Saturday, 24 November 2012

Summer Puddings

 I have been finding it really interesting both reading other blogs on the MAPP this week, but also draft AOLs.  Picking up on Adesola's blog this week, looking at how we work, I find it really interesting to see the different approaches we all take, not only in our learning and teaching, but in how we approach documenting that learning.

Finding your personal narrative has been the first step in putting pen to paper and writing your first AOL, for some of you, for others, thinking of the specific area in your practice and delving right in with what that stands for professionally, what that encompasses for you now, and then working the process back through a more historical account that embraces your learning journey along the way.

Both approaches (along with others) are fine.

Some of you have been questioning your AOLs along the lines of 'is this right?'.  One of the (many) aspects of teaching and learning in HE which excites me is the diversity it can embrace, the room for finding your own way through the pathways you choose.  The MAPP not only allows for, but really promotes this independent journey, and embraces the different routes you have all taken in teaching and learning at its core.  Equally individuality in your presentation of these AOLs and your ROL in general is embraced.

There is no right or wrong as such, and our role as advisors on this programme is really to support your journey, encouraging and guiding you in reflective practice and writing with an understanding of expectation in academic contexts.  Please remember that in addition to your advisor, you should be referring to your module handbooks when approaching written work.  The handbooks are written to support you within an academic framework of learning, and act as a starting point for resources and literature which you should refer to in order to further your understanding and your writing through each module.

Do make reference to your research, beyond you.  Whilst you are the source of much knowledge and experience and are at the core of your learning through the MAPP, there is a wealth of information around you also, offering support to your learning and allowing you the possibility of contextualising what you have learnt through experience within an academic framework - what the MAPP is all about.

As you really get into the writing part of your modules now, and are heading towards assessment of your learning through this writing in the form of your RoL essay, try to integrate theory with practice.  Refer back to the Introduction to Module One handbook at this point, how have the tasks helped you to identify different areas of your learning and develop an understanding of knowing how you know what you know?  How might theories on learning support what you are now observing of your practice through reflection?

Begin to blend your learning and the presentation of it.  To draw on Hopal's cooking analogy from an earlier blog, try to produce something more along the lines of a rich summer pudding than a lemon meringue pie...layers of different fruits merging together over time, wrapped in/surrounded/supported by bread (which has also absorbed the juice of the fruits), not too separate entities of lemon and meringue merely co-existing in time.

: )


  1. Nicely put Helen! I need to get my head into my essay and make sure those redcurrants are there.... and thank you for reminding us to go back to the handbook.... I am relieved that we can all work in our own way but would not want to fall at the last fence by missing something vital. I am really pleased we can finally meet... I will be the one in the coffee shop carrying a ridiculous amount of paper, unfiled so that in case any of it can be put in the final submission I can bind it ... no need for a carnation....see you on Thursday!

  2. See you tomorrow Janet..will look for you under the papers!

  3. Many thanks - I learned how to get it all together on Thursday and am looking forward to the 'final push' of Module 1.

    Had fantastic endorsement of what I am trying to do within my teaching yesterday... very few students in the lesson due to rehearsals and we covered HOW TO!! My favourite topic - lots of questions from the students, with some exercises from me to strengthen and ignite certain muscles, drawings, and practice of very few exercises - quality not quantity. The feedback was amazing...'now when I go into ballet I can actually do the exercises' 'I have learned more today than I have all term'... if I ever needed encouragement to follow my desired research path for my MA that was it! Feeling very positive!

  4. That's great to hear Janet..and yes, quality rather than quantity is often the key to really effective teaching. I think we all tend to get consumed by the need to cram everything in quite often, be that in answer to ticking boxes of exercises covered, meeting the curriculum set, the (perceived) need to keep the dancers physically moving from exercise to exercise, but I find from my own experience that the times when we allow ourselves to take the time to really unpick the How of what we are doing, are often the most valuable learning experiences to us in our teaching and to our student's learning. It can be hard to 'allow' yourself the time to explore quality in depth, but definitely worth it when you do..