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Defne Erdur Eligible Member // Teacher
IDOCs » Documentation Potluck - Confessions of the Teacher
This document is a self-reflective review of my own proposition for the Vienna Symposium (http://www.idocde.net/idocs/495) in order to shed light to what really happened "in line" and "out of line" of the initial proposition; for sharing a little example of "strategies" I follow as a "teacher" given certain circumstances and a specific group of participants. Beside, due to the content of the proposition it includes ideas around documentation and teaching practice.
2013.08.09

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Below following the plan I proposed, I will share what did work / actually happened, and what did not go as planned.  WHAT WAS ADDED, HOW & WHY...

- ON FRIDAY 26th, I RE-READ MY OWN PROPOSITION GETTING READY FOR THE SESSION THE NEXT MORNING:

     " Title: Documentation PotluckDocumenting What, How & Why? Practical & Playful steps into IDOCDE…

     Summary: This Documentation Potluck meeting is designed after the know-hows and practices experienced during the founding pilot phase of IDOCDE (some İstanbul, Vienna and Stoltzenhagen practices somehow united here). The meetings creating teamwork environments/situations were found most beneficial by many of the key teachers. Also having even demo versions of teaching times were inspiring and motivating for the attendants and it was fun. Therefore this module aims to bring new (and old) IDOCDE teachers to work joyfully together around documenting their actual teaching practices and also work on the IDOCDE internet site -together with more advanced users around to help."

THIS BIT STILL SEEMED VIABLE... I WAS ALREADY GIVEN BY THE SYMPOSIUM TEAM MORE TIME THEN I ASKED FOR, SO I STILL KEPT MY EXPECTATIONS FROM MYSELF AND THE GROUP HIGH!

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ON SATURDAY 27th:

 "Plan:  At the beginning of the session attendants will be invited to brainstorm physically and mentally on “what documentation is, what we document, with what means, for whom and why?” The questions & answers will be addressed by the participants in this first 15 mins."

FOR THE FIRST 15 MINS. THERE WERE NO PARTICIPANTS IN THE STUDIO!!! Voila!!!

I was already expecting this when I woke up in the morning. The 40 degrees heat, all the traveling the night before... I was really curious who would be there to work on documentation!  10:45 - RIGHT AT THAT MOMENT, BEING TRUE TO MY OWN NEEDS AS WELL, I DECIDED TO START THE SESSION WITH "HANDS ON BODY WORK" IF PEOPLE APPEARED. 

- THEY DID APPEAR!!!  AND AFTER A BREIEF "WHO ARE YOU? WHY ARE YOU HERE IN THIS SPECIFIC SESSION?" ROUND FROM 11:00 TO 12.00 I DIRECTED A PARTNER MASSAGE SESSION WITH THE IMAGES OF COOL HANDS COOLING BODIES AND COOLING BREATHS. FOLLOWED BY ENERGIZING AND COOLING POSTURES AND BREATHING PRACTICES FROM SIVANNANDA YOGA I STARTED THE SESSION. 

 " Plan continued: The 2nd 20 mins. will be spared for clarifying, organizing small groups around these topics and figuring out who will teach, who will take this demo class and then document as participant & who will be just an outsider documentor etc. After this division of labor/roles we will continue with the 3rd phase. Each teacher will use this next 10 minutes to share “the essence of his/her teaching” and the others will act according to their roles. Then 4th phase in 10 mins will be to share verbally in small groups what has happened to pin point relevant issues to document."

- CONSIDERING THE TIREDNESS AND JUST JUST ENERGIZED BODIES I DECIDED TO SIMPLIFY MY PLAN and totally ignore the tight time frame. BESIDES, THE CLASS WAS PLANNED FOR 30-40 PARTICIPANTS AND THERE WAS 15 PARTICIPANTS. THE PARTICIPANTS ALTHOUGH IN BETTER CONDITION THEN THEIR ARRIVAL WERE STILL SLOW AND LOW...  I DECIDED THAT WE COULD DO LESS OF THE SHARING OF TEACHING AND SPARE MORE TIME FOR DISCUSSING AND HOPEFULLY GOING INTO DOCUMENTATION.

YET I STUCK TO THE FIRST PLAN OF "PHYSICAL BRAINSTORMING" ON IDEAS AROUND DOCUMENTATION  - i.e:

As participants were still laying down on the floor, I asked them to start planting seeds for thinking around documentation and slowly start moving as they are re-collecting their thoughts and ideas. The questions in my mind and which I uttered out loud to the space were:  

-In what ways can we document our teaching in a way that supports our own practice?

