9. Jennifer Warren – Schooling and Culture V2 issue 1

Jennifer Warren – Inclusive Unit – Schooling and Culture
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4AWjQ3wtyuncDZWdHhaVGp2dkk/view

-As teachers within Higher Education, do you think it is necessary to think about school and FE? What perspective might we gain by doing this?

– I believe it is important to know your student’s background, their identity and the knowledge they have already gained in their previous education. This will allow us as a teacher to not see them as ‘empty vassals to impart our knowledge on’ but to recognise and build off their current education and skills. This relates to Paulo Friere acknowledgment of the Banking Concept. As stated in the publication ‘It is important to think of students not just as students but as colleagues who hold information that is not accessible to adults or professionals.’ The teachings of Friere’s will help us gain a better understanding of our students and in doing so will enable us to help our students reach their full potential.

Are there elements of ‘Schooling and Culture’s’ model of academic publishing/research/teaching that we could use in HE? If so what? And how might we bring this into our practice?

-The first element I liked about this publication was the message of collaboration between the teachers, the students and the publication. The publication does not want to be seen as a definitive all-knowing book, it is about the suggestion of what people have tried and learned through their own practice, to build a community to share knowledge.  I find the aspect of asking ‘us’- both students and teacher to feedback really great as it will allow the publication to build a fair and open discussion about our current education system, that I believe is needed.

– I enjoyed reading the Article called ‘Classroom Do’s and Don’ts for Students and Teachers’. This article is about a workshop run with year 10 students with the aim ‘to collaborate in the making of an artwork’ within a gallery setting. The technique of an ‘unscripted day’ was used to help the students decide on a theme for their collective outcome. I found this technique interesting as it allowed the students to learn about each other in an open and safe environment, and decide on a theme they are interested in without influence from the teachers or creator. This is a technique I have tried to adapt to the students I support. As a practicing artist it is sometimes difficult to not have a creative influence on the students work when helping them to understand their briefs. Using this technique of asking open questions and discussion will help the students discover their own ideas without the influence of others.  This workshop is also a great opportunity to give students a chance to develop ‘from critical thinkers to production action.’

– Below is a zine workshop sample which was given to the year 10 students after they had decided on the theme ‘Rules and Laws’. I liked how the publication has given the reader of the publication the material to use in their own practice. The teachers can experience first-hand how a creative workshop could be used to cover subject much as gender, politic, class, race and history. They also give the teacher the opportunity to feedback to the publication, which will build new information on the current education system.

8. Richard Ward -the NCTJ Teaching Shorthand Good Practice Guide

Richard Ward – Curriculum Design
Based in the recommendations of NCTJ – teaching 1 hour without a break, a group of 20 students as a maximum, and a minimum of 120 hours, and yet the University states that you have to teach 50 students in one class at a time, only have 90 hours to teach the course, and 1.5 hours without a break – how would you manage this.

From reading the NCTJ Teaching Shorthand Good Practice Guide it is evident to me that like most practical skills, you can only truly learn this skill through practice. The NCTJ has outlines that 120 hours is the suggested amount of hours to teach shorthand. Richard has asked the question how would I manage to deliver a class to the NCTJ recommendations within the restraints of the university limitations. My answer is, with difficulty… without changing the structure of the course to smaller classes and more contact hours (which Richard mentioned in class that he has proposed within his elected unit) it would be tricky.  This being said the outline states ‘shorthand cannot be learnt and developed effectively in the classroom alone. It requires lots of practice outside classroom sessions.’ With this in mind and the information I have gained from this resource, I have highlighted the aspects I would enhance on within the current course structure.

Firstly, and possibly this most significant to me is this practice of shorthand outside the classroom. I would encourage students to use shorthand in lectures and everyday life, without the fear of making mistakes. A friend’s child who is reception class recently informed me that her daughter and fellow students are never corrected on their spelling if it is written telephonically. This method is used so that young 4-5-year-old are not discouraged by being told they are incorrect all the time but are allowed the freedom to explore and learn, to enjoy and connect with learning to write. I thought this was a really great lesson for all teacher to acknowledge. Obviously at some point there has to be an element of correction but perhaps if student learning shorthand where encouraged to explore this freedom with the skill at an early stage without complete accuracy they would gain confidence and a better connection to the skill. As someone with no knowledge of shorthand it feels to me like a completely new language and encouraging the student to use shorthand in everyday life without the worries of getting it wrong they are learning to embrace a new way of thinking and build a connection to the skill instead of seeing it as a barrier and test to overcome within their course.

