W4: Feel the fear… Education, Self-efficacy and the role of culture


  • Fear and Self-efficacy in education
  • The Choir… South Oxhey
  • Simulation#3: What would you do?
  • Workshops: show & tell; developing digital you – your strategy?
  • Next week: field work for research project
  • 4th hour: textmapping and writing with peer mentors.

Learning = change

Change is uncomfortable – change is resisted – change facilitates fear. Education is all about change – it is inevitable that if we learn and incorporate new knowledge, ideas, beliefs… with ourselves – then we must change. We must adapt to the new knowledge as we become new selves. This is all exciting. At the same time, good learning is about trial and error – having a go – making mistakes: trying – failing – trying again – and failing better. But typically the schooling system does not encourage us to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ – we feel judged in school environments. It can feel that we are not there to learn – but we are being set up to fail.  How can we change ourselves so that we embrace risk – so that we have a go – and fail – and have another go… till we learn what we need to learn – and develop? 

The reflective learning logs that came in last week showed just how much we all fear failure. How much many of us even fear talking about our fear of failure. The pressure to succeed at once – now – immediately – first go – is so strong, it gets in the way of our being able to learn and grow. 

The University blogger captures this very well in his post about fearing to write a blogpost: http://theuniversityblog.co.uk/2013/10/22/experience/

What if it fails – what if people hate it – what if he is shunned and avoided? But, he argues, what if it is okay?  He urges us to take risks because we need to take risks to grow. 

What is it for you:

  • Terror?
  • Horror?
  • Fear of failure?
  • Embarrassment? 



Is the belief that we can… we can succeed if we try. That whatever we set our minds to – is possible for us – if we are prepared for the ‘trial and error’ period. If we are prepared to make mistakes and learn from them. Bandura argues we need models of success in our families, in our communities. However, we ‘non-traditional’ educationalists (those of us who come from communities or families that are not typically encouraged into further and higher education) may not have models of education success to hand. Moreover the things that we may be good at are not necessarily valued in what is still typically a middle class education system. Our:




… may not be in the curriculum at all – or are increasingly being sacrificed for purely ‘academic curriculum’ (viz. Michael Gove). Funnily enough creativity, sport, cadets, cultural activities are all encouraged within private schools alongside the academic curriculum. It is enshrined in those spaces that the whole person needs to be developed in school – and that the academic potential is enhanced when the other aspects of the child are also developed. Once we know we are good at something – and that that something is valued in the school – then we can realise our academic potential as well. Compare that to the education offered to the working class or poor – perhaps well captured in the Channel four documentary ‘Last Chance Kids’: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/last-chance-kids Where those last chance kids were deemed failures at the age of five. If you cannot read by five… you are thought to be lost to education forever. Really?! 

South Oxhey

We looked at South Oxhey an New Town that was built to take an East End post-war exodus to middle England, Herts. South Oxhey was the invisible town. When planned it had to be invisible – it was not to be seen or heard. Middle England was ashamed perhaps and definitely unwelcoming towards these working class migrants foisted upon them. It appeared that this ‘invisibling’ and silencing became internalised by the inhabitants of South Oxhey – it was a town not proud of itself. Gareth Malone as part of his BBC ‘Choir’ series spent weeks in South Oxhey recruiting people to the town choir. He went to the schools and library – but he also went to the pubs and the boxing centre; to reach out to and recruit as many of the residents as possible into the choir. And eventually, even reluctantly they came – they bonded together – and they sang – and they got their pride and their voices back. See an extract from  ‘Unsung town’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p004htz2 

The role of culture – and the whole body

We looked at several more clips from different series of The Choir:

And noted the physicality of preparing to sing – and the humanity – and the role of smiling… and discovered how embarrassing it might be to have to take part in activities like that – at first – but how good they are to build our self-confidence and our efficacy. 

Post-apocalypse activity #3:

In groups of five:

  • What would you do to develop a sense of self-efficacy in your population?
  • What songs, poems, dance and culture would you preserve?
  • How would you pass it on to the next generation? 

