Showing posts from 2017

Exploring Methods and Methodologies

Over the past 2 weeks I have been engrossed in background reading of my chosen topic and also contemplating the research methods and methodologies surrounding my research proposal.

Through the literature search, I discovered that values were embedded in a number of disciplines. including educational philosophy, sociology, dance education and pedagogy, psychology and child development.
I noticed similarities in the Grounded Theory approach discussed by Margaret Wilson (2009) and my research project. For example, using pedagogy as a source of analysis and ‘observing how the approach to teaching shaped the dancer’s experiences as well as how the student’s experiences…’ (Wilson, 2009, p5). 
However, the nature of the research also lends itself well to ethnography, because it is based on the views and experiences of the students and parents in my dance school. There is a sense that all social researchers are participant observers (Hammersley and Atkinson, 1995), thus my pre-fieldwork prepar…

Bringing ideas together

As my professional practice, is based around teaching and running my dance school, I choose this as the focus of my research project. When I set up my own dance school, I did it because I wanted to build a legacy and something that reflected my beliefs and values.
I had taught in a variety of settings including salsa clubs, community groups, schools, fitness, private dance schools, primary and secondary schools and FE colleges. 10 years on, starting this MA course, I found myself questioning how my school was set up, the ethos I wanted to embrace and also how I filtered this into my teaching. On reflection, I noticed that prior experience had a lot to do with my beliefs and my priorities as the owner of a school as well as personality traits. For example, as a child I struggled socially in school to be part of a group as I felt my “difference” was not understood. As a result, when I set up my school I made a point of creating an environment in which “difference” was accepted and embrac…

Choosing a research topic and thoughts from Skype group discussion 05/11/2017

Something that resonated from our group discussion on Sunday was how our experiences as dancers filters through into our teaching. We agreed that to an extent the way we judge ourselves and critique as dancers, can add both a positive and negative aspect to our teaching and ultimately impact our students. If I consider my training and experience as a dancer, the areas of technique, which I struggled with are reinforced and over compensated in my teaching to ensure that the students I train do not have the same problems.
The process of finding a topic for my research project was more difficult then I thought. Initially I thought about the impact of competitive dance on my students as this was something I introduced to my school 18 months ago and wanted to look at how this had changed the students attitudes, perceptions and others around them. The problem, was that indirectly, I already knew the answer, thus proving something I already knew or thought I knew. Instead I went back to the m…

TASK 1 - Exploring notions of knowledge, certainty and body positivism

‘I am a dancer. I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one's being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes in some area an athlete of God. To practice means to perform, in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire’ (Graham cited in Carter, 1988, p65-66). 
Martha Graham interests me because I can draw parallels within my own choreographic methods and way of moving. She believed that her choreography was autobiographical and reflective.  She states that, ‘Art is eternal for it reveals the inner landscape which is the sole of man’ (Graham cited in Carter, 1998, p66). In this way she uses dance to express her feelings and emotions in order to reveal something about herself. When you examine the chro…

Resonating thoughts on Epistemological positions Chapter 1 - Module 2 Handbook

The first thing which influenced my thinking was the quote ‘what you know frames how you understand the world’ (p15) The idea that research was not as clear cut as I first thought, and it stems from how you see the world, makes it appear as a collage of outcomes or ideas rather then a fixed outcome. 
Our own history affects how we view the information we are given. Before carrying out any research it is important to understand our epistemological positions and that of others within our chosen area of research. 
Epistemology or the discussion of knowledge is based in philosophy. When considering the viewpoints of these scholars, it is important to consider the voice of the author, i.e the white, European male perspective. It is important to acknowledge how the author may affect or skew the knowledge based on their own views. For example, our own historical overview comes from a European framework where it is influenced and distorted by the western experience of modernity. It is impossibl…

Recognising and reflecting on Module 1

In module 1, I was able to reflect on my prior knowledge by acknowledging what I had gained through my experience as a teacher and an academic learner. I made the following discoveries about myself including

I wasn’t aware of how much I had achieved in a relatively short time in my life I wasn’t aware of the running theme of value and purpose in dance in education that resonated through the various jobs I had taken.I had opted for the same job roles but across different organisations and educational settings. Although I quickly made the decision about where my career priorities wereI always thought my academic and intellectual side outweighed the practical and experiential side, when actually the evidence suggested my entrepreneurial approach and practical skills in applying knowledge seem to be at the forefront of my learning I became more aware of my preferences as a learner and why I learn, teach and exist in a certain way. I am inquisitive by nature and am drawn to the WHY and do n…

Moving forwards - Frameworks and beyond proving theories

thoughts from the skype discussion  Sunday 1st October, 5pm
The discussion started by revisiting the ideas of knowledge and experience from module 1 - knowing and not knowing. The awareness of your own position in a framework or whether you are the kind of person trying to prove or gather answers. Creativity is not always looked upon by outsiders as academic. Sometimes we take for granted the knowledge or unspoken understanding within the Arts that acknowledges that not everything can be contextualised through academia. Trying to prove using a binary ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ from a positivist or scientific perspective does not translate when looking at the embodiment of movement or indeed reflection as there are no right or wrong answers. Instead the translation of experience through critical reflection can help us explain our choices, methods and own theoretical perspective and frameworks in the same way that our moral background influences our actions and our personality in everyday life. T…

Reflecting on the value of Dance In Education