Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Critical Reflection Part 2

The purpose of the critical reflection is to demonstrate how practice has been transformed in any way, as a result of learning achieved on the module. This learning may have come from any of the following:

  • tasks you have completed
  • discussions either real or virtual with peers/classmates/colleagues
  • reading published texts
  • viewing blog posts
  • self reflection
  • practice
  • learning log/diary/journal

There were three broad themes covered in the module:

  • Communications Technologies
  • Reflection
  • Networking

You might ask yourself about how deeper engagement with these themes have impacted on both your learning and practice. What knowledge have you acquired as a result? One draft I have read mentioned that networking was taken to a more advanced stage with the establishment of a community of practice where knowledge is shared. It could be the case that your learning log shows how your perceptions have changed over time or in response to some new stimuli eg peers, published knowledge, practice.

The act of reflection can result in profound changes such as moving from:

Lacking self awareness ......Self Aware
Accepting ...... Questioning
Descriptive ..... Analytical
Reserved ..... Open
Unassertive ......Assertive
Doing ......Thinking

When presenting your critical reflection it would be good to tell us how you have learned. What do you do differently as a result of the learning and knowledge? For instance, instead of telling us that you have applied Gardner’s theories on multiple intelligences to your practice you should demonstrate how. Illustrate the change with an explanation. If it’s a complicated entity that has changed you might refer us to an appropriate appendix. Appendices are a tool which are useful in providing a back story. They provide the opportunity to enhance the main body of text.

You need to consider your appendices carefully. Position yourself at the centre of a myriad of evidence – e.g. Blog comments, learning diary entries, flickr photos etc, blog posts and sift through this evidence and choose the ones which best tell the story of your critical reflection. Some of the tasks you did may have been incidental. You may have posted a long blog on professional networking but perhaps the learning and transformation to you came about from a comment which someone made. Other academic advisors such as Alan and Adesola have written guidance on this topic which you could consult. After you have drafted up your portfolio for assessment it would be useful to re-read these blogs and self assess and come to a judgement about whether you have addressed the points they have made.

You have worked so hard on the tasks and the readings related to module. It’s now time to hone this mass of evidence into shape.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Some lines on lines of inquiry

I came across a funny greetings card at the weekend. It was a photo of a rather dashing woman and written beside her imposing image was the line, “My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance”. So while I am not dashing in any way, I decided to sweep the blogs with more than a glance in the last few days and was thrilled to see that some fascinating ideas are already emerging, touching on topics worthy of further inquiry. What’s also pleasing to note is that these topics of interest have stimulated much comment in our blogosphere.

From this activity we are beginning to see embryonic professional networks which could in the future form the basis of Subject Interest Groups. Stacey Wilson’s enthusiasm and inspiring curiosity on the topic of how professional practitioners cope with resting periods resonated with others. The use of celebrity, including the reality shows, in the promotion of dance theatre is both timely and relevant as presented by Sandy Moffat. The worthiness of investigating vocal qualities in singing was highlighted effectively by Alana Shirley while Ross Dunning’s blog on the back and spine in dance is clearly of deep personal interest to him. What is of deep personal interest to one professional practitioner would clearly be of interest to other practitioners. Stephanie Montgomery’s suggested topic, which is novel to me personally – the unexpected use of material such as making a dress out of raw meat is certainly pushing the boundaries. What all of these have in common is that they all are of deep personal interest and finding the answers will enhance professional practice. My sweep of the blogs was very rewarding and I look forward to reading more from everyone.