The second point I took from this NCTJ guild was ‘To help retain [the students] interest, the best courses ensure that dictation material used in relation to the students’ work and interests.’ This is a technique I witnessed Richard Ward use in the observation I attended, he dictated to the fashion journalism students an article about Megan Merkle dress. This is an element I would enhance on further. Perhaps by getting the students to bring in an article they have highlighted of interest from another aspect of their studies they will start to make the link to the relevance of this skill to their future. This type of student-led learning can help students to become independent and responsible learners.  Podcasts on fashion designer, art movements and current events that are related to the student’s interest could be an invaluable source of dictation material. (Though I fear they may be spoken too quickly). These are the suggestions I would use to help students in the current course structure to make up for the decreased number of teaching hours suggested to be ‘recommended’.

On the issue of 1.5-hour lessons without a break- I would suggest dividing the lesson into two sections. The first section would focus on a new topic or technique.  In the second section of the class my suggestion would be to move the students around the classroom, by moving the students into smaller groups or even just to a new area of the room, can refresh their attention and help retain focus in a long class. Another technique that could be implicated in the second half of the lesson would be to ask the students what areas they would like to focus on, for example aspects they have struggled with in previous lessons. This could encourage them to start recognising their strength, weaknesses and areas to work on independently.

7. Opportunities and Challenges Refection

 In this session we completed a task which was focused on the opportunities and challenges of different aspects of teaching. In this reflection I have focussed on one-to-one teaching and the critique as these aspects link closely to my current teaching practice.

One-to-one Teaching

Opportunities:
– The ability to build a relationship with the student on an individual level.
– Prepare and adapt teaching methods in accordance with specific learning needs.
– Provide increased contact time for targeted guidance.
– Highlight and re-direct certain issues towards external support.

There are many opportunities that my one-to-one support role provides to the students. One of the most significant is the chance to build a student’s confidence in their work and social interactions, something that they may otherwise be lacking as a result of their impairment. A student I supported experienced anxiety when speaking to his peers about a personal project depicting his disability. By having a one-to-one tutorial with me he was able to gain the feedback he needed to proceed with the project. More importantly he also developed a technique of talking about the project in the third person, a method which enabled him to discuss the project with his peers without feeling anxious. As a result he gained a huge sense of achievement and a boost in confidence.

Challenges
– Lack of diversity in the opinions of feedback.
– Limited opportunity for peer collaboration.
– Feedback hindered by opinion or personality clash.
– Lack of counter arguments or feedback from which to develop.

I have sometimes found it difficult to provide practical support to students to help them achieve their goals whilst simultaneously ensuring they do not feel a loss of ownership. Striking this balance is a particular challenge in scenarios when a lot of the physical work is completed by the support worker.

Critique

Opportunities
– A wide range of feedback from teacher and peers.
– Students gain an understanding of their work through presentation and peer input.
– Develop valuable presentational skills in a safe environment.

Challenges
– A range of differing opinions from peers and teachers could be misleading.
– Outspoken individuals may overshadow more introverted students.
– Anxiety and language barriers can hinder a student in a critique environment.
– Students may not all receive equal time to present and receive feedback.
– Energy levels of teachers and students may drop towards the end of the session, speaking first may be advantageous.

 

I found this task really informative and helpful towards my SiP, within which I intend to take a challenge I encounter within my teaching practice and find present a possible solution. I am particularly interested in investigating the challenges around understanding and providing each individual student with the correct support they need. Key questions such as what if the student doesn’t know what type of support they will need? And How can a teacher find this out? When I have an initial meeting with any new student the challenge is establishing the type of support they will need. In some cases students are forthcoming and have a clear idea of the ‘help’ they require, either because they have had support before or a because the support has been allocated to a specific project. In other scenarios it can take some time to build the relationship and confidence of trust with a student before you can understand how they work and how to support them. In my SiP I hope to find solutions that would be applicable to both situations so I can always quickly and effectively understand my role for each individual student

6. DISPOSITIONS AND QUALITIES

 Notes on Barnett’s: Dispositions and Qualities

– Qualities have to have an action – you have to witness a quality.
–  Disposition is a character inside you – quality is an action of using that disposition.

