N°19- Engaging Imagination

Here are some interesting excerpts from this reading. I focused on chapters 1,2 and 8 as this is what interested me with my practise.

Chapter 1 focused on the idea of introducing 3-4 modalities to engage the students to have better results. Giving students that time to mull over and practise different forms of learning is more memorable to the students. I would like to practise this in a workshop that I teach the students for draping. I usually get the students to drape using fabric based on a image. To implement different modalities I would like them to first

  1. Make a mini paper mock up of the image
  2. Create a working drawing of the image
  3. Write down an analysis of the seams and details of the image

Chapter 2 focuses on thinking critically.

Chapter 8 uses clinical therapy to analyse how to ask good questions. They use a case study where they ask students to write self characterisations of themselves. They share them and analyse them in terms of context, recurrent or dominant themes and motifs. I do something similar with my students where we ask them to write a bio about themselves. I however ask them to present to get to know the students and form a community amongst them. Ido not use it for analyse and self discovery. I would like to investigate clinical therapy in teaching further for my practise.

James, A. Brookfield, S. (2014) Engaging Imagination. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

N°17- Opportunities and Challenges

In this session Lindsay had us brainstorm about the opportunities and challenges using one on one teaching, small group teaching, one to many and crits. See them outlined below:

One to one teaching

Opportunities

● Personalised, inclusive – can meet diverse needs ● Private/confidential ● Can be straight with individuals who need a push ● Build relationship & trust ● Look at personal development and progress

Challenges

● Parity of student experience ● Repetition of effort ● Have to be on one another’s wavelength ● Feedback limited by teacher’s experience ● Puts onus on tutor ● Can turn into pastoral care ● Can create dependency ● Easy to go off topic ● Time management

Small Group Teaching

Opportunities

● Less intimidating than bigger groups ● Space to move around ● Ideal for practical/technical skill development ● More democratic, less hierarchical? ● Intimate, personalisable ● Facilitates exchange of ideas, participation ● Peer to peer learning ● Cover more ground than in 1-2-1 teaching? ● Easier to pitch at right level than with large groups ● Good for technical/hands on teaching ● Good for brainstorming ● Reflects many aspects of professional practice ● More onus on students ● Build students’ confidence ● Can explain or set outcomes at the start

Challenges

● Enforced participation ● More time-intensive than with larger groups ● Balancing contributions from participants ● Feedback more generic/less personal ● Forming the groups ● Keeping students off their mobile devices ● Placement of multiple groups in room ● Individual personalities/attitudes have more impact ● Attendance/punctuality can radically alter group dynamic ● Getting feedback from group ● Evaluating learning/grading e.g. collaborative projects ● Keeping up momentum ● Relies on verbal communication

One to many (lectures)

Opportunities

● Can pre-determine structure ● Good for giving an overview of a subject ● Good for introducing complex ideas ● Can help to develop the lecturer’s own thoughts ● Easy to use multimedia – videos, images, etc ● Can see lots of students in one go ● Can help to create a community ● Student perception of contact time and value for money ● Parity of student experience ● Can record/lecture capture ● No repetition ● Bringing in guest lecturers ● Suits students who are ready to engage

Challenges

● Not personalisable ● Managing large numbers ● Ensuring attendance ● Difficult for those on the language boundary ● Meeting diverse learning needs ● Gaining and maintaining attention ● Performance anxiety ● Keeping them awake ● Limited opportunity for dialogue ● Difficult to check understanding ● How can they ask questions? ● Reliance on IT, Tech

Crits

Opportunities

● Formative assessment – student can see how they are doing ● Student learns to articulate and reflect on own work ● Identify strengths and weaknesses ● Peer feedback ● New perspectives, varied feedback ● Sharing info & references ● Strengthening of group/sense of community ● Develop critical analysis skills ● Build confidence in presenting ● Can see students’ work as a whole ● Can involve everyone ● Preparation for ‘real world’

Challenges

● Negative affect (emotions, stress) ● Potential for tutor to dominate ● Potential for some students to dominate ● Student absence due to fear ● Developing an open, honest process ● Cultural friction? ● Requires full engagement ● Takes a long time ● Breadth of knowledge needed

N°16- Creative Attributes Framework

In the teaching and learning session on June 7th we discussed employability within the curriculum as well as The Creative Attributes Framework. I found this session very relevant to my practise as that morning we had a meeting to discuss our graduate profile and discussed the framework in relation to our course revalidation.

