Thursday, 24 March 2011
1. There are no really big hills in this section (nor anywhere on SDW) but there is hardly any flat.
2. A couple of steepish bits but these pass quickly however constant small up and downs take their toll. Anyone who has walked Seven Sisters will know what I mean.
3. It took us some time...but there was some navigation needed. We went the wrong way even on the SDW (inaccurate signpost and then no signpost) and used the Satnav.
4. It was stunningly beautiful
Monday, 9 November 2009
Art first sight the point of view expressed by Perkin makes some sense and I suppose that there has been a rise in ‘professionalism’ over the last 100 years. However professional classes are not new, something vaguely acknowledged in the piece, Egyptian society had a powerful and effective professional class for example. That we live in a time of unprecedented wealth seems strong (though many are still in poverty) that there are great advances in the distribution of basic good is also a real factor. However it seems the argument rests on the idea that there is ‘a cause’ for change when in fact it might have been a more robust (bit less interesting) argument if it was a regarded as ‘a factor’. The application of science to the way we live has gone through a complete revolution too, and it is the applied sciences that give us both the unprecedented style of life that we have and leave the possibility of mass destruction hanging over our head, wither as the result of nuclear holocaust or through the throttling of our spaceship earth through the over use of resources. We could also take an educational view where the change has come about because vast swates of the population now have an education that was previous denied them and that this leads toa different way of life in its wake.
The chapter is a child of its times though in a way it cannily almost expects the banking crash of last year. This though is surely an example of personal greed over professionalism as much as professionalism destroying itself. There is a crux here about what we mean by profession, but in banking terms it might include the words ‘prudent’ and ‘honest’ characteristics that were absent within the sector, and the struggles now going on might be seen as a debate about how best to reintroduce professional standards.
The article itself does not really deal with the possible effects of continuous growth and the possibility of 0% growth or even contraction in our attempts to achieve this the professional classes are at the moment unable to provide more than a debate and action is lacking. I would have said offhand this is more the effects of free market forces and the ‘shortermism’ that they produce that are in effect acting as manacles on the professional classes who might be able to resolve the situation.
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
Friday, 9 October 2009
'Reflection is a form of mental processing that we use to fulfill a purpose or to achieve some anticipated outcome. It is applied to gain a better understanding of relatively complicated or unstructured ideas and is largely based on the reprocessing of knowledge, understanding and possibly emotions that we already possess.'
Perhaps there is also a an element of possibility (I would call it future) thinking...'What might happen if...' and suggest that this engagement with possibility is central to the process of reflection. SO reflection may well be the 'reprocessing of knowledge' but it is a reprocessing with some possibility, or more likely possibilities, in mind. One might suggest here then the reflection is a reprocessing and re-purposing of knowledge. In addition to this the engagement of possibility brings with it 'serendipity'. Since possibility is not a known but conjecture there are other alternative possibilities some unexpected, unintended and therefore at times 'serendipitous'.
Moon goes on to look at the role of reflection in learning. Here we are presented with a model that is redolent of a constructivist view of learning. The need to relate what is learned to what is known. One might add that if we use the metaphor of scaffolding then what we are constructing takes account of what lies underneath, but also attempts takes account of what it is thought possible or likely to be further added. Here reflection/learning is something that takes place within a plan. This might be formal, explicit and codified (this course for example) or it may be informal, implicit and fluid. Again the construction of reflection is as dependant on what might come after as it is on what went on before.
More to follow...
Thursday, 1 October 2009
A Tweet this morning hijacked my mind and led to this bauble of a reflection.
T @al2615: Can you reflect on something in the future?
My gut feeling is yes and no. When saying ‘reflection’ in a sense we are making use of metaphor, here comparing a way of thinking with the way images appear (to a greater or lesser degree distorted) in for example water or a mirror. It is important to remember this metaphorical root since it implies with it a limitation and we can find ourselves shackled by the metaphor.
Reflection before action
Reflection for me is a kind of critical review of things done, with the intention of making changes to what I do next. This is like the Denning cycle of plan-do-review. The review feeds the next plan, and is very much part of it and review/plan is what constitutes my reflection. SO when making a professional reflection ‘on action’ it is inextricably linked with future action. If I am to use my reflection for future action (and thereby presumably achieving some goal, aim or objective) then in some way I must be reflecting upon that which does not yet exist. If we have ‘reflection in action’, and ‘reflection on action’, then we can, and I think must, have ‘reflection before action’. SO as a good citizen concerned about the environment I have reflected upon the carbon footprint I leave when flying around the place. I have reflected on the impact this has, I have thought carefully about the harm I have caused. Now I reflect on a possible trip to Prague for a weekend, or a shopping trip to New York. I reflect upon the harm that I will probably cause by doing this and what the ultimate consequences might be. I reflect upon the sort of world I would like my children and your children to live in. I consider what the possible alternatives will be and then make a decision.
Future History-what if reflection
A further version of this is to ‘reflect’ on what might be. 1984, Animal Farm, I robot and the laws of Robotics, Fahrenheit 451 all portray attempts to f=reflect on what might be: often with a cautionary quality to them. This I would call ‘visionary reflection’. It is rather more than mere speculation (though that has its place) and has at it best a striking reflective quality to it since it ‘looks for interrelations beyond the superficial’. They try to take account of historical and current influences and directions and use these to build a critical picture of what might be.