#becomingeducational W19: Research Reports

Big CHEER!!!


A big cheer goes to Natalie and Selina and Dan and Megan for developing and running w/shops at Get Ahead …



– and for Mandy for tweeting!


How brave you all were…

AND – if we have #GetAhead next year – perhaps you will be the ones organising it? Hope so!

Happy dance!!

Reports on the visual data

We had started to analyse different forms of visual data: Maze; Cabinet of curiosity; Staff collage; Student collage…

After a brief re-grouping and final discussions – each group reported back the rough ‘Research Report’ they might produce given the raw data they were analysing.

Tip: Reflect on this PROCESS: did it help you better understand the form and function of a Research Report? Did it leave you feeling a bit more prepared to write and review your own Report? What will you take from this into your own practice as a student now – and an educationalist in the future?

Action Groups!

We wanted this to be a busy and productive session that helped everybody work towards their Research Report – all happy that they REALLY understand the task – and how to put together their own Reports.

So we asked:

Have you written something? Get into a pair and Peer Review your writing – remembering that the Report needs:

  • Summary of the data collected – THEMES = Findings
  • Analysis/discussion of findings – what they mean. Refer to own Lit Review = Discussion
  • Implications for university learning and teaching = Conclusion
  • Practical suggestions for university learning and teaching = Recommendations

Have you got un-analysed data? Work alone or in pairs and start to write it up – talk about what you have discovered and what it might mean. Have a go at drafting something – then be happy to rearrange and change it.

WARNING: You will want to write it all out in one blurt: Well they said this and it means that so the conclusion is and we should all do this differently… ONCE you have done that – go through it all again more slowly – and start to put the different bits under the right headings – and to say a bit more about each. Be quick and fast – and then slow and deliberate… and enjoy it!

Have you still to get data? Find some volunteers and start collecting data – right here right now! And – wow – some of you did just that –how cool are you?!

Busy Busy Busy

So – it was a busy session altogether – but we loved the buzzy hum of the second half of the session with people doing different things – with engagement levels high – and the sense that questions were asked and answered – and that all sorts of different positive things were happening.

Thank you, #becomingeducational, for being such a happy and rewarding group to work with!!

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BONUS: #creativeHE could be your PROJECT!!!

Join #creativeHE during #openeducationwk

7-11 March!!!

Hello everybody,

We are back!!! And we are very excited!!!

The distributed facilitation team of #creativeHE decided to offer a mini version of #creativeHE during Open Education Week.

It is an interesting change for us as we offered the last two times over a much longer period (the last one was offered over 8 weeks). We won’t try to cram everything into 5 days. So, please don’t worry. Our approach will be, less is more 😉 and our focus is on the interactions we can generate and what we can learn through these.

All you need to do is access the Google + community and start participating. No registration is required and everything is wide open.

Warning! A wide open mind is needed as well as generous commitment during the week to get the maximum out of it. If you have sorted this out, please join us at


On Twitter we will be using the hashtag #creativeHE > Feel free to say hello there as well.

We really look forward to learning together soon,

Chrissi Nerantzi (Manchester Metropolitan University), Sandra Sinfield (London Metropolitan University), Sue Watling (University of Hull), Dr Nikos Fachantidis (University of Macedonia) and Prof. Norman Jackson (Creative Academic Lifewide Education)


#becomingeducational – the #getahead week!!
This week ‘becomingeducational was lodged within the #getahead conference and – as #IamDanJordan might say – that was supercool because Dom one of last year’s students organsed it – and Dan and Megan and Natalie and Selina from this year’s fabulous class both ran workshops at it!!
Tom and I are really proud of you: for presenting – for attending – for your engagement, creativity and good humour!
Well done folks…
If this is what you did this week – can’t wait for your ‘performance’ weeks!

The Social Hand Grenade

Welcome along!

This week we don’t have any scheduled classes as it is a study week. I know what you’re thinking – “Why are you even writing/bothering us with a blog post?” – and it is a good question. Let me tell you for why:

  1. Because one of the main reasons I started this blog was to get into the habit of writing regularly, observationallyandcritically. It has become a ritual that is hard to break.
  2. Because this week has been host to our ‘Get Ahead‘ conference!

The Get Ahead conference is an event that this year was organised by a second year education student called Dom (from our Zig Zag writing session a few weeks ago). It was full of handy workshops aimed at improving our study skills, and helping with post graduate employment prospects. As you can see from the leaflet below, there…

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#becomingeducational W17: Analyse all this – and WRITE

This week was about developing those RESEARCH REPORTS.
We know that you are going to collect good, rich data… BUT that data needs to be USED WELL!

We want you to be able to analyse your findings – and make the most of them.

We want you to develop the way that you write about and discuss ideas, data and theory – so that you showcase your work and your understanding to best effect…

And that is what these weeks are all about – we hope you are finding them challenging – but useful.

This week Dan managed to blog first – so we are happily re-blogging his post.

