Skip to content


Yes I can? YES YOU CAN!

Yesterday something extraordinary happened.

I was asked to run a session for colleagues at my university on learning and teaching as their first session of a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching. Planning for this was like swimming in alphabet soup in my mind and gathering words – I knew what I did not want the session to be, but I wasn’t sure how I would or should tailor the session. I knew nothing about the group – who they were, why they were there, what their responsibilities or roles in their jobs were, or what their experience or conception of learning entailed – and all this matters.

In the past I have run sessions where the room is set out as an orchestra and everyone comes in to find that they will be not observing, but playing in that orchestra. Magic. This year though, that felt like hard work. (After yesterday though, I would like the opportunity to do that with this group) What I did instead was to divide them into groups of four and give each group an instrument. Each group had a different remit: one group was explicitly ‘taught’ by me, one group was told to just figure it out however they liked, one group was given roles for everyone – a facilitator, a scribe, someone to make an abstract map (mind map or the like) of the learning and happenings, and one person to be a designated researcher to find resources. Then after an exploratory 15 mins we came back to discuss what happened, and compare the perceptions of the learners and the others in the groups. -and to perform whatever they ‘figured out’. We heard twinkle twinkle from one group, Clair de lune from another (on viola! yes, I gave them a viola!!), and an improvised jazz/percussion piece from another group.

It was impossible in a short 90 min session to convey what they were actually experiencing from a theoretical standpoint.

Experience is a marvellous teacher, but when you are swimming in the water, you cannot also drink it or wash with it. One thing and ‘one think’ (as one of my children used to say) at a time.Read More »Yes I can? YES YOU CAN!

Learning Out Loud

On Friday 18th October I presented a talk and performance entitled ‘Learning Out Loud’ as my inaugural professorial lecture, which launched the 2019-20 Public Lecture series at the University of Chichester. I was grateful that my department allowed me to use a couple of cameras to capture the event – they were set running before it kicked off and it looks like (unfortunately) someone bumped the side-view camera, and the lighting was particularly dim, but you can hear it all and the tech people helped to a great job of splicing the video feeds together for me. Thank you to them!

What you cannot see in the video is the display that was along both sides of the walls, showing the documentation of my practice, with over 44,000 words, 115+ videos, audio files, and plenty of images. (for an example of one of the days see HERE) I have been asked to display these for online viewing and I will, but it will take time. (I plan to make a subdomain with the project on it) People were invited to peruse the 128 days of ups and downs, chipping away at learning, and working through the seasons and other life responsibilities as I prepared for this event. 

Below you will find:

  1. The printed programme
  2. The video
  3. Timings for the video
  4. The full transcript of the talk (with some images along the margins – so do look!)


References (as shown on the pdf of the programme):


Video Timings:

‘Learning Out Loud’ (beginning-5:37 Laura: 5:38-39:04)

Sonata for Solo Cello, op.8    Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967)

      1. Allegro maestoso ma appassionato (starts 40:00)
      2. Adagio (con grand expression) (starts 48:39)
      3. Allegro molto vivace (starts 1:00:26)




This evening I take you on a journey, demonstrating our awareness of experiences, the things we do, and how they impact us- noticing and questioning some of the societal assumptions and constraints around us, and then considering our role, mine and yours – and how we each learn and shape our experiences – personally, as peers and teachers, and within the frameworks of our social and institutional networks.Read More »Learning Out Loud


I just blinked. Did I miss it? Actually I experienced that blink. I know I think a lot, and with words, their meaning, understanding, and having… Read More »Experience