Constructive Writing – Pars construens pars destruens.

Here below planning of my statement writing. I have applied constructivist theory in a sense that the writing was shaped around the thoughts I have collected during these months.

 

 

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My teaching observation

When it comes to self reflective learning I particularly value one to one activities. One to one sessions are very useful when the student feels the need to receive a coaching form of learning. I had a one to one activity for my teaching observation and the student has confirmed my insight that one to one sessions develop student ability to talk about their work. They helps student to devise techniques of reflective practice. It encourages the student self-critique and self-reflective skills. It help student to demonstrate evaluation of their work through the lens of their identity. However it shouldn’t be an occasion to praise the student work but to equip him/her with more tools to develop his/her knowledge. One to one practices can help the tutor as facilitator to identify specific needs of the pupil in order to generate bespoke interventions. Here below my plan and an extract of my one to one session for my teaching observation:

 

 

 

The session itself was very pleasing. The student’s creativity and eloquence helped me to generate a fluid conversation and relatively generous set of suggestion and ideas. I should have possibly brought tangible examples of my practice to show the student how my suggestions are helpful when put to practice. One to one session are a valuable coaching and mentoring excercise where possibly a more didactic approach can be applied. I didn’t share my work because I perceived it as a distraction from the main subject who was the students. However I haved realise that student don’t look at your work as a creative reference but as a tangible example of what happens in the real world.   

Why have I chosen this session for observation?
Encourage student to reflect critically on their work in order to enhance their learning and practice
Strengthen my understanding of the role of the tutor as facilitator
What is the context of this session within the curriculum?
Self-reflective learning
Intended or expected learning outcomes for this session:
  • Develop student ability to talk about their work
  • Help student to devise techniques of reflective practice
  • Encourage student self-critique and self-reflection skills
  • Help student to demonstrate evaluation of their work through the lens of their identity
  • Foster student engagement in the feedback process
Anticipated outputs from the session (anything students will make/do):
Student will demonstrate ability to talk about their work
Student will discuss the strategies that are already in use for self-reflective practice
Any potential difficulties or areas of concern:
My first one to one tutorial.
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Playing with the Matrix

 

 

Issues with encountered with assessment criteria:

  • Normative Phrases
  • Irrelevancy with project intended learning outcomes
  • Cultural myths and tropes around grade
  • Ambiguity of language
  • Quality vs Process – Who does establish the value of a piece of work
  • Who should guide processes of evaluation – students processes or student abilities?
  • Where does the value of self reflective practice sits in all this?

 

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Contextual Learning

 

Context inform and determine what we do and how we do it. David Byrne in this amazing speech through the evolution of music recording how our intention, our passion, our messages and the way  we choose to communicate them are determined by the environment where they are applied to. How does that apply to learning? Does that mean that we have to expose pupils to multiple modes of learning or variations of experiential learning ? Enabling and encouraging pupils to engage or observe different contexts can expand their ability to adapt and reconfigure their responsiveness and their learning processes. In an increasingly complex world which offers multiple possibilities, is the classroom the context where learning should happen anymore? Or should the classroom be the motherboard domain where contexts for enquiries and are methodically chosen, attached explored and reported?
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Asimov and Aoun on the future of learning

 

In this interesting excerpt Asimov anticipates that the rise of machines and a democratised access to a continuous stream of data would enable a one to one relationship between source of information and recipient. If on one side this social revolution challenges the humanitarian essence of learning as suggested by the interlocutor, it also offers new opportunities that could redefine the role of teaching. With tutors/lecturers as facilitators and moderators perhaps to counteract the limits this conformation of learning . Asimov possibly fails to assess two major issues that comes with solitary learning, driven perhaps by his enthusiasm for progress but also because challenged by the occurrence of unexpected developments of modern societies. First, “expert” learning. Maybe targeted or expert learning is not longer relevant in a very complex and robotised world where machines can deliver superior accuracy in specific and targeted tasks. Perhaps focus in teaching should be put mainly on students ability to collaborate and develop solutions with others. Ability to relate and engage very quickly with individuals with different cultural, social and professional background. Learn different things, more quickly, contextually and efficiently rather than focusing too much on the perfect grasp of a specific subject.