There were wonderful suggestions about different poems and gongs that could be passed on – and some really interesting suggestions about things that needed to happen in our schools:

  • Trust activities and games
  • Cooking together
  • Community events and the sharing of community food, culture, songs and dance
  • Charity and charitable acts
  • Cleaning – taking responsibility for and pride in one’s own environment. 


We had a brief ‘Show and Tell’ where volunteers talked us through the collages they had made – and their Artist Statements about them – and then we moved on to ‘Developing Digital You’. 

Developing our Digital selves

We were invited to:

  • Join in with the Design 101 MOOC that started on the 28th October: https://iversity.org/courses/design-101-or-design-basics
  • Test ourselves with https://www.coursera.org/course/edc – next run starting on 4th November
  • Come up with our own strategy – and some were interested in designing virtual worlds to support teaching and learning…
  • At the very least – we have to explore the Digital Storytelling site #ds106: http://ds106.us/ for that will take us by the hand and lead us through setting up our Blogs and Gravatars – and encourage us in the development of strong, confident and creative digital identities.

There is much emphasis on us using some of what would be our independent study, reading time to undertake this development. It will also help us when we come to developing digital artefacts and teaching and learning resources at the end of our real research projects. 

W5: Study Week

Our study week is set as exploratory field work for our Research Project: In pairs explore the University as ‘participant observers’ (look this phrase up and think about it) – for Poster Presentation W7. Tips:

So W5 is the week to explore the University as a site or sites of learning and make field notes. Following that we have to reflect on our field notes and produce individual posters capturing what we have discovered in the form of a collage or more formal poster:

Finally: fourth hour – with our Peer Mentors

With our Peer Mentors we were asked to:

  • Read, annotate, engage with:
  • Wilkinson S (08) ‘Optimising teaching and learning through the use of feedback on written assignments in History’ in Investigations Vol 5 (1) pp30-35
  • In groups: Produce 50-word essays on Either: Successful University writing Or Successful University reading.
  • Peer review essays, revise – post to own blogs.
  • Reflect on whole morning… 

Bibliography and further reading/viewing

McIntosh, P (2010) Action Research and Reflective Practice: Creative and visual methods to facilitate reflection and learning London; Routledge 

McIntosh, P Postgraduate nursing students: http://qmul.academia.edu/paulmcintosh/Papers/731108/Creativity_and_reflection_An_approach_to_reflexivity_in_practice

McNiff, J Action Research in Educationhttp://jeanmcniff.com/

Robinson, K. (2006) Ken Robinson says ‘Schools kill creativity’ (speech) ONLINE: http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html accessed 10.12.10 

Robinson, K. (2009) ‘Changing Education Paradigms’ (speech) ONLINE: http://comment.rsablogs.org.uk/ accessed 10.12.10










#LD5D Module 1 Thing 2: Choosing appropriate types of platform

#LD5D Module 1 Thing 2: Choosing appropriate types of platform.

via #LD5D Module 1 Thing 2: Choosing appropriate types of platform.

This week’s post in LD5D gives much more detailed information on setting up and managing a WordPress blog. The post takes you by the hand to lead you through all the different things that you might want to do – and all the things that you might like to think about – when you set up and manage your own blogs.

Don’t forget to tell us about it in your own blog posts and learning logs…

W3: Whoops Apocalypse:DaDa, Hoch and collage

Week 3

Becoming an Educationalist is designed to get you exploring what it means to be an emancipatory, creative and inspiring educationalist for the 21st Century


Prep work: everybody was asked to read, look at or work through:

Blogging: http://ds106.us/handbook/blogging/  

Giroux on Freire: http://www.truth-out.org/archive/item/93016:lessons-to-be-learned-from-paulo-freire-as-education-is-being-taken-over-by-the-mega-rich

Info-Ed: dialogue, praxis and education: http://infed.org/mobi/paulo-freire-dialogue-praxis-and-education/

Lastrefuge: http://lastrefugelmu.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/artmooc-week-four-through-lens-lessons.html

Simulations and Role Plays: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/documents/subjects/economics/simulations-games-and-role-play.pdf

Summerhill – experiments in emancipatory education: http://www.summerhillschool.co.uk/

The idea is that by now:

We are *all* blogging about our learning and this week, W3, the first Learning Log had to be submitted for formative feedback. It would be really useful if every week, everybody puts a link to their reflective blog in the Comments box to the class blog so that a student-to-student dialogue happens, as well as a tutor-to-student dialogue. You know it makes sense!

