And so it begins again…

Painting the Forth… lots of new beginnings and no end in sight 😉

Three-and-a-half months off… was that too long? In some ways it doesn’t feel long enough – it’s been a busy summer what with SOSI and Early Career Researcher training – So here I am drumming up enthusiasm for studying. Doesn’t take much 😉

I’ve already changed my mind about my option unit; I initially chose Leadership and Management over Learning & Teaching, because I like to challenge myself and stretch my comfort zone, innit. But I went to the first L&M unit session and dipped into some of the reading on the train home, and I just couldn’t get excited about it… it just didn’t feel like something I needed or wanted to be engaging in right now.

So… I am waiting to be added to the T&L Moodle site, but I have the unit handbook and there are two or three things on the reading list that immediately caught my eye. These two seem highly relevant to the kind of questions I’ve been grappling with recently (always!) in designing & delivering the PG Cert:

Dye, V. (1999) Is Educational Theory being Valued by Student Teachers in Further and Higher Education? Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 51 (2), pp.305-319.

Fisher, T., Higgins, C., and Loveless, A. (2006) NESTA Futurelab Series: Teachers as learners with digital technologies,Bristol: NESTA Futurelab  

…and these two interest me on a more fundamental level:

Coffield,F.(Ed) (1999) Speaking Truth to Power, Bristol: The Policy Press.

Bernstein, B. and Solomon, J. (1999) ‘Pedagogy, Identity and the Construction of a Theory of Symbolic Control’: Basil Bernstein questioned by Joseph Solomon. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 20 (2), pp.265-279.

For Writing for Academic Practice 2 we need to rework an existing piece of writing into a journal article. I’m concerned that my MA dissertation topic is past its sell-by date, and both last year’s RRW assignments are too personal to be of general interest, but I guess updating and reframing the work is a core aspect of the task. I realised later on in the session that I have a huge amount of existing writing already on this blog; however, as I’d actually like to try and publish the outcome, expanding a single post into a 5000 word paper might be making life a little more difficult than it needs to be. I think I need to start by auditing what I have, so that will be my first activity.

Also in my mind is the brief conversation I had with our Dean of Learning, Teaching & Enhancement on Friday, about making sure my research outputs hang together in a coherent way. I think I need a second conversation to check my understanding of what she meant by this… I certainly need to take up the offer of getting a UAL research mentor; the more perspectives I can get on this the better. Perhaps a brief chat with James – who led the Research as an Academic Practice unit that I completed this summer – might help in the first instance. I will make an appointment to talk through my initial ideas with him.

As I hate reading on the computer (and do much of my reading on crowded London buses), I have just ordered two of the core texts – Hyland’s Academic Discourses (which I already feel like I read most of last year), and Murray’s rather friendly-looking text about getting published in journals. One of my students told me about Amazon’s student account – which gets you half-price Prime membership – so I have signed up for that too.


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