Warning! The below has been written really fast almost in automated writing mode and might not all make sense… the beauty of reflection
It feels really strange…
since the session finished yesterday at 12.30pm I felt the need to capture my thoughts but up to now I didn’t have the time and even now while I start writing this I feel that I will be interrupted and won’t be able to focus and write what I am or was thinking about our session. I somehow feel that I am starting it at the wrong moment in time… the house will soon be full of noise again and my brain will think about supper, washing, cleaning and the weekend. This all highlights to me that we might be reflect in our minds while we do something else and we are perfectly capable of doing this but when it comes to get it out of our system we need to concentrate and be in the right state. But it is not just about us it is also about the environment we are in and what and who surrounds us and all the noise. Maybe I am just saying these things here because I know that I only have a few minutes until I have to stop and start again probably late this evening.
I spent this morning marking portfolios and it is really enrichening to read all the stories and journeys. So much excitement and learning. I am really pleased that the majority of our cohort 1 participants found the core module useful and meaningful. Like I said in class yesterday, it is hard to please everybody but I think sometimes we just focus on pleasing the majority and that is not right. We need to pay more attention to the little indications when something starts going wrong when people start disconnecting or not connecting. It is though difficult if we are not let in their world, if we are blocked out. What do we do then?
Is the PGCAP and any PgCert problematic or too ambitious trying to bring individuals from different disciplines together? I am wondering more and more each day or is there something we are doing wrong and just seem to appeal and connect with certain disciplines more than others. I am not sure but I think I need to have an open conversation with a few of the individuals who didn’t connect to find out and I hope that I will be able to organise something to understand and investigate what we could or should do to change that. BUt now, I started talking about marking and not yesterday’s session. Strange how reflection works, isn’t it. You start somewhere but usually you don’t know where your mind will take you.
Let’s try again. Yesterday’s session. Right! What did we do. We had a closer look at designing sessions and the important part for me was to make everybody think of the importance of planning and which factors influences this process. We all plan our sessions, some more organically than others. Others start with sessions plans, others use sticky notes, others create mindmaps and others build the structure into their presentations. Nothing wrong with any of these and I am sure there are other methods that people use (would love to hear about them!). The important bit is that we plan, the how will depend on the situation, the way we do things and what works for us. Sometimes, we don’t know. Finding out will help us design more effectively and effective sessions. Planning not just what we will deliver but most importantly how we are going to deliver. The activity we did with the English breakfast caused a lot of laughter. I am not sure if everybody found it as useful as I thought it would be. Maybe it was the topic… but for me it wasn’t so much about the topic. The topic could be astronomy, car design or anything else. It was more about the how we plan and I am not sure if that was clear enough. I was thinking how this task could be developed further or alterned and am thinking in the next cohort to forget about the cookery (we had too much food themes yesterday anyway!). Each participant could think about one of their own sessions they plan to deliver in a week or two or one of the observed sessions. I think this way it would be more meaningful and useful. The plans put together (I think this might need to happen in advance) would then be discussed in class with somebody from another discipline and finalised. Then this should be implemented. But this wouldn’t be the end of it. No! Then we could revisit the plan and reflect on it and discuss how it went. I need to think of a way to embed this process more organically in the session or a series of sessions. Actually while I am writing now I am developing this idea further. Just thought that we could start designing the session at the very first session. Just give the template and progressively through the weeks add the ingredients so that at the end of the module everybody should have at least one complete session plan with all the vital features and elements. That would also be very interesting. I am going to think about this a bit more and come up with a more concrete plan that we could try. I would also be very interested to hear from people who attended yesterday’s session what they felt about this specific activity.
I better stop here now because it will be noisy very soon. Have a good weekend everybody and see you next Thursday in Manchester City Centre.