I totally agree with Asimov and other scholars such Joseph Aoun for example, that modern teachers should put all efforts to equip pupils with just-in-time learning processes which equip them with mind set that enables them to read information and data always actively. Such mindset helps pupils to  integrate what they are learning in group focused activities and respond with the generation of ideas prototypes and solutions, leaving the technical nitty gritty to machines. Secondly, inaccurate and biased information. Asimov fails to foresee and address human dubious integrity and morality which can be applied to any technological advancement. With the recent rise of fake news and manipulated data as tools of political warfare, programs are also obliged to equip students with analytical and critical skills to filter out and question narratives behind sources of information and data.

And that’s probably where the need of Aoun’s humanics demonstrate its full potential. Asimov suggests that given the uninterrupted flowing nature of acquisition of knowledge through machines, people would be able transfer their interest or expertise from one subject to another. I believe that should be a methodology to be nourished in learning environments rather than an omen. Using contexts and pertinence. These are opportunities that make role of tutors less marginal if not central to the learning abilities of students. Mass education was a necessary response to the advent of the first industrial revolution and the advent of mass production. What type of learner this new world needs? Perhaps a perpetual learner which offers tutor the opportunity of being a teacher of learning skills.
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Micro Teach Planning

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Inclusive Teaching – On Race

The strength of Shade of Noir‘s  platform lies either in the range of resources and formats provided to the learner and the specificity of topics offered in form of case studies. Even more importantly the association of faces to stories and reports, helps the reader to relate and identify with the treated subjects with relative ease. This editorial and strategic approach facilitate the platform’s intention to humanise the topics addressed. It also presents a platform that behaves as a self-reflective and co-productive community which is certainly in line with Freire’s belief that  “Attempting to liberate the oppressed without their reflective participation in the act of liberation is to treat them as objects which must be saved from a burning building;” [Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of The Oppressed].  When it comes to the platform’s applicability within teaching practice, I particularly enjoy SoN’s inclusive database of contemporary practitioners. If it’s true that HE institutions lack an offer of diverse resources to minorities, it is also true that the gap between resources and minority groups deepens when there is a need of contemporaneity of references.

However, is strong agency the best or only solution available to institutions to tackle cultural disparities and the urgent need of fairness in Higher Education? Agency certainly offers specificity, bespoke strategies and more importantly independence, however the lack of consistent acknowledgement and referencing across UAL platforms of SoN suggest that the full potential of such resource, unfortunately also depends on a robust and strategic support from the institutions which it operate with. Which begs the question, why should an institution promote a resource such as SoN? Read More »

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Inclusive Teaching – On Faith

I must start by saying that I am quite surprised by how informative, well organised and structured the mini site focused on Religious Literacy is. If compared with the portal directed to Gender equality, the lack of uniformity and content continuity between both sites, should absolutely be a matter of reflection of its own before delving any further into more intricate relationships between academia and religion. However this post will definitely not be the occasion to do so.

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Inclusive Teaching – On Gender

Gender Diversity at UAL

If awareness stems out of exposure and if exposure is nurtured by conversations and interrogations,  I’ve felt that the resources provided by UAL, an institution presented as an environment that celebrates diversity, individuality and innovation, were quite poor, vague and defective.

Unequivocally challenges and discourses around individual identity suggest the need of  an ongoing conversation between parts in order to foster pluralism rather than formal pragmatism and a culture of rigid authority that has been traditionally adopted between teachers and students, to establish a common ground and a dynamic of mutual understanding and respect.

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Introduction

I’ve graduated with the aspiration to establish myself as an independent practitioner. As tantalising and inspiring the idea of being an independent practitioner can be, dedicated to projects that are relevant and pertinent to your expertise, one of the hardest challenges to overcome once out of the safe net of education, is your personal ability to create and nurture a personal hub and network of collaborators and clients.

I’m now an independent designer practicing in the areas of music design, editorial design, branding, typography, web and curation. My practice focuses on the intersection between music, vernacular visual culture and visual communication focusing often on themes of self-identification and self-actualisation.

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