by Jeanette Sakel
We have a new Dr amongst us – Catherine Rosenberg passed her EdD viva yesterday at Bristol University. WELL DONE x
Aspects of her work were conducted in partnership with a number of our students – especially those on her final year creative writing module. Here’s her abstract:
‘Making sculptures out of smoke’: an exploration of reflexive teaching and learning in Higher Education
‘Writing is product and process, noun and verb.’ (Colyar 2009:422)
This dissertation explores the journey taken in devising and implementing a third year undergraduate module. The journey started with the undertaking of my doctoral studies and a developing appreciation of the value of creative writing as a form of inquiry into the self and context, and the associated reflexivity involved in this process. Bringing this work to bear on the design of the module, I became aware of a shift in the teaching and learning taking place in my classes. The focus of this study is an investigation of this change in pedagogy.
The study has three related lines of inquiry. The first is to situate and evaluate creative writing as inquiry, initially through my own experiences and then through those of my students as they undertake work in this area. This addresses the question of what it might mean to write reflexively within an academic context. Secondly, I am interested in the transformative impact of this work on my teaching identity and its possible effects on students. Finally, reflecting on the development of a reflexive pedagogy that has arisen out of the collaborative work I have undertaken with my students, I consider whether there are further applications for this pedagogy.
Because my research questions vary in purpose and take me in different directions, I adopt different approaches to inquiry during the study. I undertake narrative inquiry through the analysis of my own story on motherhood, reflections on which inform the development of the action research component of my study, as I evaluate the shift in pedagogy introduced into my classes. The study concludes with reflections on the generalisability of a pedagogy based on reflexivity.