The course, and subsequently, my thoughts have suddenly picked up pace this week. Which means that there are quite a few blogposts pending. But before I jump into all the things that need to be said, done and reflected upon, I want to take this blogpost to simply pause.
Yesterday we continued Symposium 1 and our course leader, Jonathan, mentioned that our classmate Steph’s categorization of her blog was worth looking over to give us a sense of organization and direction. Steph described using the Gibb’s model for her reflective journal and dividing her MA journal into clear categories. It definitely made her blog far easier to keep track of and also allowed her to write these extremely thorough reflective entries about all her experiences. Quite impressive.
So when I say ‘pause’, I mean that before I go any further I want to spend a day simply organizing my own blog. Too many links/categories won’t work well for me, so here I am to do my own research and devise a scheme for organization that DOES suit me.
Here is the reflective learning model that really rang true for me:
Even though he states that there are four types of learners, I feel that we exhibit a piece of each of these types within us. So for me, all four types are relevant. Most importantly, as I go forward with this MA I want to use both the perception and processing continuums mentioned by Kolb, to evolve my practice and project proposal.
Essentially, my journal and my journey will be a combination of concrete experiences, abstract conceptualizations, reflective observations and active experimentation, and this is the way I will categorize my MA blog from now on.
Concrete Experiences:To record my concrete experiences from which will stem all future learning and evolution, I will include the categories ‘Lectures and tutorials’ and ‘Exhibitions and Art events’. Lectures from the course leader, tutorials from the teachers, and discussions with my classmates every Tuesday, often form the basis of the action plan for that week and are a source of inspiration and food for thought. Exhibitions at local galleries and art events are something I am actively looking into at the moment, to see what the local culture of Jeddah has to offer and incorporate it into my MA journey.
Reflective Observation:Every concrete experience is followed by a day of stepping back, thinking and evaluating. Every time I find myself reflectively observing, I end up reverting to books, online research and talks to help me contextualize and order my thoughts. So the category I will be adding to monitor this aspect is: ‘Secondary Research’.
Abstract conceptualization:My experiences and my reflections and observations will then feed into my thought process as I map out the details of my MA project. This includes the ‘Reflective Journal’ we are expected to maintain, as well as the continually evolving ‘Project Proposal’ course leader Jonathan introduced us to this Tuesday.
Active Experimentation:Finally, progress will occur when all of the above thoughts, feelings and experiences are used in a trial and error process to actively experiment and get feedback from my peers and teacher, which will in turn help me reevaluate the viability of my project proposal at each step. Since my aim is to carry out a community project at a pretty big scale, I want to work up towards it by hosting smaller events and community gatherings of like-minded people, as well as doing collaborations with my peers and others. So the first category will be ‘Events and collaborations’, and the second ‘Practice’ will address the actual artwork I continue to produce in the studio.
Since the object of this MA blog is not simply to summarize our experiences but also to write reflectively, I would like to use the Lawrence Wilkes’ REFLECT model when writing each of these entries to ensure that I am on the right track.
And that’s all for today folks. I’m going to go ahead and add these categories to my blog page now, and then later today will probably begin to sort out all the other information swimming around in my head since we concluded a very informative symposium this Tuesday.