2017. október 9., hétfő

Behind the Questions

'Sometimes being able to ask a good question is more important than finding a good answer'

David Stork

Children can't stop asking questions, this is natural human behaviour. 

What happens with the brain after? Why does asking questions become such a difficult task?

Nobody has found the exact answer, there can be a lot of different explanations and answers.

According to Barbara Jacoby, the award winning blogger, it can be to do with modern technology because when we want to know something we will browse on the internet instead of asking people.

Maybe our parents or teachers were not supportive in giving answers.

Our boss may be too bossy and we have learnt that it is better to keep our mouths closed, this is what Warren Berger believes, the author of the book A more beautiful question

I have tried to figure out why it is problematic for me. I grew up in a socialist country in east Europe in the eighties and as I remember, my parents and teachers preferred the silent attention than the questions or the interactive conversation, so it was not a commendable thing to ask, and today, having to speak in English, which is my non-native language also can make communication harder for me. So the expectation of the society which we live in can be embedded in the brain and those experiences can influence habits and confidence just as it did for me somewhat badly, growing up in the society, I lived in for most of my life.

I think that communication skills can improve and I have to make efforts to learn, I may ask questions firstly from myself. If I prepare questions before a certain conversation it can help me to speak fluently and I may avoid the big silence. What do I want to talk about? What do I want to know? What is my aim? If I find out what is my question, I have to make it clear and detailed. I have to know not just a certain topic of the conversation but I should focus on what the target of the discussion is. 

On the flip side, the question is the answer, but sometimes it is a reaction instead of an exact answer. Sometimes to get a certain answer is not the aim, but just to get some ideas and exchange opinions and experiences. Not even every question has an answer. It is similar to teaching dance as not everybody will learn the certain movement at the same class and not all learning will be knowledge. As a belly dance teacher I have noticed at my belly dance classes, where the women are not professionals and it is sometimes hard for them to catch the movement. I always tell them patience, but I should tell myself this too, when I try to figure out a good question. 

A good question in a conversation is like a perfect movement in a perfect part of the music in a choreography. 

Reacting to a question is an improvisation. Being able to think on your feet is a skill. The improvisation is the hardest thing in dance teaching too, it can depend on your experiences and ideas and also your mood, how you woke up and spent your day and even the weather, so many things can influence your improvisation and reactions. 

If you have knowledge of the field that the conversation is about, it can help you and lead you in answering. It can give you confidence to speak and continue asking. Being involved in a conversation can be very positive because you can learn from others experiences and you can expand your scope and you also can learn about yourself too from the questions and others opinions. To get a targeted question can open up your mind and enable you to see what you haven’t recognised yet and put the focus on what you should see. Listening to others opinions can also help you to learn and be open minded. 

Please post and ask questions.

2017. május 11., csütörtök

Personal aspect - protect privacy in research

There are ethical issues involved in the research process and therefore I find it important to write about them. The research questions are about peoples lives and working with them always requires courteous behavior. According to Mark Israel the author of the book Research Ethics for Social Scientists:
​”Ethical behavior helps protect individuals” (Mark Israel, 2006, p. 2)

Researchers have to consider the wishes of the participants, for example: if they want to be anonymous, the researcher has to accept this. It is hard to separate the 'personal aspect' from other parts of life therefore the researcher needs to be very prudent. 

Qualitative research is concerned with privacy, therefore the researcher has to inform the participants about the research process and s/he has to also keep the research material, videos and data safe. The consent form has to include the topic and all of the information regarding the research; the form also needs to be signed by the participants.

As a dance teacher, I can keep the personal boarders required, in the dance classes but if I want to conduct research with my students. I have to gain an insight into the participants circumstances. There are different types of students and each of them has ther own individual story. Asking them about their personal lives implies ethical issues. 

Where is the ethical issue from?

Nuremberg code 
”Before the second world war most biomedical research was conducted on the small scale…and when patients trusted their physicians not to harm them, to do something positive for them.” (Mark Israel, 2006, p. 27)

After the second world war the Nuremberg code gained more attention and set out 10 key principles for human experimentation. (Mark Israel, 2006)

The 1964 Helsinki declaration emphasised autonomy, like the Nuremberg code before it. (Mark Israel, 2006) It also included issues of privacy and informed consent etc. 

