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.

Inclusive Teaching and Learning – Blog Task 3 – Race.

Visit the Shades of Noir (SoN) http://shadesofnoir.org.uk/

Shades of Noir is a creative platform that supports and showcases current artists, events and social issues of marginalized groups. It’s aim is to give students, graduates and staff a true representation of art and art history that perhaps our current society and curriculum does not.  By being an open, safe space for it’s users it encourages groups to articulate self-determination and liberate the struggles from oppressive structures both in education and society.’

The site should be considered a resource for all students and staff. It’s content primarily focusses on people of colour, however the articles and topics covered are applicable and educational to all. Teachers and students should be encouraged to use the site as a resource. In doing so they will uncover a diverse and representative range of creative and social influences. As well as acting as an educational tool, the site is also a place of community to BAME students, providing much-needed exposure and representation in the creative industry.


The case studies within the Curriculum section of the site were of particular interest to me. Not only do they offer invaluable first-hand insight into prejudice and racism, but significantly they also provide tangible suggestions as to how such cases can be avoided in the future. Significantly the examples given cover student and staff experience, and therefore offer a comprehensive insight from all perspectives. It is my view that these case studies should be promoted to staff at all levels so they are better informed of the challenges faced by their colleagues and students and be better equipped to support them.

My personal experience of working with a BAME student has taught how it important a sense of community connection is, whether that be race, faith or identity. My student has always excelled when he feels understood by his tutors and peers. When a tutor shows recognition and makes the effort to connect to a project the student feels vindicated and encouraged to continue working. On the contrary I have also seen my student become despondent and demotivated when his tutors have failed to appreciate his work on a cultural level. This is not simply a case of tutors encouraging their student, but more a case of them truly understanding them too. I believe Shades of Noir would provide valuable context to my students work. In turn it could have a positive impact on his work and mentality by providing a source of encouragement and community. I am sure he would learn a great deal from reading the case studies, as indeed I have.

Read Hahn Tapper (2013) ‘A pedagogy of social justice education: social identity, theory and intersectionality’, Pp. 411-
417 (and see diagram on p.426) 

What is social justice education? The article written by Hahn Tapper makes the argument that our universities will fail unless they can manage and reduce social conflict. To do so they must integrate social issues into their curriculum. This fragile situation highlights the disparities in ‘societal opportunities, resources and long-term outcomes among marginalised groups’.

Reading Hahn Tapper’s article on social conflict has introduced me to the series of studies described as ‘Contact Hypothesis’. This theory is said to have been devised by Gorden W. Allport who aimed to break-down social prejudice within education. Allport suggests that if two groups of people of conflicting opinions are encouraged to interact in appropriate conditions it can help to break down prejudice, preconception and resolve the conflict. The ambiguity here is that positive results are dependant on ‘appropriate conditions’ – as teachers how do we make sure the conditions are equal and correct? The Robber Cave experiment explains that intergroup activity and teamwork can greatly improve relations between peers, however if handled incorrectly they can also end up causing more harm than good. This experiment highlights the challenges faced by teachers in ensuring the environment they create is conducive to positive learning experiences.

It is further argued that even if the intergroup activity is successful inside the ‘room’ there is no guarantee it will change things outside. Although I can see this point of view I believe Contact Hypothesis theories should still be encouraged within our teaching. At the very least they will promote self-reflection and be the start of a critical thought process. In best case scenarios this self-reflection may then lead to a change in preconceptions and prejudices later on.

Trapper’s article on social justice education has been very reaffirming to methods that I already employ in my practice. I continue to find Paulo Freire’s The Pedagogy of the Oppressed to be an influence on my work and I am pleased that Trapper’s articles generally support Freire’s theories. Specifically it is the notion that ‘education provides venues for students to achieve freedom’ that I relate to. One of my primary objectives when teaching is for my students to gain a sense of freedom in their work. I try to aid my student to reach their potential despite their disabilities, and I think in many ways this is the ‘freedom’ that Freire describes.

The many artists and discussions on the Shades of Noir platform highlight that identity is an integral part of all student’s and professional’s learning. The same idea is discussed by Freire when he states that a student’s identity needs to be taken into account in all educational settings. I believe it is a teachers responsibility to understand their student’s ‘reality’ and reasons for studying. Our aim is to use a student’s passions and influences to direct their learning, to do so we must properly understand them ourselves first. The use of dialogue is an important element to achieving this goal. Freire explains that teachers must be ‘open to everything in the world’. True dialogue cannot happen if we are closed to contributions from others, in this case our students.

Watch the student film ‘Room of Silence’ from Rhode Island School of Design https://vimeo.com/161259012.

One of many comments that stood out to me was when one student expressed how important it is that tutors and peers do not feel ‘nervous’ when commenting on her work about race. She stated that ‘I need you to say something about this, how am I meant to learn? I could be making the shittiest work about race and no one would tell me…’

We must acknowledge that students of minority groups are being brave to talk about racial incidences and this should be encouraged. Only by creating honest, open discussion can an issue come to the forefront and resolutions be a made. I wonder if perhaps now that this video has been made and the teachers of this faculty have seen these honest discussions there has been a change in their experiences?