A disposition may be undone by a bad quality, for example without the qualities of restraint and respect the disposition of inquiry may lead to making claims that are unproven. A disposition requires certain qualities for it to work in a positive way. A bad tutor or an illness may also be factors that make a disposition ineffective. I believe that teachers have a responsibility to encourage and help a student fulfil their potential. Some dispositions can be permanent characteristics, whereas others are constantly evolving and are delicate to influences.

EMPISIEMIC VIRTUES – does the quality or disposition come first?

Qualities and disposition are mutually reinforcing and self-perpetuating – the more you practice a skill that you are good at the more you want to do it and the better you get. Barnett argues that this cycle can become a hindrance which steers one away from other ‘virtues’. To break this circle we can help the student identify why they have an interest and allow them the freedom to explore the area. To discover themselves if they have a disposition for something before teaching them why.

I agree with Barnett’s statement that teachers should be sensitive to student’s dispositions. We should be aware of the way a student might prefer to learn but avoid this completely dictating the way we teach them. What is more important is what we are teaching them.

The teacher has the potential to release a student’s disposition by encouraging them, and showing them faith. I am lucky enough to be able to tailor my encouragement to each student on a one-to-one basis, therefore I can take time to identify a student’s disposition and then teach in a way that allows that disposition to become a quality.

In summary, as basic formula that represents this theory is:
Interest + disposition + quality = a student reaching their potential.

  1. How do you recognise Barnett’s ‘qualities’ in the context of a course you work with?

Teaching my students in a one-to-one format allows me the time to get to know my students individually and focus on the specific qualities they might have. One student I support who is on the autistic spectrum and suffers from mental health issues shows courage every-day he attends university. He has often talked about the anxiety he suffers from the workload, tutorials and university environment. The other strong quality this student has demonstrated is self-discipline. Over the Easter break he worked in the library on his final project every day, as he puts it ‘keeping up with the rest of his year’ even though he has never been ‘behind’.

  1. To what extent do you recognise Barnett’s ‘dispositions’ in your own approach to learning?

The dispositions that applies to my own learning would be the willingness to learn – I have shown this disposition by financially supporting myself through this course. I took the decision to embark on this course out of a desire to become a better teacher to my students. I did so even though it meant returning to an academic situation, something I have always struggled with. This willingness to learn has enabled me to build my confidence as a teacher and highlighted how important it is to continue to learn and improve.

I have suffered from dyslexia all my life but with the disposition of determination I have learnt to persevere and find solutions to the barriers that it may cause. Reading Barnett’s text was a particular challenge to me due to the quality of the scan and the length of the chapter. Completing the assignments required of us can take me a long time but when the content connects to my teaching practice or when I learn something new I am encouraged to keep overcoming the barriers of my dyslexia.

  1. Are UAL’s Creative Attributes more like Barnett’s ‘qualities’? Or his ‘dispositions’?

I believe dispositions and qualities are listed in the Creative Attributes Framework, therefore I believe that a student requires both. As Barnett mentions dispositions need qualities to make them work, just as qualities need dispositions.

For example if ‘Making Things Happen’ or proactivity is a disposition then without the qualities of initiative and passion, this pro-activeness would not succeed in a university or workplace environment. Similarly the ability to demonstrate a unique talent through ‘Storytelling’ is highlighted in the Creative Attributes Framework, however without the disposition of willingness to adapt and a preparedness to listen this quality will be of little benefit to an individual.

Curiosity is listed in the group titled Navigating Change. It is an important quality for any professional or student, but without the willingness to adapt and remain motivated’ this curiosity cannot be developed into a successful outcome. If a student has a curiosity in a specific subject but is unable to remain motivated and focused they are unlikely to research and develop an idea to it’s fullest potential. Or if they have a curiosity in their creative practice but are unwilling to listen to feedback and adapt their approach there is a risk their work will not develop.

