From Critical Practice Chelsea
February 19, 2010
Learning Journals – Typical M.Phil/PhD record-keeping
What do you do with all those complex feelings thrown up by PhD? You have to store and record them—find a means of documenting shifts in your development.
Liz Orna – research = dealing with things out in the world – trying to put them in your head and then produce something else (that's research).<br?
Consider how all this stuff gets into the thesis via digested material….
Many ways to document – orally, visually…you have to be doing it…so pick and approach
- List - key concepts you're using...Have you defined them adequately? Are you sure about what it means? Need to analyze the concepts with with your working - unpick the assumptions...
- Thesis is a very boring document - everyone has to explain her concepts in detail...necessary part of the rigor of thePhD
- Try and find lines of inquiry away from them - especially important with mega terms - "action research" "colonialism" you have to trace lines of inquiry so you can make confident statements about them.
- All lists are dynamic lists - that's why it's useful to have a record of your thinking - it may allow you to be able to trace how your thinking develops
- Write and revise your research plans regularly - Supers want you to work through stuff and then come with an update...and say how things have shifted...This is a list of stuff I've been looking at, these are the questions I've been looking at...create notes...
- Notes from your reading: a)direct quotes b)observations - be sure you keep these distinct
- Keep a research diary - especially good for people working in ethnography
- Keep supervision sheets - look for repetitions - means for your to remember discussions you've had with your supervisors
- Keep a record of seminars, training courses, conferences, events attended
Jenny Moon - Notion of Learning Journal
- Written over time - can talk about a journey...
- Provides a vehcile for reflection and experience and/or learning processes and synthessising ideas or processing ideas
- It's not an events diary or a recrod or log
- It has no predetermined size, shape, format
- It's all about being able to articulate the things that matter to you
Time Wasters: OR...
- Cleaning the house and surfing online
- Set yourself specific tasks - look on ejournals instead of on Google - trace W5 of concept
Learning Journals for Research
- Customize your journal - make it your own
- Decide on format, size, portability
- Organizational methods, use of dividers
- Frequency of Use
- Uses: reflections, thoughts, notes reminders to yourself, lists, feelings, things and issues to tackle, references for books/journals/names to read or find, working out problems, planning, random ideas, brief notes for and from supervision sessions....
- Record experience
- Facilitate learning through experience
- Can you find the words to describe attitudes
- Critical thinking
- Meta cognition - the thing beyond observation, the concepts by which you understand that observation
- Increase active ownership over learning
- Improve problem solving
- Not part of formal assessment mechanism
- Therapy - supporting behaviour change - "researchers"
- Improving writing
- Giving voice asa means of self-expression
- Attempts to articulate things...
Different forms of Reflection - IN - ON - FOR
Reflection in Action
- Talking to yourself
- Gaining insights
- Decision making-where am I going to show things, how am I going to show things
Reflection on/for Action
- Evaluate - going from notes to writing
- Making summaries
Testing or using different styles of writing
- Use of personal experience as part of the research work
- Describe a real incident in your research process--as soon as you can after it happened
- What happened at a supervision/lecture
- What happened during the interview
- Your response to an article/exhibition/artwork
- Set this account aside and then return a few days later, come back to it an analyze what happened, "What did I..." Why did s/he..", what provoked your reaction...", "What did they mean when they said..."
- Develop methods of explaining what you're doing to others - Develop your elevator pitch - develop an imaginary dialogue about a problem in your research of the research process itself with a critical friend, a mentor, or one of your parents, a helpful colleague in the past, someone you know well, someone you are studying...
- Work with the absurd - explaining your thesis to your cat
- Stream of consciousness
- Write down ten solutions to a particular problem...The solution should emerge
Concept Maps - invented by Novak, 1970s
- Often used for purposes of display, exploring, recording or reflections
- Often drawn on a large sheet of paper or a wall chat...created through images...symbols...or stickes
- Purposes of the concept map - to identify key elements of the research - challenge: to turn this into a linear view through a text
- Spider, Hierarchical (useful for developing trajectories...chapters), Flow (easy to get stuck on this...can't turn this into texts)
- Develop a list of authors, key terms...
- Check on logic and coherence of ideas
- Communicate with others
- Complete the research project
- Working on areas that still need to be developed
- Ask yourself...How am I going to talk about this?
- Look at Compedium
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