Tip: When you do follow up the day’s activities with some additional reading or further activity – put your reflections on that in your learning log as well.

If still not blogging follow these links and just START:




This week: simulations and collage 

Simulation#2: Post-apocalypse

The apocalypse is over: what systems and strategies will you put in place to ensure survival? What education systems would be most appropriate and why? 

We had a Panel judging the pitches put forward by various protagonist groups. The Panel had ‘been elected to judge the Education Strategies that have been suggested by the survivors – in the following categories:

  • Year0-5 Education Strategy
  • Year5-10 Education Strategy
  • Year10-15 Education Strategy. 

Roles for Panel Members:

  • A survivor who was super rich – and who still hopes to find their buried treasure.
  • A survivor who was an entrepreneur.
  • A survivor who was a Trades Unionist.
  • A survivor who was a Teacher’s Assistant.
  • A survivor who read a lot of Freire.’ 

The Panel had to imagine the needs of the people who emerged from the Bunkers – and then the needs of people after five and then after ten years. They had to consider the merits of the various plans – as judged against their own criteria for a successful education system. 

Whilst the groups were discussing their plans the Panel had 20 minutes to discuss:

  • What is the purpose of an Education System for a society?
  • What is the purpose of an Education System for an individual?
  • Whose interests do you think an Education System has to serve?
  • What education system or strategy would you put in place – and why?
  • If you had to sum up the ethos or values embraced by your perfect education strategy – what would they be? 

Remembering that the bunkers had the following facilities:

  • sewage system
  • water
  • seeds
  • some clothes
  • several books
  • some medical facilities but no operating material
  • a few greenhouses. 


Each group had lively a discussion about the nature of the world they were inheriting and the world that they wanted to create by the systems and Education systems they wanted to develop. The Panel considered each pitch with a seriousness and responsibility that was truly impressive. Big take away message for me was how important, to all the participants, were social justice and equality of access to meaningful education. There was great emphasis on very practical and human education systems designed to teach people how to feed themselves and others – and how to maintain order, health and justice. Some but not all thought that the super rich and the entrepreneurs would have much to offer the new society that was emerging – everybody thought that the trades unionist would have an important social justice role to play. 

In the process of the exercise everybody was encouraged to think, discuss, listen, analyse and evaluate arguments and ideas. Most people had the opportunity to engage in ‘quick and dirty’ group presentations – and to speak to and be heard by the whole cohort. 


      Explain why you feel your choices were made.

      What influenced your decisions?

      What does this tell you about your own values and beliefs?

      How might this affect you as an Educationalist? 

Take away questions;

  • What is the purpose of an Education System for a society?
  • What is the purpose of an Education System for an individual?
  • Whose interests do you think an Education System has to serve?
  • What education system or strategy would you put in place – and why?
  • If you had to sum up the ethos or values embraced by your perfect education strategy – what would they be? 


This week in class we explored visual thinking and visual practices through the medium of Collage – theory and practice: 

Collage – what

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collage:

Collage – why

  • References or can draw into the art or reflective process, current events – news – pop culture…  
  • Juxtaposition of signifiers – a modern artistic style that places different meaning-makers (signifiers) into new relationships with each other. The effect can open the eyes to new insights and new meanings. The pieces in the work have a dialogue with each other – and multiple potential dialogues with the viewers.
  • The incongruous is brought into meaningful relationship with the ordinary[5]
  • It can be “at once serious and tongue-in-cheek”
  • Concept and process are valued over end product… it’s not about ‘art qua art’ but about conceptual thinking and engaging in a productive and thoughtful process – through which new meanings created. 