In the discussion about our graduate profile we discussed that we would like a graduate with a strong combination of design and technical skills. We would like them to be aware of the transferrable skills that we teach them which would enable them to work in any creative field. The skills that we would like them to acquire throughout their degree are in line with the framework and include: confidence, agility, storytelling and enterprise.

See The Credit Framework Attributes below:

During the sessions we were recommended some readings. One was “Creative Graduates, Creative Futures.” In reading it another attribute I would like to propose adding to our graduate profile it to have a solid awareness of work/life balance. I believe this is something that leads to a more sustainable future. Another interesting aspect in the journal was becoming a life long learner. Our graduate should always continue to develop their creative practise and we should nurture them to be able to do so on their own.

The journal finishes by saying “It is clear there is work to be done to prepare graduates for the likelihood they will be self‐employed and for the requirements for creative careers, with appropriate support for progression into work and continuing professional development into their careers.” This is interesting as I am a teaching/practitioner and this aspect is something that I value in teaching the students. I am going to explore how to integrate this into a short unit for our course revalidation.

Ball L, Pollard E, Stanley N. (2010) Creative Graduates Creative Futures

 

N°15- Internationalisation

In our session on internationalisation in education we looked at how it affects us as teachers and the challenges in delivering education to internationally diverse cohorts. I recently did a workshop in March on Internationalisation at the Learning and Teaching conference at LCF. In this workshop we were put into groups to discuss the topic of internationalisation in our classroom. One of tutors in my group asked where I was from and I told him I was sort of a mixed bag (my parents from South American but I was born in Jamaica, raised in Canada and then moved the London later in life). He was a bit dumbfounded with this information as he was British and had lived in England his whole life. He the asked if I share my background with my students.

I realised that I did not, I find that I try not share personal information with my students. We then had a discussion as a group and the workshop leader pointed out that sharing my background could help foster interculture with the students. If I am hesitant to speak about my culture, how can I engage my students to do so?

Within my practise I would like to design more sessions on cross cultural collaboration as I have now realised its importance. I watched the below video about The Global Classroom that Natasha Radcliff Thomas set up.

By engaging in cross cultural collaboration we can, foster interculture, encourage peer-to-peer learning which allows the students to gain insights into other cultures which helps to increase interculture awareness and accommodation.

Internationalization is a something that I need to further look into in my practise not only for planning and teaching but also to help support student learning. I would like to delve deeper into understanding what motivates my international students to come to the UK and understand what they do with the skills we teach them once they graduate.

 

 

N°14- Sustainability

For our sessions on sustainability we were asked to find a definition of “sustainable development” that resonates with us. The definition that I found was in the Brundtland report that states:

Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts:

  • the concept of needs, in particular the essential needs of the world’s poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and
  • the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment’s ability to meet present and future needs.” (Sustainable Development, 2015)

Most people in the sessions had this definition and we discussed the implications of this. For instance who determines the needs in the first concept and how can this put into the context of learning.

I then began to do some research after the session on Steven Sterling and his research to help me understand sustainability in the context of learning. The key concept that I found interesting with regards to Sustainable Learning is criticality. Sterling quotes Raskin in the Journal for Sustainability Education who states “the shape of the global future rests with the reflexivity of human consciousness – the capacity to think critically about why we think what we do – and then to think and act differently”. (Raskin 2008: 469). Sterling suggest a shift in seeing, knowing and doing as stated below. (Sterling 2014)

  • Seeing – perception (or the affective/normative dimension). This is the perceptual domain – how we see the world, make sense of it, and how our filters affect this experience.
  • Knowing– conception (or the cognitive/descriptive dimension). This is the conceptual domain – how we understand the world and represent the world to ourselves and others.
  • Doing – practice (or the intentional/applicative dimension). This is to do with how we actively participate in the world, which relates to decisions, plans.