NEXT WEEK: GetAhead!! Good luck to Selena and Natalie for their workshop!! Good luck to the #becomingeducational media team who are going to capture the whole event… And good luck to Dom and the other second years (Meredith and Regina) who are organising this year’s Splash!!

* Reviewing and developing what we have done this week – and
* Peer Review and developing those real research reports!!

See you all next week!!

The Social Hand Grenade

Today we started off the lesson by rearranging the tables in to 5 islands. Group work ahoy! Tom then rewarded us for our physical exertion with a cup of tea (Gentleman AND a scholar). This week we continued to discuss “the most critical aspect of our module right now”, which is our understanding and use of analytical skills

To begin we talked about data gathering, and how we need to analyse our findings to discover our primary data. From this we need to discover the inherent themes that we have deciphered from our findings, then discuss our findings in relation to our literature review and research proposal question.

Next, we watched a short documentary called ‘Z-A’ that had been produced by a former education studies student who graduated with a first class honours degree. Our aim was to watch and analyse the video, then to pick out…

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#becomingeducational W16: Analyse that – now this

These sessions are designed to get you wrestling with DATA: audio, written and visual data – so that you can make sense of whatever you are doing now for your first year projects – and so that you hit the ground running when you think about your final dissertations… and you start thinking about them NEXT YEAR!

Last week we analysed Kevin Hodgson’s (@Dogtrax) poem ‘Steal this poem’ as raw data – generated in response to the same sort of TMD questions on ‘CHEATING’ that you responded to. Here’s a quick reminder of the poem that Kevin wrote:

Steal This Poem

Take these words
Steal this poem
NO — go on now –
make it your own
Break it / Fix it
Rip it apart / Remix it

Defy my intent
until all meaning is spent
and then use your tools and tricks
to rebuild it

Cheat my meaning in ways
that make sense to YOU –

Tinker against type
don’t believe my hype
I’m a painter not a poet
using words as ink as I write

I refuse to shackle this work
to paper or screen
or that nebulous world in-between
in hopes that maybe later YOU’LL appear;
watching my words tumble down the spine of my lies –
made up only to be broken / spoken / a token of truth

No, you’re no cheater
you’re a seeker
a keeper of stories in this literary landscape
just like me

So, go on:
Steal this poem
Give it a home
I’m already off writing something else
and I’ve left these words all alone
waiting here for YOU

Peace (in the poem),

(If you go here: http://dogtrax.edublogs.org/2014/01/16/rhizo14-steal-this-poem/  – you can hear Kevin reading it …)

Analyse all that!

This week we asked you to get out your own poems – and to read and critically analyse either your own poem – a friend’s poem – or Kevin’s if you had not already done so:

  • Read someone else’s poem – or ‘Steal this poem’:
  • What is it saying overall?
  • What is it saying in each line?
  • What themes or motifs are emerging?
  • Find FIVE themes and write 20 words about each of them…

Elesha’s poem:

Cheating is a shameful act

Makes you look bad and in the spur of the moment

Gives a bad reputation and spies and secrets of all kinds

Holds you back from what you’re really expecting

It takes time to be honest when you need it most.

Esin’s poem:

Cheating and teaching

Conflicting each other

Do you think cheating is easy?

What you feel when you cheat?

Shameful… Deeply in your heart.

And scarlet kiss on your cheek

What about eyes?

Poor eyes!

Glooming and trying to catch something

From someone else’s work


Feel hot! And hearing some voice that whispering you:

Don’t do! Don’t do!

Cheating is unfair and not respecting…

So why are you doing this hard job?

Grab life by handling right bar…

To be honest!

It is easy! Isn’t it?



And we argued a bit like this

Esin’s poem – themes: senses and (self-) betrayal:

Senses – ears, eyes, cheek, skin, touch:

Cheating engages the senses – seeing, hearing, feeling. Senses are there to help us engage with/understand the world around us… BUT – here all the senses are burning with shame – there is no joy – just pain. Are we mis-using our senses? If not – what else is going wrong – is it education itself?

Who tells us that such and such is ‘cheating’ as opposed to learning? Who wants us to feel this shame?

If we are misusing our senses are we misunderstanding the world? Are we misunderstanding the ‘point’ of education? Or – does education itself get it wrong if it forces us to misuse our senses – to feel THIS way!

Leads on to…

Betrayal – scarlet kiss on the cheek:

Scarlet kiss on the cheek – as with the scarlet letter – the adulteress… Again we can see the individual internalises the shame and the blame of this academic offence… It is written on their bodies. We feel that shame, that blame…

Given that learning is messy – and we are told to work together – to share ideas – to form study groups… How come suddenly we are told that working together is collusion or cheating? Why should we feel this burning shame?

Again we might ask – is this the fault of the education system or of us? How can we ‘know’?

Well – in research you would look at some of your other data – and compare and contrast. So here it might be useful to compare those poems with ‘Steal this poem’ – and particularly his use of the senses:

We are told to: ‘rip it apart – remix it – make it your own’

There is no shame here – this is an exultant engagement with ideas – with learning. We are invited to glory in this vision of learning:

‘Cheat my meaning in ways that make sense to you’ …

‘No, you’re not a cheater

You’re a seeker’

The body here is not shamed and blamed – it is not broken or humiliated into submission; but is harnessed to enjoy the destructive, constructive and messy business of learning.