Patchwork quilts or palimpsests are forms of collage – where multiple meanings can be created by the juxtaposition of words perhaps and images. We considered several different approaches to creating collages: 

Photomontage (Main article: Photomontage)

  • Photomontage is the process (and result) of making a composite photograph by cutting and joining a number of other photographs.
  • Can be photographed – converted back into a seamless photographic print.
  • Viz. image-editing software – compositing.
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hamilton-appealing2.jpg 

Surrealism Surrealist:


  • Dada /ˈdɑːdɑː/ or Dadaism was an art movement of the European avant-garde in the early 20th century.
  • Born out of negative reaction to the horrors of World War I.
  • Begun by a group of artist and poets associated with the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich.
  • Rejected reason and logic, prizing nonsense, irrationality and intuition.
  • The origin of the name Dada is unclear; some believe that it is a nonsensical word. Others maintain that it originates from the Romanian artists Tristan Tzara‘s and Marcel Janco‘s frequent use of the words da, da, meaning yes, yes in the Romanian language. Another theory says that the name “Dada” came during a meeting of the group when a paper knife stuck into a French-German dictionary happened to point to ‘dada’, a French word for ‘hobbyhorse’.[2] 

Especially the work of Hannah Hoch:

We discussed the collage process by looking at Sandra’s recent collages:

Collage in action

Each participant was asked to free write on: What is a successful educationalist and with that writing and those thoughts in mind, begin assembling a self portrait (of the artist as an educationalist):

–        Either making up a literal portrait

–        Or the more representational. 

The follow up activity was to write Artist Statement with Peer Mentors:

1.  Explain your process (medium and technique).  How was it made?  Which art materials and approaches did you use and why?

2.  Describe the idea behind your artwork.  What story or message does it get across?  What does it mean to you?

3.  Why did you create it?  What are your reasons for creating that specific art piece?  What do you want your audience to feel and think while observing it? 

Everybody seemed to engage with the task – and many intriguing and stimulating collages were produced – or in the process of being produced. Hopefully, next week we will get the chance to see all the collages – and to consider the artists’ statements. *** Of course – everybody can upload pictures of their collages – with their statements – to their own blogs and share with all of us!! *** 

Follow up:

Check out Access Art – a charity dedicated to bringing art and art processes into education: see for example:






Week Two: Simulations, role plays, discussion and reading

Becoming an Educationalist is designed to get you exploring what it means to be an emancipatory, creative and inspiring educationalist for the 21st Century

 An educationalist:

  • Helps you think for yourself
  • We are becoming… educationalists (see Deleuze)
  • Over time, through experience, reflection, reflexivity, action research, grounded theory …


This week

Learning is active and interactive, it can happen through talk, writing, thinking, playing, drawing; it can be fast and furious; learning can also be slow and embodied. We will be learning through many different modes on this course and the job of all the participants is to understand what we are doing and why – both here and now as a student – and also for the future as an educationalist: how would you build similar activities into your own practice as an educationalist? 

Embodied learning

Simulations and role plays invite whole-body learning. We will be engaging in several role plays and simulations in the next few weeks to get you thinking about what and who education is for.  The idea is to throw yourself into the simulation, role playing your character with gusto – and then reflecting on your learning both on your own and in the formal de-brief and discussions that will follow. (See http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/documents/subjects/economics/simulations-games-and-role-play.pdf

Simulation#1: The apocalypse is coming: who will you keep in your bunker and why?

World War III has started. You and nine other people find yourselves to be alone together in a Nuclear Bunker. You are probably the last people left on earth.

There are some resources in the bunker – but not enough for all of you to survive for a long time.

If all of you stay, then you will all live only for a maximum of two years.

If three of you wish to survive for many years, seven of you will have to leave … 

In your bunker you have:

  • sewage system
  • water
  • seeds
  • some clothes
  • a few books
  • some medical facilities but no operating material
  • a greenhouse. 

And these ten people:

  • Gay scientist
  • Buddhist priest
  • Married couple who are ‘green’ but childless (one person to speak as couple)
  • Single pregnant woman with a five year old girl
  • Army officer who has mental instability of some sort but is useful nonetheless
  • Elderly woman
  • Disabled man
  • Bisexual lawyer
  • Person who has been long term unemployed
  • Atheist doctor.

 Each person in the group of ten was allocated a character at random and then we had to play our role and argue why we should stay in the bunker…  and why someone else should go. 


  • Did anyone emerge as a leader?  Why? Why not? 
  • How did this influence the choices?
  • Explain why you feel your choices were made.
  • What influenced your decision?
  • What does this tell you about your own values and beliefs?
  • How might this affect you as an Educationalist?

