Elective Sharing Task : Reflections

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Brief reflections on Elective Sharing Task unit…!

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> On Derrick Bell “Reflections on Critical Race Theory”

https://youtu.be/iG80P-pWoKg

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How we can instill a culture of mutuality between students and tutor  in order to nurture a culture of pluralism in the classroom?

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Listening more? Discussing and challenging our roles, our knowledges, our cultures, our perspectives on diversity and inclusion. We could have more Q&As with students and tutors (and tutors and management) to openly discuss aspects of pluralism and what we see is working, what is missing, how all this affects us. This is in order to build-up a participation and not-hierarchical based system to uphold co-existences of values, identifying steps to take further together for a more diverse education setting that could then be an example for industry and society in its wider context. So, more and more discussions, debates, respectful exchanges of opinions.

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Boundary objects and beyond

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Can this book be an example of a boundary object in its own right?

How can this notion (a boundary object) change the way u might use written material as a ‘teacher’?

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I think we could consider this book as example of knowledge to adapt to different needs, reflections, and experiences of the readers. I haven’t read the whole book, but for what I have seen there is an input of a less structured work that questions the common analysis crossing social and professional standards. There is a feel of intersection of social world, so yes, the piece itself could underline the very concept of a boundary object.

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Opening randomly the book, I stayed on reflecting on Chapter 04 “Anticipation of Work“ with also its “Simplification of Work” section. I find inspiring the scientific strategy of “breaking problems”, “simplyfying the amount of data or information”, “de- and re-contextualising the work”, “defining the saturation”, “limiting our theorizing”, “constraining our representations”… in learning&teaching, we can use this to adapt to ways of production development of making, maybe shaping a resource for students to input on, review together, and balance out during the year in connection to deadlines, briefs, etc. It gives bullet-points to be reused and mixed.

And the flow of “Anticipation of Work” also calls how we can co-create and hack the planning and designing of the curriculum. “The relations between pieces of problems”; “the material and political elements of the situation”; “the technical and theoretical elements of the situation”; “the nature of the reconciliations: what was ceded? What was left on the table?”; “temporality”.

– – – – – – – – –  – -> and, in connection to what we are reflecting on pluralism in higher education and society, perhaps here there is something that can be bridged in terms of discussion and reflection on it, on our approach and questioning, on our reflections, on our institutional given day-to-day flow: all ready to be challenged and divided in smaller data to be analysed to potentially develop in different directions with values and visions of inclusion and diversity.

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Wellcome Trust “Once More with Feeling” Workshop

< Extra Artistic Development. Follow-up of the Object-Based activity on Learning&Teaching unit + a follow-up from my Artefact for the Inclusive Learning unit.  Creating an artwork online&live during a neurodiversity workshop at Wellcome Trust. The piece has somehow brought the two Units’ inputs together, creating a new artistic output and reflection that I can surely develop further. As well as being part of my creative practice, I thought to add it to the course-blog as an extra development of artistic research and practice in inclusive learning.>

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//This is a live blog-post activity, happening remotely during a workshop lead by Natasha Trotman at Wellcome Trust in London. Connecting here as part of the development of reflective thinking in Inclusive Design, that I can consider for further critical thinking in relation to Inclusive Learning and Research on Neurodiversity. The post is shared live as part of the development in the day.//

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Day: Friday 18th May

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10:40

My object for this session is related to something I have started to investigate during some of my academic research at the PgCert in Academic Studies at UAL. So, in terms of images and definition of object (+ primary activity and feedback) please see here: http://lucam.myblog.arts.ac.uk/2018/03/30/micro-teaching-session-reflections/

During this workshop with Natasha (and Wellcome) I would like to reflect further on the object (my diary, with its patterns of thinking and emotional balances) and use this experience as part of my academic development for the course too. In this workshop I am keen to relate to areas of my aspie experience especially in relation to hyperacusis which is something I am struggling with at the moment. So, I would take this workshop to reflect (with auto-ethnography) on this for the duration of the day, hopefully creating a visual output.

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11:15

Following from the previous Object-Based activity, here I am then considering the evaluation and conclusion, and taking the process further.

