Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Tools for learning...

Good to check-in with those of you on the evening Skype at the weekend.

A thread I picked up through the conversations was the notion of having, needing, seeking, support in your learning and we talked about referencing across the modules of the MA in order to re-engage with specific tools like reflection, when needed.

Reflective practice is introduced in the first module and very much forms the basis of the analysis and writing you are engaging with there as you compile your portfolio of prior learning (annotated CV, Job Description, Area of Learning claims, Review of Learning essay).  The tasks you get to grips with through the Introductory handbook (reader) in module one, are offered as tools for your learning beyond this module however.  The notion and value of reflective practice is something that runs throughout the MA and we believe is important as we see ourselves as embodied, living, sensing, experiencing beings.

In Module two, you should feel as though you are perhaps more forward-facing as you identify and area of potential research and plan for how you might undertake this.  Time for reflection (as a considered 'act') may not seem as pertinent here, but should still be flowing through your practice, notes made in journals, blog posts to share your experiences and thoughts as you process your engagement with extended literature, research methodologies, revealing your questions around your professional practice.  

As you delve into those research questions on module three, and remain open to others that may come, you should find yourself looking back in order to move through your research.  Coming back to and re-analysis theories, viewing your practice through the lens of your research, reading, considering, forming responses to others through blogs and linked-in discussions are all methods of you continuing to engage in reflective practice and should all feed your research, your journey.

With reference to Adesola's blog this week on distance, something that I was aware of through our conversations on the Skype call was a sense of immediacy that seemed to come with the action of 'reflection'.  Making notes immediately after an event, or in-situ particularly through your observations is important, but consider perhaps that these notes have not experienced any space/time/distance yet from the event to which they relate and so 'reflection', I would suggest has not yet been possible.  Try not to look at the MA, your research, your practice as a linear journey from a beginning to an end, but more of an interweaving thread of connections that go back and forth and around in their journey of knowing and understanding, with plenty of 'not-knowing' on the way.

Beginning to see reflective practice as something of a rhizome underpinning, flowing through the MA is perhaps more useful that addressing it as a specific 'thing' one module at a time.

What are your thoughts?



  1. I like the idea of 'flowing through the MA' - something I read lately seems to go with this thought. " education exists to set up a conversation down the ages and across the cultures, across time and space, so that students are challenged by other ways of understanding..." (Peter Abbs "Against the Flow" 2009 p 17). I think then in this way what we are discovering is new understandings of what we already know through reflection and going back and forth to make sense of our data. (If that makes sense!)

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  3. In regards to writing in-situ observations - I find this very difficult and is a skill that I feel is important. I seem to remember details better after a few days processing the event or discussion or class. Even a choreography I have much more clarity over the next day than just after I've learnt it. Then I feel like I can begin working things out through a written process, which usually then brings up more layers,different perspectives and certainly more questions. However with this approach I feel the danger that I have left something important out, not captured the initial intensity of feeling/thought surrounding the situation or perhaps distorted events. Jotting down things quickly and not being too precious is helping me with this at the moment. Thank you for the blog Helen, I found many ideas quite helpful, sam