 We discussed leaders and leadership – where leaders:

  • Organise
  • Take responsibility
  • Stay neutral…
  • Or can be very bossy.

If an educationalist is de facto a leader – what sort will you be and why?

Who goes and who stays – you decide

Analysing who was kept in the bunker and who was sacrificed revealed some of our values to us. Whilst most people chose to eject seven or so people to ensure their own survival – some decided that all should remain to take their chances (Kant and the moral imperative). Others formed breakaway groups – deciding that they would leave the bunker and see what happened.  This seemed to show a refreshing anti-authoritarian stance – and an embracing of life as uncertain, enriched by risk and adventure.

Most people ejected the old and infirm, the infertile and the argumentative (the lawyer) – perhaps embracing utilitarian and ‘ends justifies the means’ beliefs.  Some wanted to keep the Buddhist priest – many decided that there was no need for spirituality in their brave new world. Some argued that the doctor and/or the old woman should remain to pass on their knowledge – others decided instead that they could find their knowledge in the books.

So, values emerged that seemed to indicate what we thought it was to be human – but there was no overall agreement about what that was:

  • Be self-sacrificing?
  • Be selfish?
  • Be spiritual?
  • Survive at all costs?
  • Reproduce the species?
  • Nurture resources?
  • Teach others?
  • Gain knowledge?
  • Be adventurous and take risks?

The takeaway questions: So what is being human to you – and how will that impact on your role as an educationalist?

Topic Mediated Dialogue: Thinking through discussion and dialogue

In the seminar this week, thinking and conversation was initially seeded by statements about education or childhood – we then moved on to read about Freire – and to draw all these thoughts together in a brief piece of writing: What is a successful educationalist?


  • Talk: In twos or threes, talk about the topics below in as free and wide ranging a way as possible for twenty minutes.
  • Reflect: After 20-mins: Each person has to draw a representation or a portrait of one person in their group.
  • Whole class plenary: Show and discuss the portraits. Discuss the Topic Mediated Dialogue session.


  • Education is all about fitting in, knowing your place and accepting your lot in life. Some are bred for success, as for the rest; at best education bores us, at worst it teaches us just how valueless we are. 
  • Schools these days are dumbing down the curriculum; no one knows how to spell anymore; no one knows any Maths. It’s a disgrace. 
  • If I had a child I would run away to sea with them and not come back till they were 18. I would never put a child of mine through the English education system with its SATs and tests and League Tables. It’s not human.

Reading Freire

Finally, after a quick reminder of strategies to tackle academic reading:

  • Q: Question: think first – what do I already know on this subject? What do I need from this reading? 
  • O: Overview: your course: read module aims and learning outcomes; read the assignment question: these all tell you why you are reading! 
  • O: Overview: your book, chapter or journal: this will tell you what you are reading! Tips: For a book: author, title, date; chapter headings; index. Chapter/article: introduction/conclusion and first sentence of every paragraph 
  • Q: Question: So – in the light of all that: Why am I reading this, now
  • R: Read the text actively and interactively, marking it up as you go. Tips: Underline, highlight, circle key words or points;  make notes in the margin: who would agree or disagree? What does it remind you of? Where will you use the information? 
  • R: Re-read: your own annotations and marginalia:  now you are ready to make your key word/key point notes! 
  • R: Review your notes: are they any good (are they sourced: author (date) Title location/publisher)? Can you use them? What will you now read or write?

(See Chapter 10 – Burns and Sinfield (2012) Essential study Skills: the complete guide to success at University London; Sage)


… we were asked to read Freire articles in pairs, identifying key points and issues that are relevant both to being a successful educationalist – and a successful student.