This could be seen as an implicit criticism of an education system that is broken; that forces us to internalise individual blame and shame for what are issues of power and control.

NEXT – you might compare the different themes that were emerging from YOUR data – and compare them to the ones that emerged from the literature that you read to put together your LITERATURE REVIEW.  You would bring the ideas from your Lit Review in when DISCUSSING your FINDINGS.

Now – if those poems were YOUR data – how would you bring those different perspectives together in your FINDINGS; DISCUSSION; CONCLUSION; RECOMMENDATIONS      ???

And finally – we got into our Performance Groups – with Perry Campbell!!

NEXT WEEK: Visual Data

NB: Success Coaches – BEL-109

Weds 12.00-14.00

Take any work with you – get some support…


#becomingeducational Bonus Blog: What is education for?
How can we devise an education system – and our own education practice – so that we help develop human beings who love themselves and experience the world with excitement and joy?
We hope that you think about this all the way through your Education Studies degree – and that you take these questions into your lives when fully fledged educationalists yourselves…
At the very least – use your Performance Weeks to help us explore these issues together – with our own excitement and joy!!

Dadosaurus Rex

I stumbled across this while perusing the vast caverns of the interwebs.  It is a chapter of a book called “Summerhill” written by an educator named A. S. Neill, and the message resonated with me so strongly, I couldn’t help but post it here.  Enjoy.

“I hold that the aim of life is to find happiness, which means to find interest. Education should be a preparation for life. Our culture has not been very successful. Our education, politics and economics lead to war. Our medicines have not done away with disease. Our religion has not abolished usury and robbery. The advances of the age are advances in mechanism – in communications and computers, in science and technology. New wars threaten, for the world’s social conscience is still primitive.

If we feel like questioning today, we can pose a few awkward questions. Why does man hate and kill in war when…

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#becomingeducational W15: TMD this- analyse that

There’s something in the air… STRESS!!

In response to the strain that we saw and felt – we asked you to find and LIKE our #studychat FaceBook page: https://www.facebook.com/LondonMetStudyChat/ – we post study tips and advice there – all designed to help you study better – lose your stress – get those grades… For example:


Sometimes you have to forget those weeks where you did not do it all – do not go back there and try to catch up – you will feel like you’re downing – you will feel like you can never succeed – so just STOP!!

Catch up with THIS week – and NEXT week… and if you do have some time – choose which sessions that you have missed to catch up with… Start managing your studies TODAY – – stop drowning – start smiling – form that study group!!


Quick re-cap – we’re preparing for your RESEARCH REPORT

So we are spending a few weeks on DATA ANALYSIS. Analysing your data well makes all the difference to your final report – and to the final grade that you get. Every one of these analysis weeks is important! So – make sure you pick up the analytical tools that you need to do well. Last week we looked at analysing data collected from Topic Mediated Dialogue (TMD) – and this is ALSO HOW YOU WOULD APPROACH ANALYSING ANY WRITTEN DATA.

Collecting data from TMD

  • Record and transcribe the discussion
  • Make notes whilst listening to the discussion
  • Transcripts from digital discussions (such as via email or whatsapp)
  • Ask the participants to summarise their discussion in some way – in writing… E.g. write a paragraph, write a poem…

Analysing written data:

  • As you would a poem …
  • SLOWLY – spend time with it…
  • Hi-lite key words and phrases
  • Look for themes and motifs
  • Check your analysis with participants.

Last week’s TMD included the prompts

  • How does the notion of ‘cheating’ help you think about and understand assessment: the what, the why and the how? 
  • What does the notion of ‘cheating’ say to you about learning – and about teaching?
  • What does ‘cheating’ say to you about the relationship between students, teachers and the university – and about the purpose of higher education?

We then asked you to produce your own POEM – these become the written data that we will analyse PLEASE BRING YOUR POEMS TO W16 CLASS (Weds 3rd Feb – back in our usual classroom)? BUT FIRST – we explored a poem written by Kevin Hodgson.



Steal this poem

STEAL THIS POEM: http://dogtrax.edublogs.org/2014/01/16/rhizo14-steal-this-poem/  was written by someone else in response to the same sort of prompts as you… And we asked you to:

  • Read on your own – hi-lighting key words and phrases
  • Discuss in pairs and small groups:
  • What is it saying overall?
  • What is it saying in each line?
  • What themes or motifs are emerging?
  • What does it say about teaching, learning and education?

And finally – to consider: If these were your data – how would you write up your Report: Findings; Discussion; Conclusion; Recommendations?

Bye bye Mentors

After a lively discussion – we prepared to say good bye to the Mentors – but first – we were asked to bring in an OBJECT that represented the Mentor relationship to you… Can you see this as another QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHOD? I can…