Kip Jones introduced me to Pat Thomson’s blog – much of which deals with tips on academic writing. She’s currently in Iceland giving a writing course and is documenting it on her blog:
I’m going to take up her advice on ‘abstract-writing’ and re-write what I submitted to the PGR Conf. in BU. I didn’t get a slot in the Oral Presentations – there may be various reasons for this but it could also be down to a rushed, bland abstract. I need to submit a ‘new and improved’ one this weekend along with this poster.
I think one of my problems is that I’m having difficulty locating my study in a specific research territory: is it policy, practice or debate? At the moment it’s all these things… which can only weaken the argument. It’s about practice which is currently under debate in policy fora.
Here’s the updated 150-word abstract:
The accessibility of digital media production is a significant issue for pedagogy, particularly in light of current retrogressive ideologies favouring traditional content, skills and knowledge. Old dichotomies between the academic and the vocational are re-surfacing, resulting in the deployment of practical media work as industry training.
Taking into account the economic imperative for a skilled workforce, this study explores a possible rapprochement between the arts and humanities and instrumental, technical modes of learning. By drawing parallels between the pragmatic principles of craftwork and the affordances of multimodal composition/editing, a reconciliation between the two poles of learning might be achieved; in turn signalling a reconfiguration of meaning-making practices in schools.
The study argues for a shift in our conception of young learners as socially-focussed new literacy practitioners: as critical consumers and competent crafters of audiovisual material, with an informed grasp of the changing socio-cultural context within which they and others are acting, sharing and contributing.