With hyperacusis (and severe tinnitus at the moment), all the different categories of time, reflection, thoughts get mixed-up. As a visual response to that, here I try to put the images as a selection of the pages/mind-flows present in the object, in the mind, but with the key element of disruption and disorder that hyperacusis brings. Somehow the different stages of thoughts are cross-connected and even mixed-up.

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12:00

…becoming a mix of data and info (both external and internal) … hyperacusis brings an atmosphere that makes overwhelming to decipher information, causing overload. So, the “clearer” and structured perception and mental processing become hard to analyze and to balance.

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14:24

…when the overload builds-up then the sensation is a repetitive matter, that:

  • scales down —–> multiplies —–>

  • reshapes —–> turns —–> scales down —–>

  • multiplies —–> disrupts itself —–>

  • disrupts itself —–> segments itself —–>

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15:16

And so here I finally develop the end-piece for the workshop:

 

 

Reading : Nixon “Public Education” – Reflections

Coding – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Social control? – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Or upholding transformations, changes, experimentations? – – – – – – – – – – – – – – In a flow of democratic thinking and the power of education. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – The masses vs the public – – – – – – – – – – – – – – techno and cultural challenges – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Agency for the many? – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Who are the many? – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Democratic voice online? – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Tension in shaping opinions? – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Are we allowing debate? – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Are we shaping risks to foundation of education? – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Are the masses, the many, in need of containment? – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Do we control it through sharing? – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Should we control it? – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Pluralism as an efficient element of transformations – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Educational flows in inclusivity vs exclusive/excluding – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Technology as “vocationalizing” narrator of educational present and future – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Experience vs knowledge – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Applied practices vs theories – – – – – – – – – – – – – – The tension of possibly opening to too many directions and not filling specialised specific view – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Self critical perspective – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Technological manners of public interventions and public sharing – – – – – – – – – – – – – – The moderation – – – – – – – – – – – – – – But who controls tech-learning? – – – – – – – – – – – – – – How do we reproduce experiences? – – – – – – – – – – – – – – The balance between technological related innovation/thinking and human related everyday senses – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Pedagogy in the adaptive path – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Decoding

Micro-Teaching Session : Reflections

Micro-Teaching Activity

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Overview

This was a ten minutes learning activity based around an object chosen by myself. Micro-teaching is something I have already explored with workshops (usually one-day sessions) especially in the arts&culture/gallery setting, working with artworks in the collection to then explore concepts, methodologies and responses further. I have previously worked with children and young people specifically using this methodology, so I found it very interesting to work with a different audience during this task, also focusing on a potentially more open outcome, and also having only 10 minutes!!! (Although it became 15 minutes in order to allow a post-activity chat!)

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Chosen Object

I have used my own notebook-diary as an object. I wanted to open an interaction with it as for me this object is about a collection of time, space, reflection, thoughts, doubts. I also wanted to reflect on the fact that a notebook is a generic object that yet becomes so intertwined with our own identity once we start inputting into it. And so, allowing the focus on my own notebook, I wanted to test if and how some aspects of my identity (precisely some of my Asperger’s/autistic patterns) might come out of it for someone looking at my work diary for the first time, having access to its internal design within my scheduling of each day and week. At the same time, I also wanted to discover some wider considerations and self-reflections that the participants could have brought-up as their responses. I wanted to use this object as a prompt to open a discussion that a longer session could provide in more details, allowing a next step of learning development.

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Activity

I have developed the micro-teaching activity on Wednesday 14th March. I could not attend the micro-teaching sessions at UAL, so I have led this during a mind-mapping/planning/development workshop-day I was part of in a studio-lab in London. The space was informal and this framed a very flexible and open approach to learning. Participants were four colleagues working in the art gallery sector: two artists/designers, one education manager and one learning curator.

I have divided the activity in 2 parts:

(Part_1) five minutes of participants led observation

(Part_2) five minutes of exchange, discussion of “findings”, and note-writing

During Part_1 I have let the participants have an open interaction and investigation of the object. The notebook was first looked closed and kept in the same position on the table. The observation had a macro-angle, with participants looking at its position, angle, binding-closure. The object was then taken by one participants and passed between the others; they observed it keeping it closed for a very little time, but it was then opened and put back on the table. At first there was a quick look through, which then morphed into a detailed analysis of some of the pages…somehow a case-study focus was created, narrowing the observation to seven spread of two pages each specifically. You can can see the material below.