As teachers we should support, critique and encourage student’s individual and social identities in their education. If a lack of knowledge leads to a teacher failing to provide a full critique of a student’s work that teacher has two key responsibilities. Firstly they must direct their student to an appropriate colleague for better feedback, and secondly they must rectify the gap in their own knowledge. It is paramount to a student’s development to have access to communities and artists as reference points in contextual study. This is why the Shades of Noir platform and the case studies mentioned above can be so important – not only can it provide education to teachers looking to expand their knowledge but it can also provide reference points to students looking for inspiration.

4. Micro-Teaching Session.

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.

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.


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.


Inclusive Teaching and Learning – Blog Task 2 – Faith

Religion in Britain- Challenges for Higher Education

‘It would be helpful for academics across many fields and other crucial staff such as counsellors and librarians and managers of residences and administrators supporting courses to have better knowledge of religion in Britain (and in the world) today …It would include better understanding of the way religion has figured in history and how it figures in social relations and policy today as well as of knowledge of different religions themselves.’ Page 20

This point in the text is something I relate to strongly. I am conscious that I do not have a broad understanding of religion in the UK today. As teachers we are always striving to update and gain knowledge in our subjects in an attempt to remain up-to-date with trends, skills and the industry. Unfortunately I do not feel we pay the same attention to broadening our awareness of faiths and religions in the UK today. The stimulus paper entitles Religion in Britain has highlighted to me how important this is. Student interaction is the first step to rectifying this issue. As universities and cohorts get bigger we must not let the lack of contact-time we have with each student affect the value of becoming engaged with their extracurricular lives. As a member of support staff working one-to-one I have the luxury of time to really get to know my students’ needs and preferences and I think this additional connection has had a positive impact on the way I teach.

Alongside focussed discussions at designated times I believe it would be equally valuable to make religion part of open and informal dialogue. One method of achieving this could be the introduction of text and references into the curriculum that encourage the students to learn about all religions. Religion is often talked about and taught in the same context as ethics and values, rather than on its own. As staff we should give the topic of religion more focussed attention and be more aware that it is very much in the ‘public sphere’.

‘…the burden of integration falls disproportionately on the minorities. If their members want to maintain any level of collective identity or solidarity, they have to work at it, while the majority do not.’

As teachers it is our responsibility to create integration within our academic communities. We should be doing this by encouraging multi-focus activities that cover religious (and other) boundaries. If we do not do this we may reduce the learning quality our students receive and perhaps more significantly may affect the connections they make with wider society.

An example of this type of activity is Angela Drisdale Gordon’s ‘Ice Breaker’ case study which can be found on the Religion, Belief and Faith Identities UAL website.  This interactive task encourages students to talk about personal interests and cultural backgrounds. It consists of students asking each other a list of questions and sharing answers with their peers. They cover a wide range of questions from ‘what is in your fridge?’ to ‘do you have a faith?’

This type of activity is a great opportunity for students to explain and share their personal preferences in an informal setting. It can cover topics such as name, gender, ethical viewpoints and religion. It also allows the teachers to be aware of their students’ needs. This is important because teachers are often the first point-of-contact between students and support services. Tutors also have the option of taking part in the exercise which promotes openness and equality between students and tutors.

This a good exercise for my students who often want to explain their identity to the class and would not have the opportunity otherwise. In regard to religion I would agree with Angela’s observation that there is a nervousness around the subject of faith. From my experience people are afraid of not knowing about certain beliefs. This exercise would provide a real opportunity for discussion within a safe space.

I have first-hand knowledge of how such an activity can promote understanding and acceptance among students. My current student was involved in a similar workshop in his first year which concluded with the presentation of a visual response to the questions asked. The 5-minute discussion which followed allowed my student to openly discuss his Asperger’s Syndrome to the rest of the group. He typically finds it very difficult to talk about his disability, but this exercise allowed him the environment to do so.

Both examples show the importance of conversation between peers and teachers to learn more about people’s identities. Aspects of which people sometimes struggle to discuss.

Creed Notes- Kwame Anthony Appiah.

Kwame’s theory that ‘religion is not just a matter of beliefs’ was the message that most resonated with me. Kwame explains that religion can be broken down into three sections; what you do (practice), who you do it with (community) and the body of beliefs.

I believe he is trying to teach that simply viewing a person’s religion by its beliefs can cause us to make assumptions that may not be true. Within every religion there are differing beliefs and values so we must remember to view people as individuals. Kwame enhances this theory by stating that when we focus on a person’s beliefs we overshadow the other two parts – practice and community. Each plays an equally important role in identity. Practice is passed down through family, and traditions can become part of life beyond a set of beliefs.

