This article is a commentary of the author’s experiences with visual representation as a doctoral candidate. It is an autobiographical reflection of her doctoral journey towards a PhD in education, a mixed methods study which explored teaching for creativity and creative processes for music educators. The author reflects on the experience of engaging with her own work visually via cartooning and mind mapping, and what this meant for her studies and her experience as a research student. The author hopes that this can offer a scope for reflection to readers who are doing similar types of studies or intend to engage more creatively with their doctoral studies. The article aims to demonstrate the benefit of cartooning as a self-expressive tool for the PhD candidate and to show the value of visual representation through mind mapping in the process of data analysis.
This study articulates the epistemological underpinnings of a web banner’s visual elements featured on the webpage of the research centre, Kindergarten Knowledge Centre for Systemic Research on Diversity and Sustainable Futures (KINDknow). Through interdisciplinary work within a diverse framework including dialogical, cultural, historical, systemic, anthropological and more-than-human epistemological approaches, the research team has consolidated a common sphere of member-identifying visual representations. This work tells the story of how the research team became ‘ocular’ in developing a web banner and establishing a new research centre. The aim of the narrative is to demonstrate how visual forms, elements, symbols and metaphors can be productive in research teamwork for articulating epistemological commonplaces and commonalities. The article shows the text and visual elements used. The video attached outlines one of the metaphors that served as a productive thinking tool in the process.
Using digital video technology for collecting research data is becoming a popular qualitative method in social science research. This article explores how digital video technology could be an analytical tool for a researchers and how this tool supports the researcher to actively engage in children’s play. The study uses a cultural-historical methodological approach and Hedegaard’s “dialectical-interactive research approach” (2008b, p. 43) to analyse the data. Three different examples of a focus child, Apa, and the researcher’s participation in different play vignettes will be presented. It has been found that a researcher needs to be really skillful when taking the “doubleness approach” (Hedegaard 2008d, p. 203) of simultaneously taking part in the children’s play and video recording the moments of play. The findings also show that positioning the camera in a way where it can capture the play moments and participants’ expressions, enabled the researcher to be an active play participant in the play and to understand the play theme from the children’s perspectives without taking the authority away from the children. The authors argue that using digital video technology could be a useful analytical tool for the researcher to understand the participants’ perspectives and the research context itself.
Medicine has always been regarded as one of the most significant disciplines, grounded in a humanistic approach, due to its ultimate exposure and connection with people as ‘patients’ and hence a holistic understanding of the patient as ‘human’ is fundamental. In our potentially dangerous times, the instrumental, technical and fragmented ways of seeing knowledge tend to permeate most disciplines, including medicine. This may result in individuals becoming alienated with the ‘self’ as potential doctors, with the discipline and with patients through the monologic discourse of academia or clinics. This article examines this (in)visible global issue in the specific context of Iran, where bilingual medical education adds another level of complexity in dialogic ‘seeing’ of self, knowledge and patients. Grounded in Bakhtin’s theory of dialogue and critical literacy approach to language and literacy, this article explores the affordances of a pedagogical intervention at an Iranian university. This offers diverse avenues for constructing a holistic medical knowledge in the process of becoming a professional through narrative medicine, clinical scenarios, evidence-based medicine and personal experiences. Selected stories of participants’ ontological and epistemological transformations, in their process of ideological becoming, are offered to argue for the urgency of dialogic ways of ‘seeing’ in potentially dangerous times.
Debates around authenticity within photographic discourse are persistent. Some have revolved around documentary photography, while other discussions focus on the ethical validity of digitally edited news photographs and indeed the photographic medium itself. This article proposes that discussions around ‘authenticity’ should be focused instead towards contextualising photography more appropriately within the creative practice of ‘making strange’. It acknowledges existing debates around photography and authenticity, before locating the discussion within creative practice. It then moves to a discussion, using Robert Capa’s ‘Falling Soldier’ (Capa, 1936) as a starting point, before drawing on examples from the author’s own creative and professional practice. In the process, the article argues that visual researchers embrace the challenges of making the familiar strange within photographic creative practices.
Although bees are separated from humans by about 600 million years with a common ancestor that had only a rudimentary nervous system, they still share over 60% of our Genome. Any commonly observed learning principles between bees and humans may be consequently either basal, or may have evolved in parallel due to their efficiency. While the universality of associative learning among the animal kingdom is well established, recent advances on honeybee’s cognition push further our understanding of shared mechanisms. Honeybees demonstrate the ability to prioritise information depending on context and the cost associated with making errors. Individual bees show evidence of having different heuristic approaches to solve complex tasks, and maintaining a diversity of cognitive strategies is also probably highly adaptive for group success. Bees can learn key numerosity abilities that humans acquire at school, such as the ability to add and subtract, understand the concept of zero and also how to link symbols with the specific numbers of items present. Such knowledge on bee cognitive-like processing serves as a source of inspiration for a better understanding of the biological roots of our intelligence, and may help shape educational theories or strategies to improve artificial intelligence efficiency.
As a filmmaker, the author felt the need to develop a deep connection with her subject, but was unsure how to do so with the Murray-Darling River. Initially, she saw the river as a system akin to what Pierre Bourdieu calls a field: forces external to the author acting upon each other. She felt that to connect with the river she needed to adjust her habitus (personal dispositions; way of being) to its field. This continued once the author returned to Melbourne, but through the medium of the images of the river. During the edit, she shifted from seeing the river as a field of external forces to seeing it as a habitus, a way of being. This was necessary for the river to become a character, rather than just a location.
In 2014, the government of Western Australia proposed a plan to defund, and in effect close, about half of the nearly three hundred remote Aboriginal communities in the state. During this time, the author collaborated on a hand sign video project with five women Elders at the Kapululangu Women’s Law and Culture Centre in Balgo, an Aboriginal community in the Great Sandy Desert. The author articulates why Marumpu Wangka! Kukatja Hand Talk—an unassuming and largely improvised video—struck a chord at this precarious moment for Aboriginal communities. The author argues that hand sign videos provide a rare mode of intercultural engagement that is simultaneously culturally specific and broadly relatable. In a mediascape in which most Australian viewers are inundated with visual tropes of Aboriginal communities as either suffering or mystical, representations of jovial gesture encourage understanding beyond these stereotypes by intimately engaging everyday community interaction. Referencing the supplemental eight-minute video throughout, the author (1) overviews the significance of hand sign systems in Aboriginal Australian communities, (2) describes the collaborative and improvised hand sign video production process, and (3) argues for the importance of visual representations that can transcend—even if modestly—settler/Indigenous divides during the current dangerous times for Aboriginal communities.
Memes are an increasingly prevalent means of communication in online spaces. Their influence is felt in the offline world as attitudes and dispositions traverse the postdigital membrane. The medium is emblematic of the democratic and participatory communities of the internet, yet there is evidence that they play a role in the well-documented political radicalisation that happens in online spaces. Semiotic concepts such as inter and intratextuality, and Peirce’s conception of habit provide a framework to understand how the language of memes is developed and transformed across a network.