During Part_2, the participants discussed their observations and had an exchange of thoughts and comments. A high quantity of repetitive patterns jumped out to the attention of the participants straight away, as well as a tendency to structure thoughts and keywords into squares, cross-connecting with arrows, having a structured and yet an intense aesthetic that could create a feeling of chaos. Another aspect that was noted was the physical texture of the object; its physical identity was also discussed, creating a parallel with the digital diaries most of the participants currently use.

While chatting, they also wrote down their quick responses into post-its. The post-its were actually taken from my notebook-diary itself, because I constantly use them for thinking and reflecting and they could be found in a pocket inserted at the end of the notebook. Following are some images of Part_02 dynamics + also the written the comments.

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Learning from Activity

After the ten minutes activity, five more minutes were taken by the participants to ask me some questions in connection to their observations. During the ten minutes activity I wanted to leave the participants complete freedom into their interpretation of the object, and so I did not give them any clues and/or specific directions for analysis. But at this point I was finally able to exchange with them too; as an informal chat, the main two key aspects raised for a further conversation were:

Patterns: these are patterns that I mainly make daily to balance my autistic response to a space where I am working/teaching/learning. It is a way for me to filter surrounding data, sounds, and to relax and balance reflections.

Physicality and Texture: the physical aspect of the object is important for me, in its variety of sensory feelings. The texture produced by my drawn patterns builds-up a sense of safe environment, as well as something that I then use in my artistic developments. I often use these patterns and their texture as part of both physical and digital artworks I create.

So, with these brief questions and answers, we (as a group) were opening an input for further reflection/discussion on identity, on personal processing, on learning and neurodiversity, pedagogically connecting to inclusive learning too as a wider topic of observation. This was also connected to other things we were going to discuss during our studio-lab catch-up, so it was a good input for a non-pg-cert related professional commitment.

→ ((( One further feedback that I have found very inspiring for my own learning was about how each page can be extrapolated and become a new object. And actually, that is what happened during the session itself as the group decided to focus on a set of selected pages. I think that was a good step that the group took, but I am glad I did not select those pages myself. I think if I had selected that content in advance, I would have changed too much the possibilities that this activity gave to the participants to make their own choices; I would have limited the agency of the participants in taking that decision. In addition, it could have narrowed down the focus of the session a bit too much. )))

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Conclusion

It is fascinating to look at all the different levels and stages that can be present in only one object, and how much you can explore and widen-up from it.

The diary/notebook as an object allowed a good investigation and freedom of choice for the participants. I wanted to create a session that was in part shaped as participants-led (apart the first chosen object!) and I believe that was effective. When running object-based learning, I believe that the participants’ exploration, their own framing of a potential question and/or interpretation, their immersion in the object considering all potential directions is very important to empower the group. With this activity I wanted to focus on a methodology to allow observational skills, awareness and ability to find a voice in an object, participants-led discussion and exchange, critical analysis. I believe this was achieved in different ways and it gave me good inputs to reflect further into the topic.

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Reading : McPheeters “5000 Year Timeline of Learning Theories” – Reflections

Just some thoughts…

Although I found this very interesting and relevant in terms of structuring an overview of Learning within history (with a variety of methods that are present today in relation to a variety of ways of teaching and learning that I also use within my own practice), one part that really distracted me from the whole narrative and also primary reflection is related to something the author says at the the opening of the video itself: “…the US spends more on Education than on Defense”. Really?

The video-piece is from 2011, so I have looked into statistics of different years, and I am struggling to find a year where education in the US was funded more than Defense between 2009 and 2016. Will need to research more here, but I am quite surprised by the opening argument that the author does. And, whilst the historical framework of Learning is indeed very interesting, I am going back into thinking about the Education Systems, about Politics affecting the future of Schools (from primary to secondary), Universities, etc. Not only the US,  but also expanding and taking the input from yesterday’s comments of Theresa May UK Universities, describing them as one of the most expensive university system in the world and how people should consider other ways of learning and growing professionally. I mean, I agree that there are different ways of learning outside of university, but I also think: how can Theresa May talk critically about UK Universities being one of the most expensive in the world, when it is actually her Conservative party with Cameron that put up the students’ fees of 3 times?” I am probably going out of topic in relation to the reading/viewing we had to do (or probably not, maybe I am straight to the point) but how can we talk about learning methods and educational approaches without considering the bigger contextual picture? In history, socioeconomic reasons have shaped the way of learning and teaching too; it is theoretically  important to connect the flow of learning methods and how successfull they might be in connection to how we learn differently, but also what the society wants from the “learning”. Is it individual learning, or is it a public open learning for all?