 

He states that in educational terms this “represents change in paradigm and purposepolicy and curriculum and pedagogy and practice.” (Sterling 2014)

The way Sterling breaks it down into these 3 areas makes it easier to understand how to integrate sustainability into my pedagogy and practise. From reading this I discovered that it is not just a matter of teaching a unit on sustainability but as a course we need to look at our three year program as a whole and teach the skills needed for our students to actively participate into thinking critically about what they are doing and how this can impact the rest of the world. We have to make them start to see themselves as a part of this vast community in which they can make an impact on.

IISD (2015) Available at: http://www.iisd.org/topic/sustainable-development (Accessed: 25 July 2017).

Sterling, S. (2014) ‘At variance with reality: how to rethink our thinking ‘, The Journal of Sustainability Education, Reflection.

 

 

N°13- Kaospilot

At the beginning of the term I was lucky enough to see a tutor from Kaospilot speak about their school’s philosophy. I was really inspired by their whole concept as a school. I later visited their website and jotted down a few key points from their philosophy page that resonated with me.

Look at the students strengths and weaknesses, and find unique support for their professional and personal development

Experimental Teaching

The aim is not only to acquire and transfer existing knowledge, but also to develop new knowledge and new perspectives.

Experiment

In conjunction with the choice of projects and methods, most of our teaching is intended to be experimental, like a research-oriented laboratory. The aim is not only to acquire and transfer existing knowledge, but also to develop new knowledge and new perspectives.

Exploration

Our approach is goal-directed and rooted in reality. All of our programmes explore current and potential trends within their fields of study. At the same time, students and participants are encouraged and supported to find their own fields of interest, imagine their own desired futures and values, and test theories and methods to achieve that change.

Experience

Learning primarily comes from first-hand experience, and the active participation of students is central. Learning is supported and enhanced by reflection on these experiences. Practice within real-time environments encourages not only an increasing level of aptitude, but also a new understanding of the world.

Enterprise

An enterprising approach empowers students and participants by taking the individual as a starting point and developing a learning environment in which they can move themselves towards new learning, rather than be directed as such. Our programmes and culture are strong on imagination and initiative, and encourage our students and participants to show the same qualities.

Kaospilot (2017) Kaospilot Philisophy. Available at:http://www.kaospilot.dk/philosophy/ (Accessed: 22 July 2017).

N°12- Atelier method in Teaching

Since starting teaching I have realised that I have not analysed or tried to understand the method of teaching that we practice within the womenswear course. I was recently at a teaching day and one of my colleagues was giving us a presentation and mentioned the “Atelier Method” in teaching. A lightbulb went off and I thought surely that’s the method I use and made a mental note to look into it further.

 One the strongest points that resonates with my practice in the Atelier method is that there is a close educational link with the professional world. Formed not by the students going into the practitioner’s office but by the practitioner coming into school. This link is important in the fashion industry and when planning the UHB I try to maintain this by drawing upon my experience as a practitioner in the industry to formulate the lessons in an order that would be similar to that of the industry.

 The crits instilled in the Atelier method help prepare the student for professional life. This is done within my practice, there is both a formative crit and a fitting within the term. This is where students show their work in progress to both tutors and sometimes industry professionals. Within our practice consistency and parity is needed amongst our crits. I have looked at the crits recently and some involve industry professionals and others do not. The students really value that link to industry and to improve, this should be consistent throughout all crits. Also mentioned in the Atelier method is that students from other Ateliers can attend the crit. This is something that I would like to implement. Right now only students within the same group (Atelier) can attend the crit however it could help their learning to see the feedback given from other tutors and industry professionals from other groups.

