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.