[ITL-CAD] What does academic devt sound like?
t.peseta at usyd.edu.au
Wed Aug 1 00:31:31 EST 2007
I loved reading and thinking about all the different sounds you each invoked. Thanks for those posts everyone. It seems to me that there's a yearning to make, include and invoke a range of different sounds (music, nature and poetry) yet the language which now describes us, which we let describe us, and that we use to describe ourselves a lot of the time: the work we do, the project we're engaged in-- precludes the possibilities of those wonderful sounds finding some kind of authentic expression. I feel puzzled by that, or perhaps disturbed not so much by the sounds themselves -- but what I have become practised at hearing.
Alisa's post reminded me that I'd just finished reading another of Bronwyn Davies co-written papers, trying to hear the sounds in it (difficult... as I've only got one decent ear). The sound it reminds me of is a lyric from a Billy Bragg tune: "the sound of ideologies of clashing". I've included the reference below:
Davies, B. & Bendix Petersen, E. (2005). Neo-liberal discourse in the Academy: the forestalling of (collective) resistance. Learning and Teaching in the Social Sciences, 2(2) 77-98.
Again, I was intrigued by their invocation of that literary trope - the fool - to describe the experience of resistance and the important work of drawing attention to the contradictions inherent in forms of neo-liberalism.
The offer stands to circulate it - just give us a holler.
Following Marcy, tomorrow I'm going into work with apples. No words, no explanation, just apples.
Stay well everyone, Tai
Dr Tai Peseta, Associate Lecturer
Editor, Synergy (http://www.itl.usyd.edu.au/synergy)
Issue 25 June 2007 available online
Institute for Teaching and Learning, F07
The University of Sydney
NSW AUSTRALIA 2006
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From: itl-cad-bounces at mail.usyd.edu.au on behalf of Catherine Manathunga
Sent: Mon 30/07/2007 9:51 AM
To: itl-cad at mail.usyd.edu.au
Subject: [ITL-CAD] RE: What does academic devt sound like?
Thanks Tai for a great conversation starter. I've printed out Alison Phipps article but haven't read it yet but the title alone and everyone's reflections so far are so evocative.
>From what Jan says (hi Jan!!) the original presentation of this paper sounded awesome. We'll just have to read the article and imagine in the sound effects! Isn't it bizarre how there is both a lack of silence and a lack of chatter these days. The silence has been filled with the chatter of productivity, bean counting (as Alison comments) etc which has also drowned out or made impossible the sound of friendly banter, dissent and laughter - though at least in our CAD meeting and at the HERDSA conference those of us who were lucky enough to be there were able to indulge in lots of this!! Actually, I remember a few people commenting after our Brad Hammer CAD symposium about the amount of laughter in the room. Maybe this is what CAD can do - change the sound of higher education or, at least, the sound of academic development.
I was interested in your comments, Jan, about new colleagues being worried in their interactions with academic developers that they might say the wrong thing. All too often we are perceived as the thought police, aren't we, when instead I think we've got a great opportunity to be a space where it is again possible to laugh, joke, have fun and speak critically about the role of higher education etc. This is the space that challenges neoliberalism, which as Alisa (hi Alisa!) mentions in quoting Bronwyn Davies 'leaves no room for poetry or emotion'. I loved your phrase 'the silk of poetic and intellectual elegance', Alisa. How much more beautiful is that than the ugly language we use in AD - I'm trying to think back to an AD phrase that Kath Sutherland used in her ICED 2006 paper, I think it was 'constructive alignment', when she was making the point about the ugliness AD language.
When I read your post, Nick (hi Nick) about 'the academic life of the rock star', I was reminded of a colleague of mine, Calvin Smith, who is now at Griffith University across town, who called AD workshops 'gigs'. To this day I still think of them in this way!! How cool to be reading a doctoral students words while listening to his rock music. It totally breaks down the notion that doctoral students/academics are bodiless minds with one-dimensional lives, hey.
Maybe CAD should form a rock band!! This would take some of our ideas about voice, that Tai will soon tell you all about, even further. Actually, it reminds me of a great program that an opera singer has developed in Sydney - the Choir of Hard Knocks - where he works with people who've experienced great trauma in their lives and gives them back hope and a belief in themselves through singing together. It also reminds me of the CAD piece that was written by Barbara Grant and others about the CAD symposium at the 2005 HERDSA conference. It's called the 'The Participants' Tales', HERDSA News 25:3, pp. 19-21 and one of the participants is 'The Melodist' who talks about the music of CAD.
Also loved the audio-picture you painted of the sounds of rain and even the possibility of waves(!!) in Oxford, Nick. Having seen the reports on TV I've been wondering how you and Lynn McAlpine are going in the floods there.
What a great idea to have an AD session as a walk at a nature reserve and to hear the sounds of the Canadian forest, Marcy (hi Marcy!). This is certainly a way to recreate the lost chatter of common rooms that Alison Phipps was talking about. When I taught students, I always promised them one class outside each semester after being reminded by an Indigenous student about how oppressive the tiny windowless tutorial rooms that we had our classes in were. As Brisbane has such a beautiful climate (lovely sunny winters even though there is sometimes a bit of wind), it lends itself to being outside. You've inspired me Marcy to do the same in AD. The furtherest I've been in this direction so far is to have a few coffee shop meetings of a regular group that meet about pg supervision.
Hope you survive the drilling and hammering sounds, Susan (hi Susan!). It'll be great to have a new space to create more educational devt sound in.
Your description of the sounds of AD in Colombo, Ranald, (hi Ranald!) take me back to some work I did in Danang in Central Vietnam. The first time I went there in 2006, the sounds of the classroom were very similar to your description - the incessant noise of motor bikes and cars and car horns, the laughter and excitement of working together across languages and cultures, the translator helping me understand some of what was going on, the cheeky teasing that seems part of AD in Vietnam so much more than in Australia. It was cool though - just coming into spring and I'd got caught out coming from a blistering Queensland summer and bringing all the wrong clothes as the Vietnam of my imagination was hot and humid!! Luckily there are no bombs anymore in Vietnam, though a few craters that remind us of the conflict there not so long ago.
So I guess what I'd wish for is that the sound of AD would be the sound of music, poetry, laughter, the natural world as well as exciting and passionate debates about the purpose of higher education, the challenges of living with/against bean counting and respecting the need sometimes for tears and grief as well.
Hope everyone has a great week and gets a chance to create some of these happier sounds.
Take care and have fun,
Dr Catherine Manathunga
Senior Lecturer in Higher Education
Teaching & Educational Development Institute & UQ Graduate School
The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
The University of Queensland Q. 4072.
Ph: +61 7 3365 6459
Fax: +61 7 3365 1966
Email: c.manathunga at uq.edu.au
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