-Can the documentary material that we create be of use to others?

-What kinds of documentary material that others make inspire and feed into our own teaching?

-What is the place of documentation before, during and after teaching? (these questions were picked up by me among all the others that were raised in idocde mentors meeting in İstanbul). 

As they were slowly moving out of the floor and meandering around the room, I kept bombarding them with these questions and tried to give space for them to think more questions and find their own answers and interests around documentation.

At the end, I asked to take a few moments to come up with "their" questions that they would like to investigate, issues that they would like to adress or discuss "today" - all around teaching and documentation. And I asked them to put those on separate sheets of A4.  Then we made an exhibition of questions on the floor. BY THIS MOMENT, I WAS HOPING TO HAVE OPENED PLACE FOR PARTICIPANTS TO HAVE SELF-REFLECTIVE SOLO MOMENTS BEFORE GOING INTO DISCUSSIONS WITH OTHERS.

Then by walking around the papers each person was to put a feet on the topics that she was interested and keep on moving with this feet on that paper to meet other interested people and cluster around small interest groups (video of the task to be hopefully found on the official video documentation of the session soon!) THE AIM OF THIS TASK WAS TO MAKE THE PARTICIPANTS THINK AND MOVE, AND NOT DETACH THEM FROM THEIR BODIES IN THEIR THINKING PROCESS IN A JOYFUL AND RELAXED MANNER - this kinesthetic brainstorming and small group formation score was again suggested in the İstanbul mentor's meeting by Kerstin and Sylvia (photo below). It was a pleasure to try to reproduce it and actually kind of fail and end up in my own version!!!) 

BY THE END OF THIS 15-20 MINS WE ENDED UP BY THE FOLLOWING GROUPS WILLING TO DISCUSS AROUND THE FOLLOWING TOPICS. 

Aylin, Martin, Madeleine: * Accompanying through the process of learning rather than teaching  *Is teaching a kind of designing experience? *Perception - my source for documentation. *Image  

Cimen, Sinja, Barbara, Nilay: *For whom? *Words or symbols? *Interaction & Exchange * How to balance technique and creativity in the class?

Sandra, Bedirhan, Sophie: *Memory * Can words represent the experience of a class? * Give sources, resources * Accompanying through the process of learning rather than teaching.

Natasa, Ana, Bahar: *What is the body language to the different people? * Formless *Teaching methods * How to make it simple and fun?

Flore, Laurent, Dorka, Natasa: *Could I write my class like a poem? * Documentation is a capture of present /past / future? * Why and for whom?

AND WE HAD APPRX. 30 MINS OF SMALL GROUP DISCUSSIONS. (I DECIDED FOR SURE TO GIVE MORE TIME TO DISCUSSIONS AND LESS TIME TO TEACHING SHARING IN THE MIDS OF THE DISCUSSIONS, REALIZING THAT THE TEACHERS WERE ALREADY "BENEFITING" (at least enjoying and going deeper in the topics) FROM THIS EXCHANGE!

AT THE END OF THIS SESSION I ASKED EACH GROUP TO COME UP WITH 1 SENTENCE/PHRASE TO SUM UP THEIR DISCUSSION SESSION. THIS WAS FOR CREATING A FOCUS POINT FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL FOR THE NEXT ROUND.

Aylin, Martin, Madeleine: THE PERCEPTION OF THE EXPERIENCE CHANGES THE LEARNING PROCESS CONSTANTLY & HOW WE RELATE TO DOCUMENTATION. 

Cimen, Sinja, Barbara, Nilay: CAN WE FIND BALANCE BETWEEN THE TECHNIQUE AND CREATIVITY THROUGH INTERACTION AND EXCHANGE BETWEEN DIFFERENT PEOPLE?

Sandra, Bedirhan, Sophie: HOW DO WE TRANSMIT AND RECIEVE THE INFORMATION IN CLASSES?

Natasa, Ana, Bahar: IT IS IMPORTANT TO FIND SIMPLE AND FUN TEACHING METHODS WHICH AIM TO BE FORMLESS IN ORDER TO FIND, EXPLORE AND EXPAND THE BODY LANGUAGE OF DIFFERENT PEOPLE.

Flore, Laurent, Dorka, Natasa: DOCUMENTING IS A CAPTURE OF PRESENT, PAST, FUTURE - AS TEMPORARY, UNDEFINED... 