Kwame states: ‘When fundamentalists of religion say identity requires a set rule of beliefs or fixed readings of scripture they have fallen for the fundamental faculty’. Instead Kwame argues that religion is not simply a ‘set of rules’. Scripture is written in poetic stories that are interpreted and these interpretations change, or in some cases are completely abandoned over time. He uses the example of slavery to demonstrate this point.

Listening to Kwame’s theories has taught me how diligently we must avoid making presumptions around religion. We have a responsibility to avoid making judgments of a person based only on their religious beliefs – every person interprets faith, or lack of it, in a unique way. Taking a student’s beliefs as a means of understanding them would be misleading and damaging. We must remain conscious that religious identities have changed throughout history, as have community values. We must make sure our knowledge and understanding evolves too.

Inclusive Teaching and Learning – Blog Task 1 – Gender

Supporting Trans Students – Blog
It is clear from studying UAL’s Gender Diversity website that the challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community are not talked about or understood well enough. The various articles emphasise the importance of using conversation and dialogue as a tool to educate. Such dialogue can benefit the staff as well as the students, making the university environment more inclusive to everyone. I believe I could use the website as an invaluable tool in my own teaching practice. Firstly by informing LGBTQ+ students of the help, support and communities available at UAL and secondly as a means to educate all students on the correct terminology and pronouns used when interacting with their peers. If indeed all students read the resources it would encourage positive conversation and a healthy understanding of an often overlooked topic.

Pay It No Mind – The Life and Times of Marsha P. Johnson – Video
This video of interviews gives a brief insight into the life of Marsha P Johnson, an activist trans woman who struggled to be accepted for who she was, and throughout her life showed huge courage and kindness to those she encountered. Today programmes such as Ru Paul’s Drag Race highlight how far modern society’s perception of drag queens has changed, from persecuted to celebrated. Unfortunately, prejudice still exists in some communities, but certainly far less than in previous decades, thanks in part to people such as Marsha P. Johnson who was not afraid to challenge our perceptions through the way she lived her life.

I likened Marsha P. Johnson’s struggles to the artist and activist Keith Haring. Best known for his graffiti art in New York, his later work often addressed political and social themes especially homosexuality and AIDS. Nowadays Haring’s work is mainstream, popular and often imitated, although the core themes often ignored. Recently the clothing brand Uniqlo collaborating with the Museum of Modern Art in New York to produce a collection of Keith Haring apparel. The description on the Uniqlo website makes no mention of Haring’s foundation supporting young people with AIDS/HIV or the gay rights activism he was so heavily involved with.

Understanding Patriarchy, bell hook – Read.
The first and most striking message I took from this text is the notion that women are as prominent in creating patriarchal roles in the family home as men. Hooks talk about her experience of patriarchy in her home via violence from her father, she explains how her mother enforced these roles by complying and accepting his role of power. Hooks also highlights how boys that come from single-mum homes are just as likely to be taught patriarchal roles from their mothers as women in such households are far more likely to idealize the patriarchal male role and patriarchal men than women who live with patriarchal men every day’. She explains that is it unwise to put the sole blame on men, this will not help rid us of patriarchy, ‘Separatist ideology encourages women to ignore the negative impact of sexism on male personhood. It stresses polarization between the sexes.’

Following on from this theme, the second message I identified within the text is the idea that men are also victims of patriarchy. Men’s inability to express emotion is increasingly mentioned in current affairs. Samaritans statistics show the highest suicide rate in the UK in 2017 was men aged 40–44. In Understanding Patriarchy hook argues that patriarchal roles have made the show of venerable emotion a sign of weakness and lack of power. She recalls her brother being taught that a boy should not express feelings’ from a young age. Then, in adult life hook talks of her friends’ need to conform to patriarchal roles in order to be ‘noticed and valued’.

Including these themes in my own teaching practice – a brief
A great way to get students engaged and aware of a certain subject matter is to create a brief surrounding that topic. Providing students with a challenge can encourage a reaction where a lecture or presentation might not. The three resources in this reflective blog cover a variety of gender issues and could be used as starting points for a research-led project. Students could be tasked with creating a visual response to one of the three resources. The current student that I support is on Illustration and visual media at LCC, with him in mind this could be anything from designing a new book cover to making an animated interpretation of one of the themes.

Being tasked with creating a visual response means students are challenged to truly analyse and draw their own conclusions. This process of research and interpretation is an important part of higher education in art and design, it is crucial that students learn the skill of critical thinking and analysis. Tutorials and critiques on the work would then provide a comfortable environment within which a conversation that some individuals may find difficult to discuss can take place. Facilitating a conversation also provides an opportunity for students to inform their peers of any gender preferences they may have.

I was conscious of using the correct terminology whilst writing this piece. Even after researching and educating myself of the correct pronouns and phrases I still found it difficult. I apologise in advance if my text contains any errors and would greatly appreciate any feedback.


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.’


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.


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.