 The assessment within the Atelier method does not the average mark at the end. This is allows for the students achievement to be transparent. This idea is interesting as in our practice we mark the student in individual categories but then assign them a final cumulative grade at the end. I have had referral tutorials with students and noticed that they do not pay attention to the individual grades but only the final mark, which insinuates that they are not looking at each area to progress. Perhaps only assigning a pass or fail would alleviate this. Within the Atelier teaching method the assessment is done with a panel of judges from the different ateliers and they establish how the marking criteria has been applied in each specific case. The students speak to the panel and then the panel reaches a decision after a deliberation. This encourages the tutors to debate what criteria should be applied. This allows for the work in each atelier to be compared and the tutors get to know the work from all of the students. This is contrast to our practice where we ask students to submit work and mark them on an individual basis. We benchmark within the group with all tutors present so that we have the comparison of the work however the debate on criteria rarely happens with the tight timeframe we have to assess. I like the aspect of getting to know the students work this well. In year one we currently have 5 groups and as the unit leader I feel like I struggle with knowing each student.

Weaver, N. (1997), “The Atelier Principle in Teaching”, Reflective Practice, pp. 35-44.

N°11- Identity

 

The last session we had in TEL was regrading online identity. It was given by a guest lecturer who gave a lecture with some examples of how online identity could go well and how it can be used poorly. It was then followed up with a group task where we had to establish our own online manifesto to reflect our discipline.

We were already sitting in the groups we had made from our collaborative project so we continued working in these groups. Since our group already had an instagram for TEL we spent the first 20 minutes planning our manifesto. We decided that we wanted to focus on breaking free from technology. We would show this through images of people around the school tied to technology. Once we were happy with our manifesto we set off to find our subject matters. It was pretty easy to walk around the school and snap pictures of students on their phone during lectures and in the library. We then realised we might encounter some privacy issues so we decided to blur the faces in our images. I had an app on my phone that could do this so I took over editing and uploading the photos and Liz and Emmanuel edited the captions simultaneously whilst Thomas added our final photo to demonstrate our manifesto. It was a great activity to see how you can use instgram to portray a manifesto and thus your identity online. It shows how strong image sharing can be in terms of your identity.

N°10- Collaboration

We were set a task to do a collaborative group task towards the end of our TEL unit. There was a selection of project briefs. I unfortunately had to leave the session early and picked my task before I left. I chose to do task number 2 which was to:

Curate 15-20 images that reflect your thoughts about the discussion and activities that you have engaged with during this unit. Publish these on a suitable platform. Each person must contribute at least 4 images. These can be found or generated as appropriate. The reason I chose this task is because image sharing is a vital part of the design process that we teach and iI wanted to see how this could be curated and done collaboratively.

Since I was not present in the session I was not able to initially discuss the task with the rest of this group. This however did not hinder me. Liz who I previously collaborated with was in my group and she imessaged me that we would be communicating using email. This was the easiest method since we all had our staff email accounts and we did not want to set up something more advanced for communication as it was such a short project.

In the email the group had sent a link to a Google Docs which was the space for our collaboration. We would use this to upload our images to. We decided to then take the images from this document and upload them to Instagram. The reason for this was whilst the Google Doc was public and the images could be seen they could not be hashtagged and offer us the visibility. We also found that instagram presented our images nicely in a grid format which was desired and the visibility with hashtags would be greater.

We found that with the google docs set up the images fell into place and connected with each other very well. Once Liz had uploaded her images I inserted mine to coincide with these and so did everyone else in the group. I was the only one in the group that uploaded my own generated photos. I did not want to encounter any copyright issues. The other members in my group were not bothered by this and uploaded found images. Once the images were all in the google docs Emmanuel uploaded them into instagram. This proved to be a bit difficult as you cannot do this on a computer without using a separate app so he had to do it using a mobile device. This meant saving the images to his phone and uploading them this way. In hindsight sending the images through imessage or starting a whatsapp group may have been more efficient.

Once the instagram was finished we chose to meet to discuss our findings. This method was preferred over using skype or facetime as we found we could make decisions and easily discuss the project this way. We all agreed that more prep time was needed before starting the project to reduce the difficulties we had. We however were pretty satisfied with our final result. See below: