Explorations into the uncharted
terra incognita: using poetry to
explore joy, passion and beauty in
academic life
Anna Jon...
Three things in human life are important: the
first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and
the third is to be kind
H...
We are coming to understand much,
Much more about the universe,
Much, much more.
It is hard not to be excited,
About where...
• Teaching and research both highly complex –
intellectual, emotional, practical
McBride (2009, p. 43) ‘It [poetry] questi...
Poetry to describe academic life
• allows for the emotional, ambiguous, contradictory
and elusive as well as the analytica...
Poetic transcription
• Transcripts coded for emergent themes
• Extended extract identified
• All digressions removed
• All...
Braided time
• Non linear time, time looping back on itself
• Present infused with the past
(Clarke et al 2005)
• Childhoo...
What drew me to law?
You did what your father said.
Did that age ever exist?
I’m pretty old!
I was very obedient
At 16.
Wa...
My father was a rural surgeon.
When I was little,
He took us on rounds,
At Christmas we dressed up
As little nurses,
Took ...
I grew up in a rural general practice.
When I was a little girl,
I operated on the soap,
I found the soap very good,
You c...
I grew up,
It was the era of moon missions.
I remember
Being sent home,
In 1969,
To watch the moon landing.
I used to make...
I was on call one night,
Blackberry picking,
With my children,
The dilemma of being called,
In a magical evening.
Resentfu...
I want them
To take away curiosity
And excitement.
I try
To be enthusiastic,
About what I teach,
Present the counterintuit...
• The use of poetry as a form of inquiry places the
personal at the centre.
• This form of inquiry does not attempt to pre...
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Explorations into the uncharted terra incognita: using poetry to explore joy, passion and beauty in academic life - Anna Jones

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Presentation at HEA-funded workshop ' Kindness, care and love: exploring the hinterland of active learning relationships in Education'.

This event offered an unusual way of approaching relationships between students and teachers required to ensure active learning within higher education. The intellectual and academic are not understood separately from concepts of kindness, care and love – rather, there is an inherent interrelationship that teachers must embrace to ensure their students’ active learning experiences.

This presentation is part of a related blog post that provides an overview of the event: http://bit.ly/1ng4sEs

For further details of the HEA's work on active and experiential learning: http://bit.ly/17NwgKX

Published in: Education, Technology, Spiritual
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  • I came to this from my sister in law in Australia, who is a sociologist.
    Risky – personal, subjective, cannot be pinned down
    But the interviews I did seemed to be saying so much and extracts alone could not capture that.
  • Thus it is very subjective – I am the person who makes the decisions what to remove and what to keep. But I would argue that all qualitative research has this as an essential part – that the researcher is the tool. I have aimed to make my decisions a transparent as possible
  • Looking at the way time folds back on itself.
    It was interesting that when I asked people to describe their discipline many people answered by telling me about chlidhood experiences and the ways these had led them to their discipline. Braided because the past and the present intermingle
    I have chosen a very small number of the poems – and looked at the way childhood experiences reflect on the adult teacher and the academic they have become.
  • So the things that amused the little boy still amuse the man – and in this way he seeks to inspire his students – not in a way that is trivial, but that captures some of the childish joy
  • Explorations into the uncharted terra incognita: using poetry to explore joy, passion and beauty in academic life - Anna Jones

    1. 1. Explorations into the uncharted terra incognita: using poetry to explore joy, passion and beauty in academic life Anna Jones Glasgow Caledonian University
    2. 2. Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind Henry James
    3. 3. We are coming to understand much, Much more about the universe, Much, much more. It is hard not to be excited, About where we are going, We don’t know Where we are going, It is definitely Something new. (Sarah, professor, physics/cosmology)
    4. 4. • Teaching and research both highly complex – intellectual, emotional, practical McBride (2009, p. 43) ‘It [poetry] questions, it leaves frayed edges and loose wires. It draws out the hidden, the spiritual, the underlying rhythms of life that we swamp with information, noise and news channels’.
    5. 5. Poetry to describe academic life • allows for the emotional, ambiguous, contradictory and elusive as well as the analytical. • At once intellectual and aesthetic. • It opens up material for the readers that is powerful in its subjectivity, in a way that is at once subtle, concise, unique, powerful and new. • In the words of (Cahnmann, 2003, p. 35), ‘a fresh language to describe the indescribable emotion and intellectual experiences in and beyond classrooms’. • Brings together form and content
    6. 6. Poetic transcription • Transcripts coded for emergent themes • Extended extract identified • All digressions removed • All but ‘essence’ of idea removed • Words are participants’ own, retain logic and narrative sequence, speaking rhythm (Clarke et al 2005; Glesne 1997; Poindexter 2002; Evelyn 2004)
    7. 7. Braided time • Non linear time, time looping back on itself • Present infused with the past (Clarke et al 2005) • Childhood and experiences as a student shape the way we see ourselves as teachers and researchers
    8. 8. What drew me to law? You did what your father said. Did that age ever exist? I’m pretty old! I was very obedient At 16. Was it interesting? Mostly no, Mostly I was intimidated by it. Didn’t have the confidence To do anything else. (George, professor, law)
    9. 9. My father was a rural surgeon. When I was little, He took us on rounds, At Christmas we dressed up As little nurses, Took Christmas cards to his patients. He died when I was young, I spent my youth thinking Medicine had killed him, I didn’t want to be a doctor, In the end I couldn’t help myself. (Claire, professor, medicine)
    10. 10. I grew up in a rural general practice. When I was a little girl, I operated on the soap, I found the soap very good, You could put it back together, You just had to get it really wet In the bath. Medicine was something I knew, I still don’t know What do middle managers do? Medicine, You are independent, The 70s were a strongly feminist time, You could be part of a community, Rather than just watch things, You could go anywhere. (Lisa, professor, medicine)
    11. 11. I grew up, It was the era of moon missions. I remember Being sent home, In 1969, To watch the moon landing. I used to make rockets, And launch them. The chemistry of the fuels, The trajectories, How high they would go, The massive explosions. My mother used to buy the ingredients of the fuel for me. I couldn’t as a young lad, Just go and buy these things, But a middle aged woman, Wasn’t going to be doing anything Dangerous I liked messing around at home, Fiddling around with the back of the TV Don't try that at home! (James, professor, physics)
    12. 12. I was on call one night, Blackberry picking, With my children, The dilemma of being called, In a magical evening. Resentful of being paged I was telling my son, Watch out for blackberry thorns, He said, Why should I worry? If I get hurt, My Doctor Dave will make me better. My son’s expectation, If he gets hurt, He will be looked after, This is the patient’s expectation. And the doctor’s duty. (Claire, professor, medicine)
    13. 13. I want them To take away curiosity And excitement. I try To be enthusiastic, About what I teach, Present the counterintuitive, The ridiculous, The absurd, Which nevertheless is true. Physics demos that go wrong, Might explode, Or make a big spark, Or injure the lecturer, The students seem to like that. (James, professor, physics)
    14. 14. • The use of poetry as a form of inquiry places the personal at the centre. • This form of inquiry does not attempt to present the data as objective but quite the reverse, • Highlighting the intensely personal illustrates the ways in which we make meaning of experience • Not generalisable but recognisable and authentic.

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