Then yes, as the video recalls, technology comes now to the table too, allowing a different level of engagement and interaction. But that is a new method…only a method, not a new philosophy for learning. The philosophy of learning has a bigger system to consider and/or to be considered upon.

…just some thoughts.

 

 

Reading List : Vilhauer “Understanding Art: The Play of Work and Spectator” – Reflections

Some thoughts:

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Play as a way of interconnecting participants into an engaging dynamic.

Play as a movement that you cannot create by yourself.

Play as a mean to determine the goal.

Play as a mental state for surpassing obstacles.

Play as instinctive and rational.

Play as structure.

Play as role generating machine.

Play as an experience to show.

Play as an entity to see.

Play as participation.

Play as a process.

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Reading List : Munday “The classroom – a problem or a mystery?” – Reflections

Below is a sketch of thoughts:

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There it is…

…a space…

…a room…

…an area for problem solving.

A pro-active way of discussing between tutors and students, students and students, tutors and tutors. But is it so clear what the problem might be? Is it so clear what the project is going to say? And is it so clear what dynamics are we bringing into the space without even knowing – and how are those dynamics affecting the questions and answers in the first place?

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Observing…

…reflecting from the back…

…leaving freedom to peer-perfomance…

…seeing dynamics that we usually do not see…

…analyzing those dynamics as a tool for learning and teaching.

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Quick First Thoughts and Response – D1

This is just a primary quick thought and response to the dynamic experience and practice of students/tutors taking part in the PgCert.

Somehow the first day (at school, at university, in a job, etc) has always that common challenging aspect of testing the ground, trying to get to know the micro whilst still balancing primary observations on the macro. For me, it already showed an interesting dynamic of exchanges from the variety of styles of the presentations to the small-groups conversations and reflections. It felt a diverse group in terms of backgrounds and voices, and I believe/hope that this diversity will bring some good developments, exchanges and positive conflict discussions during the course.

It left me a feeling that I would like to know more about the others’ practices, and would like to discuss more already – from primary brief conversations on positive conflict and art-crits to the politics of the institutions and what role we play to challenge the whole system, etc.

Differently than other courses (or jobs) though, the second-day is in a month time, and not “tomorrow” or “next week”…so, there is quite of a bridge of time between this flow of individual learning and group exchange.  I wonder how that might influence my learning structure (that is usually more time and focus intense), and how the relation between the micro and the macro could translate for me. I am thinking about to what degree the individual experience (with reading, reflection…) is balanced with the group dynamic (with exchanges and discussions) and how a long stretched time might allow stronger and more effective discussions and debates. As key concepts of space and time in tutoring and lecturing and practicing as an academic came out during some of my exchanges with other peers (Y and S), and so I then find interesting to keep those two elements also as a parallel reflection on the structure of this unit itself. Not to evaluate it, but to reflect and learn from this very stretched way of undertaking a unit (which is great to balance work commitments by the way) and how that can create a particular way of learning. I wonder how much space and time we can give to it, and what kind of rhythm (aspect that also came out talking with Y and S) is then shaped as a consequence.

Anyway, just putting down a few fresh thoughts/reflections here. Above I have also quickly depicted the group-dynamic as a combination of words that could reflect the groups’ experience. I have also tiled it in order to give an option of mix and match, as I hope that will be the key aspect of our conversations and dynamic of learning.

Who I Am and Who Are My Students

Using Post-Its (which I use very often in my teaching and learning for mind-mapping exercises and concept development processes), here I have tried to answer and reflect on who I am as a teacher/practitioner and who my students are. With a 20 segmented areas I have created a primary layout. However this layout can be mixed around during the teaching and learning process, so the order is changeable in terms of the flow of conversations, considerations, reflections, approaches, practices.