University of Cambridge > > Arts and Creativities Research Group > Doctoral Student Lunch Seminar: Rigour versus agility: Where does the self end in practice-led research?

Doctoral Student Lunch Seminar: Rigour versus agility: Where does the self end in practice-led research?

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Lucian Stephenson.

Using one’s own practice as primary research offers immense potential but how do you stop it becoming self-indulgent and methodologically uncertain? As Mitch Allen describes the goal of an autoethnographer, you must “look at experience analytically. Otherwise [you’re] telling [your] story—and that’s nice—but people do that on Oprah [a U.S.-based television program] every day. Why is your story more valid than anyone else’s?” (Ellis, Adams and Bochner 2011) In this talk, I will consider how my teaching practice aligns with my research project, and offer a series of interventions I have developed to stop the agility of working with students confusing the rigour of working towards a professional doctorate; these include metaphorical coherence, teaching generated research, collaborating with students on curriculum and delivery, and flexibility of programme.

Portia is currently studying for a professional doctorate in education looking at the role of arts education and critical thinking in the TEF era. She is the Director of Learning and Teaching for the School of Critical Studies and Creative Industries, Kingston School of Art, Kingston University, one of the leading HE art schools in the UK. Her research and practice are situated at points of uncertainty, where ideas get messy and unclear, where they flex and mutate. In terms of educational practice, this means pushing for student experience while maintaining academic rigour, adopting new technologies while retaining core soft skills, and engaging with metrics while not being led by them. In terms of educational research, this means acknowledging the problematic nature of the arts in current governmental rhetoric and using language accessible to those in less creative disciplines to reinforce its importance for students, education and society.

This talk is part of the Arts and Creativities Research Group series.

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