Microteach Pt 5: The Cohort

Microteach pre-submission reflection, what has stuck with me?

Images in alternative media & the virtual learning space.
This requires great consideration and investment to do to a high level.
Eliott’s 3D had great affect. I was enamoured for a large amount of time.
It was tactile that allowed me to embody images in an Artaudian sense.
The Virtual Knowledge of Images, perhaps?

Depth, simplicity and tactility.
A sense of theatre and personal connection.
Shumi’s microteach used object-based learning in a wonderful way.

Not being able to see them all
Short time to introduce an idea, but many ways to approach.
Going deep & direct, a meandering path, from many angles, out from a point.
To what end? The intention behind the gesture is key.

How do I relate this to my practice?
A Virtual Knowledge of Images is quite interesting tbh.
It’s interesting to use this with the mundane: virtual learning tools collectively taking us beyond the dimension of individual homes.

Microteach Pt 4: Go Further

Consider the ability and positionality of learners. Consider the disabled queer PoC. The subaltern, or not. This hypothetical person may have anxiety or be blind. How can my delivery accommodate their needs and positionality?

Perhaps I will consider images that utilise all considered/usable senses? Something that is traversable? Interdimensional? This is context specific as many different objects can be used to illustrate a given learning outcome.

Text (is approximately) equal to…
Photo (is approximately) equal to…
GIF (is approximately) equal to…
Sound sample (is approximately) equal to…
Pattern swatch.

Can I illustrate this through an example?

Burberry pattern. Image. Text. Audio. Textile. Video.
Tick tock clock. Still Image. Text. Audio. Touch. Textile. Video.
Mint. Still Image. Text. Taste. Smell. Audio.

This is what I mean by interdimensional images and what I believe Artaud points towards when he speaks of a physical knowledge of images on a surface level. Going deeper I believe it is about the physical evocation of emotion.

In the above examples they could be:
Mother Nature

Microteach Pt 3: Reflection

It was in that (starred) moment that a few people in the room were feeling out of their comfort zones.

Shumi drew attention to feeling too uncomfortable to do such a thing. Eliott spoke of economic requirements of lecture hour allocation and consideration of formal ‘teaching’. (quotation marks my own). I felt from a few members in the room that they were having their own experience.

I had hoped my point had landed regarding personal agency over initiating information exchange (teaching). But considering Eliott’s blog post, his key takeaway focuses on the (very real) pressure on academics to squeeze learning into every moment. Time and space to engage in such an activity appears luxurious.

It is interesting to reflect on a colleague’s reflection. I will reflect on this reflection at some later reflective point.

I wish I could speak to more colleagues but the following are my takeaways.

Use a magician’s reveal, show the hypothesis and expected results.
Prove your point and then follow up.

What is my personal POV. How will I take it further?

In the creation of this session, a fair amount of time was invested into research which is unseen and unexplored by the wider group. Time is limited. I would like to share these resources in retrospect and offer an opportunity to explore in future 1-1 sessions or in shaping my lessons plan with respect to learning outcomes.

Go Further? (Follow up blog post)

Microteach Pt 2 The Session

My mind is whirring, trying to keep track of everyone and everything…

Body language, eye contact and direction,
attention, are they ‘with’ me,
the first to speak is brave, the second is supportive
stay patient, believe in the process.

The following is what is written on my notes.
[an attempt at filling the gaps in my sporadic note taking]

This is what is happening [in the room]
[someone asks what is happening] [Me:] What would you like [?]
[Eliott:] Rauschenberg paintings
White House
Speculation on Where
Does he [have a pair]
Is it a coincidence [Name shared with plane]
Is it just the white ones [called AF1]
no [clear statement of[ knowledge
share personal [connections and anecdotes]
shumi is right [regarding name:]
Nike 'Air Force'
[Eliott:?] Plutonic Trainer [the idea of the forms?]
'Not Minimalist'
Box Fresh
Sweat [someone talks about smell]
Indiana Jones
Star Wars
Back to the Future
White Central
[At this point 5 minutes is up and I intervene]

The following is a reflection, a re-telling of the session from memory.
As a result it could, and should, be considered tainted by my personal perspective and bias.
[reflections in square brackets]

(Left Hand Side = Me)
Padlet projected onto wall without direct instruction
Image: white Air Force One trainers on a white background.

(Right Hand Side = Audience)
Classroom silent
Appear attentive on the surface.

A minute passes

I feel nervous/excited, perhaps I project this.

Student-lecturers exchange glances
Looking for instruction?[perhaps I imagined this]
Nerves appear mutual.

I begin taking notes.
This is a conscious gesture using nonverbal signals to demonstrate I am mentally present.
[I try to make no clear signals, any action I perform will lead the group]
Notable tension, head turning and comments

Sergio asks if I know the clock is ticking.

I showed him my 5 minute countdown.

Audience feel more at ease*
They begin to comment more freely on the image
Questions about origin story, information exchange

After 5 minutes, I explained that my silence functioned as a space for them (to read the image and form a perspective). Their response (open questions and information exchange) unconsciously supported the intentions behind the gesture: ‘The lesson begins when you decide’ and ‘you have as much to offer each other as I do’. 

Questions were answered and I shared more AF1 images as we discussed and dissected the image:

design, sports origins, Black culture, hip-hop, appropriation, advertising design, high Fashion, business strategy, status as Nike’s number 1 seller, raised questions over ethics and politics; who profits from what culture and speculated on what the shoe now symbolises.

*This (starred) moment is key for me.
This was a peak experience (as described by Maslow). An echo to the feeling gained while collaborating with Anthea Hamilton as part of OSE’s 2020/1 cohort. This particular feeling of poignancy, that something important was happening crystallised this moment in my mind.

  • Key feedback and takeaways…
  • Opening performance matches the white image (minimalism)
  • Holding back as a technique for capturing attention
  • Session evolved over time
  • Different forms of performance
  • Good engagement with the session,
  • Concern over online engagement
  • Unsure of explicit relation to learning outcomes

Microteach Pt 1 Approach

This session went through a number of iterations before finding its home.

The journey is as integral as the final product, a key learning and pedagogical pillar.
(Lots more to come)

First, a melange of images, a create your own lecture/tutorial.
*But no, not enough time for the required depth, less is more*

An image of the singer Adele wearing a Jamaican Bikini top & Bantu Knots
*In testing, one viewer did not realise it was a famous English musician.
Consider the potential audience member, it may trigger defensiveness.
Lets not go there*

Dragonball Z – 4+ images
*Less is more, consider the anti-blackness inherent in sharing blatantly racist caricatures
will the audience know the series, is it juvenile? does this hinder or help?
Do I want to talk about white supremacist ideology in Japanese culture?
This is heavy stuff, I would rather save this for a more appropriate setting.
Character design is appropriate for BA Illustration, but less so for a PGCert.
Let’s go less confrontational.

There is value in choosing the past of least resistance.

The decision to veto DBZ (for now) was fuelled by a desire to listen to the annoying voice in the back of my mind. Often when taking a creative risk I have ignored this feeling, perhaps deluded and blind to a conceptual flaw, masked by an egotistical desire to centre my will.

Here the lesson was to listen to your own advice.
It is often mentioned that we’re able to give better advice to others resulting from our lack of emotional attachment. It is important to look within for the signs of self deception and pull at the thread. Often we see the same loose thread thinking it’s a mirage, after a few times…pull at it, see what happens.

Note: as this goes to submission and I reflect, the decision was in some ways a good one. Perhaps many of these images suit particular audiences. There is an inherent risk when playing with fire. In retrospect, I’d consider Tony Bliar. (No typo).