October 2012 – Doctorateness

It’s been a fairly fertile three weeks since I was given some books/advice on PhDness.

Texts: I’ve got 2/3 of the way through Trafford’s  Stepping Stones book and I’ve read the Lit Review of JP’s thesis. Both of which have been a massive help in terms of visualising what’s ahead.

Stepping Stones’ exploration of ‘doctorateness’ completely appeals to my procedural sense and a need to map out the territory as far as is possible with scarcely any content. It’s fascinating how they have crafted the generic template so it can be grafted onto any study in any discipline and also to establish the examiners’ criteria from the beginning.

Of JP’s thesis, I experimented with ‘digital underlining’ and copied chunks of texts into private posts so I can go over them again in a searchable and taggable way – they’re private so as not to infringe copyright. I was doing this on Scribd (can’t download from Scribd unless you pay) but then JP kindly gave me a pdf version of his book …. so when I come to read the rest I won’t feel the need to keep hold of the text in quite the same way.

I’ve now got a handle on thesis structure and the required level of watertight rigour and unambiguousness in one’s arguments. Doctorateness is a useful term that seems to characterise the necessary frame of mind as well as output.

PGR Development: I attended the Library Resources session – useful introduction to researchers’ career progression through articles. The ‘Introduction to the PGR framework’ was less informative and coming away with a big A4 file felt quite 20th century, however, something good came out of it – I found out what a poster competition was and I suggested to Fiona Knight that they could run a ‘Social media and your doctorate’ session which I’d help run.

‘Public’ engagement: More of a seminar really… Mark Reid at BFI Education asked me to give a presentation to some teachers interested in participating in the next round of Cultural Campus projects in conjunction with Lambeth CLC. Reps from the Ballet Rambert and The National Theatre were also present and will be collaborating in some way. This is an interesting development – partnerships between cultural institutions and schools should indeed be encouraged and brokered by ‘learning hubs’ such as the BFI and the CLC. I spoke about the benefits of creating an authentic workshop style environment in which children can risk-take and experiment with new identities / new relations with an adult who isn’t an authority figure – the practitioner. I’ll post the notes.

New thoughts on question: thanks to taking a close look at Bergala’s newest Cent Ans de Jeunesse theme – mise-en-scène / staging – this has helped me return to my original line of enquiry – the relationship between craftsmanship, media making and primary/secondary education:

Media making and craftsmanshipin teaching and learning

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