conceptualizing the role of tutors in research-based pedagogy: the tutor(s) as
The paper presents
the efforts made to experiment with the pedagogical framework and the
operational model of a postgraduate urban design studio based on the
reconceptualization of the role of tutors. In the model examined here, the
curriculum was devised as an open and evolving network of the tutors’ resources
and affiliated researchers from within or outside the setting of the academy.
This mosaic consisted of different individual research and design practices
that are problem-focused and context-specific, communicated directly to
students by the very people responsible for their conception and development.
Learners were required to investigate the instrumentality of these practices
according to their own personal pursuits; to make their own networks of connections,
and were even encouraged to create their own personal schemata of design
research. In fact, the second major shift of the rethink lay in recognizing
learner autonomy and diversity, thus establishing a new operational framework
for the two to prosper. An amalgam of interconnected learning spaces provided
the conditions necessary for all these networks to co-exist and interact. The
paper describes the different aspects of the tutors’ involvement and
contributions in the design and implementation of this model, as they assumed a
number of roles, but most importantly, as they became learners themselves.
This is something I bumped into today and I am really, really impressed. This woman has indeed re-conceptualized design education in such a simple and subtle way that makes me wonder, why didn’t anyone think of this before. Genius, bravo!
Stacie Woolsey approached four practising designers she admired: Thomas Thwaites, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, Seetal Solanki and a contact at Room Y, the innovation arm of UK department store John Lewis. She asked each of them to set her design briefs to complete in her own time – an idea she describes as “freelance learning” – and completed all four briefs over 18 months of self-directed study (…) Woolsey didn’t feel that she could burden the designers with every question, so she started approaching industry professionals with different skills and asked them to be mentors, for project-specific help. She built her own network of peers – one of the benefits of attending an established institution – by approaching people her age across a variety of fields and asking them to follow her progress and be her first port of call. She hosted meetings as a way to set deadlines and present her projects (…) Rather than try to get her course of study accredited, which “felt a bit irrelevant” and would be “almost cheating on the idea a little bit”, Woolsey searched for a means to “validate it in a different way”. Instead, each of the designers who set briefs are writing a statement to say how well they think she answered it – more like a reference than a grade.
This Thursday Prof. Nelly Marda (my phd supervisor; collaborator and dear friend) will be presenting our paper entitled: “The networked studio: first cooperation, then design” at the aae2019 conference on learning through practice. The conference will be held at the University of Westminster in London on 24-26 April, 2019.
the skills of listening to others becomes as important as making clear statements/ the good listener has to respond to intent, to suggestion, for the conversation to keep moving forward/ the difference between the two terms is not a matter of either/or. the heart of it all lies in picking up on concrete details, on specifics, to drive a conversation forward. Bad listeners bounce back in generalities when they respond; they are not attending to those small phrases, facial gestures or silences which open up a discussion.
Dialectic: the verbal play of opposites should gradually build up to a synthesis (…) the Aristotelian notion that although we use the same words, we cannot say we are speaking of the same things (..) the aim is to come to a mutual understanding (…) the listener elaborates the assumption by putting it into words (…) in the Socratic notion, the echo is actually a displacement
Dialogic: first coined by Mikhail Bakhtin to name a discussion which does not resolve itself by finding a common ground (…) though no shared agreements may be reached, through the process of exchange people may become more aware of their own views and expand their understanding of one another (..) knitted together but divergent exchange (…) a dialogic conversation can be ruined by too much identification with the other person.
Excerpts from Richard Sennett’s book, Together: The Rituals & Politics of Cooperation, 2012, London: Penguin Books (pages 18-20)
a deep approach is where the intention of the learner is to understand the meaning of the material/ a surface approach to learning is where a learner is concerned to memorise the material for what it is/ between the two there is a continuum with an hierarchy of stages:
noticing: representation is reproduction
making sense: representation is coherent reproduction
making meaning: representation is of ideas that are integrated and well linked (beginnings of deeper approach)
working with meaning: representation is reflective, well structured and demonstrates the linking of material with other ideas which may change as a result
transformative learning: representation demonstrates strong restructuring of ideas and ability to evaluate the processes of reaching that learning
REFLECTION has a role in the deeper approaches/ we learn from representing learning/ we upgrade learning/ Reflection:
slows down activity, giving the learner time to process
helps the learners to develop greater ownership of the learning material
it encourages meta-cognition
works with materials that are complicated and ill structured and helps students improve their cognitive ability
Moon, J., 2001. PDP Working Paper 4: Reflection in Higher Education Learning. In LTSN Generic Centre, full article available here
experienced designers but only rarely expert educators
teachers are not trained as teachers and rarely receive thorough, relevant feedback regarding their teaching performance/ design teachers, like other educators in academic institutions, are appointed on the basis of their professional knowledge and skills and receive all but no training as teachers
they bring knowledge, professional skills, theory in use, personalities, values and their understanding of their role
Quayle classification: instructor as source of authority/ as facilitator/ as “buddy”
Uluoglu reports that 47% of the design teachers in several schools consider their educational (pedagogic) capacity to be the single most important factor in their work
Schon: the studio master tries to figure out what the student understands/ constructs a dialogue in the media of words and performance/ tries to make interventions matched to the student’s understanding
Using linkography*, Goldschmidt examines three cases of teacher-student interaction during a crit. Her conclusions are that the teachers:
must navigate among categorical action priorities that suit the student’s needs and his or her own tendencies
must raise issues and sustain ideas at both a general and a specific level preferably while demonstrating and modeling for the student what can be done and how
must do everything without making the students feel that the teachers are designing their project for them
issues raised must be made relevant to students by tying them to students’ concepts
must give examples
must not put pressure on students to come up with “correct” notions
must not let the student feel that they know sth the students don’t have access to
coaching seems to be the most fruitful strategy in this sample of investigation
Goldschmidt, G., Hochman, H., Dafmi, I., 2010. The design studio “crit”: Teacher-student communication. In Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Deisgn, Analysis and Manufacturing, 24, pp. 285-302, doi:10.1017/S089006041000020X
Linkography: is a notation and analysis system that treats links among protocol units. It is based on the premise that the proportion and distribution of links among units, and in particular, units that are highly interlinked with other units, are indicative of the quality of important characteristics of the situation under scrutiny