Giroux on Freire:


Info-Ed: dialogue, praxis and education:


Some great discussions were had – with people wrestling with their own preconceptions about education, teaching and learning – and their hopes for themselves as emancipatory educationalists of the future. Some left determined to find out how experiments in radical education might work in practice – especially Summerhill: http://www.summerhillschool.co.uk/

Essential follow up activities including reading the following:

Blogging: http://ds106.us/handbook/blogging/  

Giroux on Freire: http://www.truth-out.org/archive/item/93016:lessons-to-be-learned-from-paulo-freire-as-education-is-being-taken-over-by-the-mega-rich

Info-Ed: dialogue, praxis and education: http://infed.org/mobi/paulo-freire-dialogue-praxis-and-education/

Lastrefuge: http://lastrefugelmu.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/artmooc-week-four-through-lens-lessons.html

Summerhill – experiments in emancipatory education: http://www.summerhillschool.co.uk/

Welcome to the Module – welcome to the blog

Becoming an Educationalist is designed to get you exploring what it means to be an emancipatory, creative and inspiring educationalist for the 21st Century.

We argue that learning is social, collective, embodied… and there are different ways of learning, knowing and being. Freire started where people were – in the slums of Brazil, writing ‘liberation’ on the walls. Gareth Malone ran ‘empowering’ Choirs – helping people find their voice and their collective power. ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ succeeds via tailored tuition. This module involves an incredible amount of active and engaging learning: role playing and simulations; creative and visual learning strategies; Inquiry Based and Problem Based Learning; Reflective learning; Drawing, Poetry and Prose analysis and discussion; Analysis of Educational Policy documents; Research projects and resource development; face to face, peer to peer and online learning. We will want you to contribute to the University’s annual student-facing Get Ahead conference (this year due in February).

You will be expected to talk, listen, discuss, present; to make notes, read actively and interactively; to join in with energy and enthusiasm to all the different things that you will be asked to do; and then to reflect on what you have done and why – to make your learning conscious… You will also be expected to engage in meta-reflection, that is, we expect you to be aware of how any particular activity or session will be useful to you when you are an educationalist (some form of teacher) in the future.

Assessment: reflective logs (and meta-reflection); research proposal; research report (and artefact); final essay

Learning is reflective practice. Each week you will be expected to consider what we have done – why we did it – and what you have learned from the activity or engagement. You will be expected to push that thinking deeper, asking: How will that help me as an educationalist in the future? We want you to keep weekly learning logs where you actively make your learning conscious. It is recommended that you make these logs as visually engaging and interesting as possible – and that you record them in an online blog. In weeks 3, 9 and 15 you will be expected to hand in a reflective log for formative feedback. At the end of the course you will have to hand in a selection of your best course reflections – with some form of overarching commentary (meta-reflection) on why you chose those particular examples – and what they demonstrate about the quality of your engagement with and learning on the course as a whole. Your logs should also seed your ideas for your Research Project – and should help you with your final essay for the course as a whole.

Assessments: due dates and weighting

Reflective logs:

Weeks: 3, 9, 15 formative assessment

Week 30 – final submission of at least three extracts with commentary (30%)

Research Project:

  • Proposal 1000 words – week 19 (10%)
  • Report 1000 words – week 30 (20%)
  • Artefact – you will get marks for this when you discuss the process and the product in your Reflective Logs for credit and/or in your final essay.

Essay 1500 words – week 30 (40%)

‘To what extent has the module ‘Becoming an Educationalist’ prepared you for the reality of becoming an educationalist? Justify your answer with reference to at least three aspects of or activities on the course.’

The Programme

Each week we will have:

1: 09.00-0955: Whole class lecture, simulation or other activity.

2: 10.00-11.55: Seminar groups with teaching, activities, discussion…

3: 12.00-13.00: Follow up activities with Peer Mentors.

The sessions are intensive and interactive – bring refreshments with you. 

Weeks and activities


1: Big introduction to the course: what we are doing and why.

Your task is to make notes, ask questions and make sure you understand what we are doing, how and why. Put each assignment date in your diary.

2: Icebreakers and thinking about learning activities: Secret of Your Success; One Big Fear; Six word essay: How to succeed at University. Thinking with pictures: Image Mediated Dialogue: What is an educationalist? Discuss implications for practice as a student now and a teacher in the future.

3: Produce draft learning log. Swop and peer review. Re-draft log.

Essential: Create your personal Becoming blog. Think which blog site to use: Blogger or WordPress. Think Quadblogging. Share your blog with three other people – each week you agree to read each other’s Becoming blog and give some comment or feedback.

PPT slides for the first lecture: http://www.slideshare.net/sinfiels/make-your-mark-becoming-201314