what you already know. It's time to learn from experience, question and reflect what you already do! But make sure you don't just look internally, engage with the readers in the handbook and with the theories and ideas discussed - see if they help you see your practice from a different perspective or whether they introduce completely new concepts for you. Question - reflect - explore - discuss! :)

  5. Thanks for this Adesola.
    Last Thursday I did my first interview and considering your post above has really reminded me how important it is not take the findings as the truth. I am trying to keep asking more and more questions about the answers.
    For Module 1 students I would say this theme of asking questions is the most important part of the course. If you have an opinion ask yourself why you hold that opinion and view your colleagues and other professional networks in the same way. Never just settle for something, because until you explore all the reasons you will not see all the possible lines of inquiry there are to follow. Do get in touch and follow my blog if you want any advice!