Ultimately I do not believe UAL’s creative attributes are more like Barnett’s qualities or dispositions but instead act as evidence that both are just as important as each other. Only when qualities and disposition are combined can a student or professional truly reach their full potential.

  1. How are these attributes taught and/or learned at UAL?

These attributes are taught at UAL through projects based learning, such as workshops, briefs, group projects, deadlines, critiques and tutorials which make up a substantial part of the curriculum. As a support worker I am not directly involved in how these attributes are built into the curriculum but have witnessed and supported the students whilst they learn these skills through the projects and social situations they are in.

The invaluable professional attribute of ‘presentational skill’ is built through to the Tutorial process.

When a student is consistently required to present their work they inevitably build confidence which will translate to the workplace environment. A student might have a strong concept behind their work but if they do not have the skill to present it the work may be misunderstood and not fully appreciated.

  1. How do these ideas connect with the theories you’ve been encountering on your elective unit?

The areas from the Creative Attributes Framework that most strongly link with the Inclusive Teaching Unit are ‘Showcasing abilities and accomplishments with others’ and ‘navigating change’. These attributes promote collaborative skills through openness and acceptance.

The attribute of ‘Curiosity’ (‘the enthusiasm to seek out new perspectives, to create and build on existing knowledge’) is listed in this area of the Framework. In university and the workplace one will encounter people of different opinions, faiths, gender and race. Demonstrating the curiosity to ‘seek out these new perspectives’ and realising the importance of ‘building on their knowledge’ will help develop a more inclusive and diverse environment and way of thinking.

I believe it is important to improve our university environment through the students. The attribute of ‘Connectivity’ (the ability to collaborate with others, create networks and develop and contribute to communities of practice’) emphasises my point that collaboration and group work in the curriculum is a great way to encourage diversity and acceptance within the university environment.

5. Marking Matrix Session Review

  

The images above show A) the incomplete marking matrix from a group of 4 participants in a taught session. It includes coloured squares to represent where our peers think we mark in ‘group discussion (image 1). And B) the marking matrix I developed after the session. (image 2).

I found the session on the marketing matrix very interesting. As a support worker I am not directly involved with the marking of my student’s work but it is a factor I must be aware of when teaching. Students have expressed to me that they find it difficult to understand the process and vocabulary used when marking. When writing our own group matrix’s we wanted it to be clearer, with simpler vocabulary, however we found it difficult to find the necessary words. For example in the phrase ‘excellent understanding of the text and task’ how do you measure excellence? Similarly, the phrase ‘engaged with material’ is used on the current marking matrix but it is difficult to give measure to the action of engagement.

This session did however help me to understand the marking system more. I believe that the students I teach would benefit from an exercise similar to the one we conducted. I would like to implicate this either at the beginning of the second year or during the lead-up to a submission deadline. Doing so could encourage the students to check they had met the marking criteria and to understand where their strength and weaknesses lie.

The benefit of this exercise was evident during the second part of the session when participants had to mark themselves and their peers on group discussion. My peers assessed that my strong points in group discussion are knowledge of the subject discussed and the contribution to the group. For example listening and developing on what other people have said. The points for improvement where presentation skills – offering my knowledge in a clear manner. Learning my strengths and weaknesses in this process was very insightful for me. I believe it could be equally beneficial to students at all levels in developing their understanding of the marking matrix.

4. Micro-Teaching Session.

Overview
Object-based learning is an effective way to encourage learners’ curiosity and have fun whilst exploring a new topic. It can also help explain techniques and skills in a way that is more digestible for certain types of students. I have often found short workshops to be an effective way to teach my students. Significantly I believe it demonstrates a way of working that students feel confident continuing on their own. I have observed that a student that has Asperger’s can find it difficult to follow a lot of instructions. Using the types of micro-teach sessions I showed in this workshop can help explain a technique or way of working in a fun and engaging way that encourages them to understand without getting anxious.

Idea
The idea for my micro-teach came from a particular challenge my student has when creating narrative on his Illustration and Visual Media course. His current project is to produce a comic book story about his disability. I have noticed that when producing the storyboards he may inadvertently miss out sections of the narrative. This can mean his work doesn’t flow or make sense without verbal explanation. I wanted to create a micro workshop that will teach students how to illustrate their story clearly storyboarding, a necessary skill when working on narrative based projects.

