Sunday, May 6, 2018

process and product

Today's Skype discussion centered quite heavily on questions such as why is verbal instruction as relevant if not more than physical demonstration while teaching dance class? Why are authoritarian led classes less relevant to more democratic student involved classes in today's society? How has the journey through the Modules affected the process of taking this journey for through the MAPP and how has this impacted the way we teach, our personal lives, and our professional lives beyond teaching or studying for this program?

These are just a few of the questions I heard during the discussion. As always the debate of process vs. product was a lovely pain in my backside. For me the process of this journey through reflection and learning is a product of my previous experience and is the reason I am constantly questioning how, what, where, when, and why I teach dance and movement therapy. The product of this program is the MA. Yes. There is a tangible end product but there are many more products happening throughout the journey. Is this because the process alters our thoughts as we explore our careers and the world around us? Perhaps. Possibly not. I would love to sit down with Socrates and have a good old fashioned debate on whether or not process is in itself a product or a byproduct of other things.

Today's discussion as usual included the debate over why exams and competitions are so important and why should they be important. This went further to include how can essays be accurately assessed if not everyone understands the content and its context within the essays or research.  Perhaps this is why guidelines, framework, and other types of red tape have been created to assist us through our journeys. When we as students ask such questions of ourselves are we not questioning authority or hoping for democratic learning in our journey? Are the ROL essays and reflective essays our part of the democratic learning process (not product, but maybe product) of the guidelines given throughout the modules?

Does individuality come into play within all genres of dance? Are societal expectations created by dancers or mainstream (non dance) individuals? Does this process create of questioning and discovery actually help us discover more about our foundations and questions we have about those beginnings? Were those training instruments and methods we used as students affected by the questions of our instructors?

The product of who we are and how and why we teach has been a journey that is not yet finished because as long as we teach we are in the process of learning ourselves. This learning may be different ways to effectively communicate with our students or changing our thoughts and beliefs on how to safely execute movement.

Again, I ask when does process become product? Are they the same thing? Or are they always different?

1 comment:

  1. This is such a fascinating discussion to me; I wish I'd been able to be there for it. I used to be such a product-focused person, and still can be to some extent. Undergrad and previous grad classes worked really hard to drum process as a goal into my head, but with little success until I grew to understand it on my own personal terms more recently. Sometimes there's a real product (the MA degree is a great example) and sometimes it's all process, so it becomes its own product (say, one's own personal growth journey or whatnot), but sometimes that line is really blurred, especially in dance. I'm really curious to hear others' thoughts, because I've been talking to my own students about process lately and so it's been on my mind.

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