Friday, 31 October 2014

Holding back...

It has been an interesting week and on a late Friday night reflection, I wanted to share with you my thoughts around trust, contribution, and value.

On trust...
I had a discussion a couple of weeks ago with some undergraduate dancers, stemming from their suggestion that 'students trust their teacher as given, but students have to earn their teacher's trust'.  So alongside a broader discussion of these two (assumed separate) roles, we talked about the notion of trust.  My belief being that this is something pretty pivotal to 'good' teaching practice and that it is something to be mutually earned by all in the transaction of sharing and learning.  It was really interesting to hear from others of their perception of roles and of the value and place of trust stemming from their own unique experiences of learning.  Some, through more traditional learning environments felt this 'automatic trust' was something naturally embedded with the student/teacher relationship, and had felt that it was within their (pre)defined role as student to gain the trust of the teacher.  They had never considered that trust within this context had the potential to be fluid on all parts.  Conversations developed through other sessions over the past couple of weeks, with the same, plus other students and encompassed debate on language, perception, autonomy, finding your voice, sharing, contributing, being honest, putting your ideas out there and being prepared to listen, respecting and valuing difference and diversity.  (I said it had been an interesting week!)

The terms, and ensuing notions of 'student' and 'teacher' really struck more of a chord with me as the week progressed and I continued to review my own feelings on, and observe these relationships in different contexts.   This evening, reading some of your blogs, your thoughts on these roles, your experiences (directly and indirectly) and in particular an interesting thread from Rose, Mary and Maria, on holding back from getting thoughts out there at times, through feeling the need to really digest and clarify what it is you want to say first made me want to share in this blog.

Really pleased that you put this up Rose, however 'late night, unconsidered' it may have felt to do so.  I think this is a significant step in letting thoughts exist in a wider space than your self, and in doing so inviting others views and comments; in having opinions and not being afraid to voice them openly; in accepting a certain vulnerability that we all (as humans) have I believe, and the possibility of stumbling, maybe even falling at times, actually being a great thing - a great way of learning.

A couple of references are coming to mind to me now as I write this, so I'll through them in for you to build your own thoughts on too, Emilyn Claid, 2014 On Falling About (a research report for/from/with Roehampton University) and A TED talk by Brene Brown on The Power of Vulnerability.  Both examples talk about our capacity as humans to interact to learn, to fall to learn, to accept vulnerability rather than holding back in case..., to learn.

We all have our own stories to share, our own unique experiences, and have the potential to share these through different means.  It is through sharing and interacting, acceptance and value of both our self and others, that learning takes place for all. Please don't hold back from rambling your way through your thoughts on your blogs, these are the perfect place for sharing and learning in the environment of the MA.

Keen to hear your thoughts...rambled or otherwise!


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