Learning outcomes
The intention of my micro teach was for my ‘students’ to find engagement in the 3 objects presented to them and use their observational, inspirational and communication skills to produce a spontaneous collaborative narrative.

The Objects
The three objects I decided to use as inspiration were a pair of binoculars, a Nokia 3310 mobile phone and a small architectural model of an Indian Temple. These objects have strong personal memories for me but more importantly they carry a diverse range of themes for the group to draw inspiration from.

The Task
Each ‘student’ receives a sheet of paper divided into 12 squares in the style of a storyboard. For the first 3 minutes everyone uses the top row of squares to draw the beginning of a story inspired by the 3 objects in front of them. They are encouraged to be playful and creative whilst following two rules – firstly the story must be open-ended and secondly they are not allowed to use descriptive words. They must try to use only drawings in their storyboard. After the first three minutes everyone passes their sheet to the person on their right. Informed by what they see on the first row their peer then continues the middle part of the story without talking or asking questions. This will be the test, has each participant drawn their story in a way that clearly communicates to their peers.  The process is repeated for a final time to finish the story. Once the final 3 minutes are up the students reveal the full storyboard and discuss if the original narrative was correctly understood.

Review

The atmosphere is the group was relaxed. To begin with people were tentative of their drawing skills however everyone quickly became relaxed. The fact that the stories were generally quite abstract and fun meant everyone was able to be playful with their contributions. People quickly realized that executing a beautiful drawing was not necessary, the sketches could be as simple possible as long as they clearly communicated an idea. Working in a quick manner meant people were less precious over their work, especially when continuing onto someone else’s narrative. This method of working really helped to promote the skill of collaboration.

I think the workshop could be developed by increasing the timings to allow the participants more scope for detail in their narratives. Inhibiting people from verbally communicating was very interesting and I could sense people wanted to talk, perhaps given more time they would have more confidence in their own interpretations. As a follow up activity participants could be placed in their groups and asked to develop their outcomes. With further group work the outcomes could be evolved into finished storyboards which could then be applied to an animation or comic zine.

Here are some examples of the narratives created in the 1o minute micro teach.

 

 

 

 

3. Session Reflection: Theories of learning follow from philosophical questions about education.

Watching Dallas McPheeter’s film ‘5000 Year Timeline of Learning Theories’ has given me a new appreciation for the way teaching has, and continues to evolve. Gaining a broader comprehension of learning theories has helped me evaluate and understand my own teaching practices and the impact this has on my students.

The theories of learning that resonate with me the most are ‘Hands on Learning’ and ‘Adaptive Learning’. I feel these theories are the most relevant to the type of work I do and I believe I can continue to utilise them in my own practice as a Learning Support worker.

The below quote best summarises my interpretation of ‘Hands on Learning’:

“If you tell me, I will listen. If you show me, I will see,
but if you let me experience, I will learn” – (500 B.C. China Lao – Tse)

Although this statement was made in relation to apprenticeships I believe it is also relevant in today’s educational context. It describes the notion that when a person is encouraged to experience something for themselves they are more likely to benefit than when they are simply shown or told.  This is one of the key philosophies that John Dewey describes in his 1920 text ‘How We Think’. In his version Dewey uses the concept of ‘Abstract’ and ‘Concrete’ thought to describe the same principle.

In ‘Learning Styles and Learning Spaces’ Kolb & Kolb also make a similar observation when they state, ‘making space for students to take control of and responsibility for their learning can greatly enhance their ability to learn from experience’.

Lao-Tse, Dewey and Kolb & Kolb’s points all describe clearly the idea of ‘Hands on Learning’ and emphasise how important it is in the development of our students. Hands on Learning has often been the most beneficial method for my students, however I have experienced situations where individuals have found this approach difficult to implement on their own. It is our responsibility as teachers to provide our students with the necessary tools to think and learn in a reflective way, but we must also remain aware that this approach does not suit everyone. In some cases, a combination of abstract and concrete learning will achieve the best results.