”The commission key ideas were summarized in a landmark 1979 document known as the Belmont report.” Which is”ethical principles and guidelines for the protection of human subjects of research.” (Mark Israel, 2006, p. 34)

As a researcher I have to consider the ethical issues, it is more than merely asking people questions, it is official, therefore I have to follow the rules and behave diplomaticly and accordingly. 

Mark Israel, I. H. (2006). Research Ethics for Social Scientists. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

2017. április 21., péntek

Making a plan - Asking "why"

Making a plan is an ordinary task for everyone because there are many fields which require planning. For example, even if we are going to go on holiday; we are planning what we should do, book flights, accommodation and sort out things around us. This is about organisation "how" which is a tool that we need for achieving the goal we have set for ourselves. We do not need to ask ourselves why we want to go because we may dreamt about it, need it, want it and feel it. In other words, we had probably already chosen the location from previous research and/or experience which is in accordance to our personal wishes. 

I have realised that the question of "why" comes naturally in our everyday lives, however, it is not something that is innate, which we were born with. This is according to livescience*, children aged between 2 and 5 years start asking never-ending "why's". They want to explore everything around them and everything is interesting. For adults, it is sometimes difficult to ask, there are many reasons behind the "whys". Therefore, we should ask ourselves; why do I forget to ask myself "why"? 

As a dance teacher and choreographer I have always made plans without realising this, and that this has been a routine and everyday experience for me, in my work. 

For example, practicing the following questions:

·         let's make a list for what I need to do;. 

·         why I want to do it?;

·         what is the reason and what are the benefits?; 

·         where will I perform?;

·         what is the aim of the event?;

·         what is their preference?; and

·         what kind of dance is required? 

Before the "how", there is something else which I need to know and that is "why" I do it? 

What is the aim and then I need to look for the tools of "how"? 

And so on...

Before choosing movements, I have to have a vision about what we want to express. The choreography will be pointless without this preparation. After this, I can think about the framework, how many rehearsals will be required, who will get involved, when and where the rehearsals will take place, thusly this is the organising of "how"?

This is what I have learnt regarding the process of research. I need to be reflective and control myself continuously asking "why" just as a 5 year old child, in order to explore the unknown. 

2017. március 3., péntek

Keep questioning

I had a very interesting conversation with my adviser, Adesola. She helped me to recognise the method of research. 
I was lost in books and information and did not see the path or even the research topic. 

I understood that the analysis is not about desperately looking for answers to all of the questions but it is about collecting information, making comparisons and to continue asking questions.

It is similar to when we are watching a different dance character and we don't need to choose the best one. There is no necessary outcomes just an interesting experience. We can speak about experiences and share opinions as well as compare the differences in opinions. 

I am going to keep my focus on the questions in order to explore the field that I want to research. 

I don't know the final outcome but I think I will have more questions. 
I hope I am in the right direction. 
What do you think? Do you think the same? Why do you think the same? If not, why do you think differently?

2017. február 15., szerda

Different approaches

It was a very interesting Skype conversation, last Sunday. I really like to hear about how someone has become a professional dancer, teacher and choreographer. I was also thinking about how the private life, environment and political situation can influence the professional career and makes every journey unique.  
It is similar to creating choreography with a certain music, everyone will create differently because of their different circumstances, abilities, influences etc. 

I am just wondering about the private aspect.

The personal aspects of life such as getting married and having children is closer to the natural way of life and humanity as opposed to our focus on career and being perfect. Everyone is looking for love and wants to be loved which is the reason for living, for human beings. 

How can the Human aspect reflect in the dance performance? 

One of the greatest Hungarian photographer’s Éva Keleti said that:

“The dance has three aspects: music, choreography and the dancer.”

She always looked for the movement with her camera, when the human effect is shining through the choreography and the music fills them with emotion and expertise. 

The dancer cannot hide the personal situations of life because we are firstly human. The emotions can appear in the dance performance consciously or unconsciously. This can give the deepest content to the dance performance. 
The dancer’s personality is included in every step and movements, their power and emotion combines with the music and choreography. This is the atmosphere that the audience can feel during the performance, but each performance is different because everything is changing and we are not the same as we were 5-10 years ago. I think this is the most interesting thing about how the personality can expand and is developing within the dance career.