This blog is created to support conversation generated from and about the learning process for MA Professional Practice (dance pedagogy) at Middlesex University.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Summer Intensive - August book now - only a few places!!!

Here is the information about our exciting Summer Intensive this year (August 14-18th 2017). The Intensive is a week long bringing together somatic movement and art practices and writing. It is a great way to explore your voice in dance scholarship and practice. Or focus in on something you want to write or create. The link below will take you to a site where you can find out more about the course. 
(It is also nice to note that you can book accommodation at theUniversity for as little as £20 a night right here  in London!) Hope to see you in August. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Adesola and Helen

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Thoughts after the morning discussion group (May 7th 2017)

I was thinking about the idea of vulnerability. A word we talked about in the morning discussion group in terms of the vulnerability of the researcher. Thinking about vulnerability I started to think about its connection to fear. Does vulnerable have to be connected to fear? Is fear always detrimental? The word (vulnerable) can be to do with fear, defencelessness and weakness. But there is also something about the vulnerability we cultivate as artists which is about being open, exposed and sensing. I wonder how at are ‘open’ as researchers. One of BAPP students has been inquiring into vulnerability in her practice

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Quick note about the reflective essay for Module One.

Module One - please don't let the reflective Essay take a backseat at this point. It is the work you are doing directly for Module One.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Sunday group discussion

Sunday is first Sunday of month discussion group

11am (time in London)
5pm (time in London)

Comment below to indicate which one you will join and what things you will talk about.

The call will be coming from Helen.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

On feedback

I recently posted the article I wrote with MAPP DTP alumni Rose Payne about feedback. We talked about the post in some discussion group conversations. The article talks about feedback being transactional – going between student and teacher (two-way). Not just given to student from teacher (one way). The feedback is not to tell you if it is good or not but to stimulate further thought. The further thought is going be present or not yet activated in all your work. For instance, if you get feedback on an AOL that you should use more literature to support your points. That is going to be the same across all your writing or if it isn’t the same across all your writing then have a look at the essays you have done where you have used more literature and apply it to all your work. You must already know how to do it so do it for all the work then.

Or if you have used even less in all your other work. Have at look at the AOL where you got the feedback (even though you used more literature than your other essays) and think about what you did to use for literature and do more of it.

Helen and I are going to flag up and let you know URGENTLY if we think something will fail. We are not giving feedback to tell you pass or fail. The feedback is not to say yes this is good you don’t have do any more to this!!!
The point of sending the draft
1)    Time management: The main point was that we had noticed people were leaving writing all their AOLs until the last minute and sometimes not getting them done in time. By giving you a draft deadline it meant you had to commit of all the AOLs you would be writing and also have thought about each of them
2)    Staring a conversation: On getting the drafts I have read them all – I have chosen one that can produce feedback that resonates across all that were sent. I have not marked each one as if I was marking a school paper – it is not summative feedback that ends with you knowing if you passed. That has everything to do with the emancipation of learning from the teacher instructing to the teacher facilitating and partnering in the learning journey we have spoken about in discussions etc…
3)    Stimulating your ideas: The feedback provides ideas to think about. I don’t understand why more people don’t then want to take up the opportunity to discuss it. – that is part of the transaction of feedback. It is a two-way conversation.

I am worried you are suffering in silence – or feeling your are in the deep-end alone. There needs to be a trust that Helen and I are not setting you up. We’ll let you know any major problems. There needs to be a feeling of interaction, discussion and ownership through talking about the feedback. Maybe you don’t agree with some comments, maybe you don’t follow some comments. Maybe you have written something else and want to know if you have addressed a particular observation in your feedback. You could send it saying –

After your comment about use of Literature: ‘please can you look at my use of literature in these four paragraphs of my new draft of AOL 3. It is not the AOL you feedback on but I felt of all my AOLs I use literature lease in this one. So I thought I would work on this one for that. I feel I have xxxxxx and I wonder if your think I need to xxxxx“ then we can read look at that specific point and give further feedback.

So, it is not just you sending things until you get an good job well don’t comment. It is about dialogue challenge and interaction.


Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Methodology - Sunday Discussions

Sunday discussions went well – in the morning we talked about a range of topics converging on methodology – how we go about things. How we notice significant things - things at sparkle in our memory or imagination when we consider an idea. The conversation suggested that this was about ‘narrowing down’ ideas to better manage them. In other words not to be overwhelmed by the on-going growth or wonder of finding out more but to follow the trails of the things that compel you and inspire you as a starting point of finding out more.

We talked about the use of confidence to keep you moving forward and not second guessing yourself. Then we linked the points we were making in the conversation to positivist and non-positivist methodological approaches. We noted that a non-positivist approach is really the design model the course calls for. It does not involve certainly as a guiling principle so the uncertainty of the wealth of ideas people were experiencing (the feel of sometimes being lost) could be seen as part of the terrain of this kind of research approach. It is not about fixed facts it is about a process or journey to asking deep questions.

So maybe some of this is about shifting our perception of what research is and what it can do. We talked about it being like layers, or watercolour paints that bleed into each other rather than about finding out an answer to a fixed question.  It became clear reflection and reflectivity are key. Also how the past shapes our present perceptions of education and research.

We talked then about how a change of mind is not isolated to the mind but a shift in approach to everything because everything is connected. Research is about being sensitive to how even the smallest shift in experience reverberates across our understanding of everything.    

People in the conversation and who are posting on it also are:


In the afternoon we talked about objectivity, artistic v academic, learning through dancing. This conversation included talking about the low value dance has in some peoples hierarchy of learning. “wow you can do a degree in dance – I’ve heard you can do a degree in anything nower days.!!’ This returned us in many ways to the positivist non-postivist of the morning. The value of dance, or the academic-ness of the arts etc… are measured differently depending on what model for understanding what the world is you use (ontology). And what model for understanding what knowledge you use (epistemology). Whatever your area of scholarship you first need to have a theoretical framework (a sense of where you stand ontologically and/or epistemologically) this is because you do not want to spend all your time justifying what you are doing in some models your work will not be valuable. You want to know the framework you are working in order to make sure you keep moving forward and challenge yourself meaningfully. This awareness of where you stand is important because otherwise you are fighting the personal fight of your own study against gigantic models for research that have nothing to do with what you are doing. In other words, you cannot spend your time persuading yourself you are academic after a history of not feeling academic – you may very well not be in the terms you are setting out.  But you can shift what your perception of academic is to better understand the learning you have done. Then the question is not ‘artistic or academic?’ ‘It is artistic academia how and where do I fit in?’  Then you can spend you time finding the theory and thinking and frameworks that make sense for your embodied approach to the world.

We talked abit about the blog post on Theory, theoretical frameworks and ethics (see below posts) . It only has one comment please comment there too.

The pm discussion was with:

Please have a look at each other’s posts on the two discussions, comment there and here.

Helen and I reminded you the Dancing and writing  Professional Practice Summer Intensive is fun and inspiring and helpful  and open for  registration now. See post below.