Howard Gardener suggests ‘our intelligence is measured vertically rather than as a general set of abilities meaning that teaching should be adapted depending on the learner.’

 The study of personality theories has been conducted for many centuries, however more recently it is Gardener who has expanded the study a great deal. He has identified seven key learning styles that demonstrate the diversity of student learning. I have found Gardener’s theories very relatable and interesting to research. I find he explained his discoveries in a clear manner which is easy to understand.

By devising the seven key learning styles Garnder aims to educate us that teaching must be tailored to suit the learner’s needs – we cannot rely on one format for every student. For example as someone who is creative and dyslexic I find the Visual-Spatial and Bodily-Kinesthetic styles of learning to be the most suited to me. At the beginning of this course I found the research and writing formats a particular challenge and I believe I will find the observational and practical expects much easier to process.

What is happening now and beyond? (a mix of the two)

Technology is informing the way we learn therefore it affects the way we teach. Technological advances and constant internet access provides us with infinite information at our fingertips. However as Aoun. J suggests we must understand not only what technologies can do but what it cannot.’

I believe because information has become so obtainable we as a society only consume it on a skin-deep level. Technology is now a mainstay in the educational world and we have the ability to know anything at any time. Although undoubtedly beneficial in some capacity I believe that this ease of learning means we have become complacent with what information we retain.

As teachers we should show our students that information goes beyond a cognitive state. Rather than searching for instant solutions we should encourage our students to use divergent thinking skills when responding to a brief. This deeper approach to learning allows students to not only obtain a good understanding of the facts but also gain the tools to use information to gain more knowledge. Eventually this will mean that students learn as much from a process as they do from an outcome.

This method links to constructivism and active learning theories which state that students are not ‘blank slates’ – they have knowledge that teachers are to identify and build on.

 

Kolb, A. and D.A. Kolb. (2005) Learning styles and learning spaces: Enhancing experiential learning in higher education. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 4 (2) 193–212.

https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/system/files/kirsten_hardie_final.pdf
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2QtSbP4FRg
http://www.tecweb.org/styles/gardner.html

2. The Classroom: A problem or a Mystery & Understanding Art – The Play of Work and Spector.

The Classroom: A problem or a Mystery.

In ‘The Classroom: a problem and mystery?’ Dr Ian Munday suggests that some would suggest the classroom needs a formula to work’. He goes on to note that when a set formula is given in a classroom, students can strategise to pass without becoming truly connected to their work and being taught. Through experience it is my belief that classrooms should be a place for students to learn via freedom of play and experiences. Working one-to-one as learning support, the ‘classroom’ is a loose term with no two days or ‘classrooms’ being the same. This allows me to be involved with the student’s individual learning instead of viewing them as a set of problems to solve. It enables me to achieve the learning through play and interacting with the student’s environment.

The main summary I have taken from this text is: mystery is being immersed in your practice whereas problem-solving is having a problem that must be overcome.

The two examples Munday gives to demonstrate this understanding are the guitar and kitchen analogies. In the first, ‘Michael’ followed a set rules to learn the guitar but does not sound as natural or good as ‘Stuart’ who has embraced the mystery of playing. Michael sees the guitar as a set of problems to solve by learning all the cords to become technically perfect whereas Stuart may not be technically perfect but feels the music and embraces the sound, feel and the mystery. In the second example the author did not engage with the working kitchen he was in which ultimately meant he was not suited and was asked to leave. Some problems could have been solved easily, for example ‘practiced dishwashing at home to speed up’. However it was failing to embrace the ‘feel’ of the kitchen which leads to bigger problems. These examples both show that solving a problem is not the most important element, instead it is the mystery of being immersed.

I am interested in Munday’s observation that by imposing goals and rules on a classroom or your practice you can create barriers for mystery to occur. Doing so may limit creativity and free-flowing learning. In my teaching practice I can plan a lesson that is successful with one student but not with another. I believe you should be open-minded to things going wrong and as a teacher you must be able to adapt to your students.

