Scratching the surface

It has been quite a year (by year I mean academic year), I think this has been programmed into my psyche since childhood and compounded by my many years working in education. The euphoria of July and the renewal and promise of the autumn return to business, a pattern indeed reflected across the world of work all programmed to the school year and a summer recess without “school nights”. I turned 40 in November, many would say the optimum time to question one-self and seek new insight. I was not approaching this “big” birthday with those thoughts in mind but little by little my year has become a year directed by key questions. I started a Masters degree in September, the core aim being to ask questions of your practice and the challenges or wicked problems Buchanan (1992)lying therein.

The course has been the most illuminating experience which has truly shaped my outlook and trajectory. I have learnt the new language of research methodologies and a mind-boggling vocabulary that has slowly started to resonate in the context of my own research project addressing the marginalisation of the arts in the curriculum. This new language of inquiry has really switched the lights on for me and I have learnt so much about myself and my practice, having scratched the surface. I have always been an inquisitive person but the dynamics of research design have aligned to the process of making art like I had never imagined. The inspiration, the developing of ideas, experimenting and the journey to a final piece, product or possible explanation. I have through my journey of asking questions on the plight of arts education met many new ground breaking and innovative people, co-researchers if you will. My perceptions and sense of perspective have gone through the roof ,roused by a polyphony of new and passionate voices. I have collated a dizzying amount of qualitative data to sift through in a bid to prototype some innovative solutions to aid the case for arts education in schools and beyond. This has been an affecting process for me and the very essence of the masters -inquiry has amplified my personal desire to question my own status quo. This September promises renewal on a grand scale.

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