WITH THESE FINAL STATEMENTS IN MIND I ASKED PEOPLE TO CHOOSE ROLES IN A TEACHING ENVIRONMENT: 

* 1 TEACHER     * 5-6 PARTICIPANTS - as participant observer/ documentors  * 2-3 OUTSIDER - as observer/ documentor

WITH THEIR INITIAL PHRASE/ SENTENCE/ QUESTION (focus point) IN MIND - AS A LENS TO OBSERVE, PARTICIPATE OR TEACH FROM- PARTICIPANTS GOT INTO THEIR ROLES. THEY ALSO DECIDED AS DOCUMENTORS WHAT KIND OF TOOLS THEY WERE GOING TO USE. THEN WE HAD A 10 MINS. CLASS SITUATION WHERE DORKA TAUGHT A DEMO CLASS. 

AFTER THE EXERCISE, DURING THE FEEDBACK SESSION OF THIS DEMO CLASS, WE ENDED UP GOING INTO DEEPER DISCUSSIONS AROUND DOCUMENTATION SINCE MANY ROLES SEEMED TO GOT MIXED AND COLLIDED INTO EACH OTHER IN THE DOING. SO JUST ENDING THIS "WOULD NEVER END CONVERSATION" WE GOT INTO THE CLOSING CIRCLE AS WE HAD 10 MORE MINS TO FINALIZE THE SESSION.

"Last bit of the proposed plan was: Then the last 30 mins. will be writing, uploading, trying out idocs, searching for relevant similar idocs etc - i.e. actively using IDOCDE site."

AS WE HAD VERY FEW MINUTES TO FINALIZE THE SESSION THE ACTIVE DOCUMENTATION BIT (as expected) WAS NOT REACHED AT. HOWEVER THE "smart aleck" TEACHER (me, myself)  WANTED TO HAVE COMMITMENTS FROM EACH PARTICIPANT for further contribution/utilization of our IDOCDE site. (this "making commitments/promises" idea was implemented to me by Suzanne Bentley in her workshop " Your Own Best Teacher" in the 2nd week of ImPulsTanz 2013 just before the symposium, so I thought "why not make good use of it for idocde?!")

HERE IS THE LIST OF PROMISES TO FINALIZE THIS SESSION AND LOOK INTO THE FUTURE (with expectations and outcomes that will -as this very experience have already proven- for sure be modified!!!) :

Me: I promised to write this very idoc by 28th... which could not happen due to technical and emotional difficulties. Here it is, late better than none! :-)

Madeleine:  was triggered by the different places of documenting /documentor's role in class setting etc. Is willing to reflect more on the importance of the intention in documenting. She did not promise an idoc.

Natasha: was triggered by the group discussion and their topics. She realized her own need for talking and discussing and experiencing but talking. She did not promise and idoc but organizing a coffee and informal talk during the symposium with her own group and maybe end up with writing on the issues they adress one day.

Ana: was also triggered by the talk and also the video experience she went thru and realized that she lost her focus during the exercise - being more involved in the fun and simplicity part of things (coherent with her focus actually). her conclusion was to "take out" things when documenting - not everything should be documented! 

Aylin: was triggered by the group discussion and their topics. She also was willing to go on informal tea and talks during the symposium. she said she already have an idea for an idoc and she plans to upload it during the symposium. (and she did! her idoc "learning process rather than")

Dorka: promised that she will read the related idocs to this session by sunday July 28th and further.

Nilay: promised to read what is there by sunday 28th of July and create her own idoc by 30th tuesday.

Sinja: promised to upload a releated idoc by 24th of August, sharing that she has found this practice creative, motivating and practical...

Çimen: promised to upload a related idoc by the end of first week of August.

Barbara - promised that she will read the related idocs to this session

Martin: as we were speaking he already uploaded his 10 mins. edit of the demo class with no interpretation. Sharing something out of context, with no intention; sharing because it was asked to share things... Already received interesting comment Material from the workshop on "Documentation Potluck"

Laurent: Will wait for other's uploads, read and will reflect on the place of "watching observers watching" in this session and the role of documentor in general- how far u are a treshold between outsider and insider. Planning to realize this by mid August. 

Bahar: will wait for other's uploads till 28th sunday and will upload her impressions before the end of july. and is motivated to go back home and reflect more on her other material she wishes to share thru idocde.

And I have now realized that I do not have the last page of my notes with other participants promises... here we go- lost documentation :-)

LET'S see how this group keeps on "potlucking" in and around idocde?! Let's see what do we keep on in and around idocde? And let's hope that we will all be able to grasp the how's and why's all along the way!


Attachments:
they appeared
bedirhan.sandra.sophie
aylin.martin.madeleine
bahar.natasa.ana
laurant.dorka.flore
nilay.cimen.sinya.barbara
kinesthetic brainstorm istanbul

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