 

I believe teachers should utilise the principle of play and freedom in their teaching methods, we should be involved in the students learning by creating a back and forth interaction. I could use this method in my teaching practice with interactive drawing excerises to encourage the students to think freely with their work. The techniques of timed drawing games in specific mediums and techniques, for example with your eye closed or with your left hand, can encourage free thinking. Such excerises allow students to create instinctive forms and enable back and forth unconscious play with the results. Ultimately through fun and mystery these excercises allow the students to be creative without feeling the pressure of a final result.

———————————————————

Understanding Art – The Play of Work and Spector. Hans-Georg Gadamer

Here I have outlined the key elements I took from Gadamer’s text Understanding Art – The Play of Work and Spector.

  • Play is an action that goes on between the ‘players’ and is said to reach beyond consciousness of a single player. A back and forth flow will open up to the understanding of the art.
  • Understanding the art only happens in a dynamic, interactive and interpretive process of meaning.
  • An ‘event’ is crucial to the play process and the spontaneous back and forth movement that renews itself. This movement is connected to freedom and is an element that is essential to play.
  • Human play is conscious unlike nature which is not. Humans chose to interact with art to create willingness. It is a process that shouldn’t be forced, it happens and you become caught up in the game.
  • “for the game to really take place, the players must commit to the game and behave as genuine participants.”
  • Artwork creates for us the opportunity of knowledge. Every piece of art comments on something about our reality that effects everyone, so it can be seen clearly and with meaning.
  • Understanding the truth of it is just one part of the ‘play’. The artwork addresses us with this truth and awaits our response.
  • “The Spector has a task to fulfill to lend oneself to the truth and allow its clam to be made upon them. Allowing oneself to become immersed in the performance.
  • To be truly open minded you must be able to take on the works meaning without your won perceptions. A genuine understanding of the art.
  • For being open and experiencing these pieces of art, you become more knowledgeable and have new understanding on something other than just yourself. You have a new understanding ‘offered up by another.’

Reflection:

I found studying this text difficult to begin with, but by extracting the key elements and applying them to how I view art and my own experiences I began to connect with what was being said. I believe that play between art and the viewer is the freedom flow of information. I agree that a person may visit a gallery without gaining any connection with the artwork if they are not willing to allow for an interaction. Or a person may see a piece of art in one perspective initially, then an entirely different one as a result of an event or new knowledge of the artist. Gadamer is saying that a viewer must be open to these changes. Doing so will turn your experience into a ‘conversation’ with the art.

1. A Learning Model for the Future – Aoun, J. 2017.

A Learning Model for the Future – Response to Aoun, J. 2017. A Learning Model for the Future. In Higher education in the age of artificial intelligence. MIT Press. pp45-75.

This essay is about the effects of technology in our lives. It states that our current workforce is not equipped with the skills it needs for modern day jobs. The new discipline Aoun suggests in the essay is ‘Humanics’ which can be divided in to three main literacies, Technological Literacies, Data Literacies and Data Literacies.

Firstly, Aoun talks about how creative thinking can be encouraged through the way we teach. Pure creative talent is a gift that only very few people in the world have but by being encouraged to think divergently a student can develop creative thinking method. Divergent thinking is the creation of multiple responses in a flow of ideas and is associated with playfulness and willingness to take risks. It is the

Cognitive thinking is when we aim to find the single, correct, answer to a question or problem. This is the type of ‘thinking’ that advance computers are able to do.

Our current educational system does not encourage divergent thinking and is said to ‘kill creativity by stigmatising wrong answers’. I watched a TED TALK video by Ken Richardson which I found extremely interesting. Ken says ‘We don’t grow into creativity. We grow out of it, or rather we get educated out of it’ I work with a student studying IVM at LCC and he has Aspergers, he is an instinctively creative person and I am curious to think about how his disability may affect the way he thinks creatively.  We are told the knowledge of facts makes us clever or smart but I believe the ability to think divergently and creatively is an important skill to teach our students. Currently I think schools and universities could be doing more to teach students to think creatively as it will be invaluable to them in work and personal life.

The facts of ‘The Literacies- Technological, Data and Human.’

The new literacies arise from technology e.g. texts, blog, social network. These digital forms change the way we communicate. The ability to read and write used to mean power and freedom, now the ability to network with both humans and machines has a similar value.

