Participation in Activities

I have found the DWPI module to be incredibly insightful and illuminating, it has prompted me to question my teaching practice and the social constructs that operate on us. Bourdieu’s concept of ‘Cultural Capital’ has been particularly enlightening in the context of Art & Design education, especially his assertion that ‘the meanings and values of culture are contingent on the context and on social conditioning producers and consumers, taste is not pure.’ (Neil and Reid, 2009 citing Bourdieu, 2005) Taste is revealed as a construct of ‘learnt vocabularies’ that can only be decoded once somebody becomes literate in the codes of the cultural hegemony. I found this to be incredibly insightful.

In addition reading Freire’s ‘Pedagogy Of The Oppressed’ was inspiring, although the language is dense and often frustratingly wordy, I found the essence of his stance to be helpful, his view that ‘true education’ is an active space for the effective exchange of ideas which leads to inquiry, action and engagement, is something that I share. His view that education is a ‘liberating’ force, which enables students to ‘become’, is something, which I too believe.

I was also awoken by Ronald Barnett’s Recapturing the Universal in the University (2005) paper that explores postmodernism and relativism in the context of Universities, the following quote has resonated through the module

“…the central idea in postmodernism is that we are in the presence of the end of universals. In a postmodern world no doctrine, no value and no principle can be upheld with absolute assurance.”

I have transposed this to the module, in the sense that all students bring with them their own ‘universe’: their background, culture, view, perspective etc. These are to be accepted and enabled to grow and expand.

In terms of participation, I have commented on Richie’s blog posts and read my other learning groups posts, which have all been insightful. I have found the informal conversations I have had with my peers at the workshops to be the arena, which help the most in clarifying ideas and approaches. I have had numerous conversations with Clare Skeats who is a colleague on the Foundation Course who has been a fantastic sounding board and clarifier…

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