Great to talk with everyone during this morning's Skype call.
It was really good to hear you sharing your thoughts on your learning, your practice and your research, in response to these conversations I said I would blog about the holistic approach of the MA itself in terms of connections and conversations that are happening throughout the modules and throughout your learning.
I find it interesting the ways in which we identify ourselves through the roles we assume; teacher, student, dancer, parent; and hear this through the MA as identifying as module one, two or three. I wanted to talk a little about how we might approach our identities through the MA from a more holistic perspective, one which sees all of these identities (and others) as connected elements of us.
Whilst the MA, and other programmes and roles we encounter, may appear divided in terms of structure - we have 3 modules, each one needing to be 'completed' before moving on to the next, the programme as a whole places you at the centre of it and as such points to you being the connecting thread between the specificities of each module. It is important to recognise that the MA, like other aspects of your life, is not something separate from you. It is something you have chosen to embark on at a particular point in your life, your career and as such is a part of your life journey.
I feel that one of the values of the MA is that it offers you a framework through which to explore your thoughts and experiences around your professional practice. The MA itself does not give you the answers, or provide the steps you must take in order to advance your practice, but its intention is more to stimulate and draw out your own thoughts and experiences and help you to situate them within a broader frame of reference - dance pedagogy. We tend to identify with a particular place that marks in someway where we are and how we feel at a particular time in our lives. Being on Module Two of the MA for example offers a context to the shape of our learning and being at this point perhaps, but our learning is not confined only to the demands of the module. There are specific 'things' that the module requires you to attend to; literature review, ethics proposal, research methods, in the same way that Module One asked you to identify specific Areas of Learning through reflection on your prior experiences, but these tasks are not external things as such. They are prompts to explore different layers of you perhaps. You move between them and make sense of them because you are connected to them, they exist and have value because of you.
The monthly Skype calls and our blogs are a great example of the importance of having conversations around our practices, conversations which go across the modules and beyond the structures of the university into the wider profession. The different modules allow for different perspectives and layers of learning, but the MA as a whole, you as practitioners, is connected; one module to the next, the whole programme to you and your professional practice. It important to allow those conversations for yourselves to flow through the modules, as they flow through your lives. Let them be guided by structures but not limited to them perhaps.
How does that sound for you?