Technological is the understanding of mathematics, coding and basic engineering principles.’ (P. 57) Letter and number have been studied in schools for hundreds of years as it was the fundamentals of human combination, now that technology is taking over this we must learn not only how to use technology but how it works, especially in the creative environment for example, how to make the new software program that will send image or data to each other.

Data literacies in short in the collection of information and how to read it.  The ability to read data can be extremely important in educating ourselves and advancing our knowledge. Aoun gives the example of being able to foresee ‘the spread of a virus across a continent to an individual’s dating preferences.’ P.57

Human Literacies is interacting with other humans. The ability to socially commutate and engage with others. I think this is the most important literacy. An office or university can have all the right facilities and technology but if it cannot create personal relationships within their society it will not succeed. Diversity is essential in human literacy for students to learn to their full potential.

Critical Thinking is ‘thinking over an idea in a skilful way and then applying them to create something new. Critical thought has many different element; for example, the understanding and applying of facts to a question or understanding how people are motivated or how emotions can affect them. When all these are applied to the context of a situation, a person is critically thinking. If a problem can be answered in a couple of yes and no answers a computer could resolve the issue but many real-world problems require critical thinking.

What these few captures explain to me is that a student does not come to university to learn from books or researching the internet. They learn from each other, from seminars and experimentation in the workshops. This involves teaching across subject areas on a project that are engaged with real life experience.

The ‘new model of learning’ tells us students want to know ‘what and why’ they are learning the lessons or skills we are teaching. This can be done by clearly indicating what is excepted of them in a curriculum.  Each lesson states the learning outcomes and how to build on their system and critical thinking. Students need to be able to understand how these new forms of teaching will help them in their goals not simply at university but industry. The main point that I understood from this text was that although technology is able to do more and more tasks a human would normally do, it/they cannot think creativity. Humans think creatively and have many ‘oceans of knowledge to cross’. This is showing the importance of teaching of thinking creatively and understand not only what technologies can do but what it cannot do.

My 6-and-a-half minute Introduction.

 

My name is Rose Williams and I am a support worker for students with disabilities at UAL. Currently, I work at UAL 3 days a week and all other spare time is spent on growing my screen print studio, Make Good Prints.

My background is in screen printing, a technique I fell in love with at school and have carried it on all through university to my current work.

I studied Fashion and Textiles at Winchester School of Art and specialised in printed textiles. After graduating I worked as a print production manager for a fashion brand called Draw in Light. Here are a couple of images showing the production and finished results I was involved in.

One of my favorite pieces was this silk scarf, we screen printed the outline and then hand painted using a range of 15 colours to paint in sections of colour. We produced 20 meters on this fabric and it was sold in liberties and other boutique shops in all over England. After gaining huge experience at Draw In Light for 2 years I decided to commit to my own print studio and support work.

For the last 3 years, my partner Oliver Chapman and I have run our studio at Queen Road Peckham. Make Good Print Co is an independently run design and print studio that specialise in providing a print service to a wide client base. We work with a range of small local charities and stores to larger companies like Bompus & Parr or Urban Outfitters.

www.makegoodprints.com

We recently worked with Bompus & Parr on a unique invitation. We used specialist ink that only reveals itself in the direct sunlight.  Here is a little video on People of Prints website to explain the project.

Click Here 

Alongside our print service, we also organise and run live printing event. Last year at Valentines we set up shop at Anthropologie store in Marylebone to conduct a mono screen printing class. I am especially drawn this part of Make Goods work as I get to teach people about a technique I love.

These images show the work I do at Make Good Print Co.

My teaching at UAL.

Having been a support worker at UAL for the last 2 years I have been working to remove the barriers that students with disabilities face and supporting them to work as independently as possible during their studies in Higher Education.

My role involves the restructure of a brief in a simpler format to help my students understand and interpret the task independently. I encourage conversation as a means of coming up with ideas, using questionnaires and workshops to construct a personal response to the brief they are given.

From brief through to completion I support my students with step-by-step instructions and practical teaching, creating a familiar framework in which to operate. I appreciate the importance of peer-to-peer learning within a comfortable working environment and have worked to create this for my students within the University Campus.

The current student I support is on the IVM at LCC in his third year. His disability is Asperges and mental health issues. I love working with Francis and learned so much from him and my support work.