Ben’s awd unit 3
Reflexivity refers to a response that is triggered by a dialectical interaction with another idea, person, theory, culture, text or another part of one’s self. It occurs upon critical engagement with another agent. It is usually occurs in two directions, and the response does contrast. It involves the act of turning back with an aim of examining and critiquing one’s assumptions upon encountering another person or idea (Qualley 17). Reflexivity offers critical validation through structured and ongoing attention to personal, interpersonal and contextual factors influencing what is said and done, or what is not (Brendan 20).
I have had the privilege of experiencing a reflexive moment and the incidence is still clear in my head. It all happened during one of the evening tea breaks at my place of work. We were a number of staff members, seated around a coffee table enjoying our tea and snacks. One of my colleagues made a remark about how our upbringing was very different from that of children in the present times. “Times have changed”, he said with a nostalgic smile on his face. One after the other, people started contributing to this conversation with each one giving a fascinating experience from their childhood. In no time, an exciting discussion of our early years had attracted everyone around, and everyone was laughing aloud.
People talked about the disciplining by the parents, the exciting games and different popular products that were now nowhere to be found. “I still recall how my mum would thrash me on a daily basis”, said one of my colleagues who is known for his hyperactive nature. Everyone seemed to be of the opinion that our days were filled with a lot of fun in comparison to the current years despite the low technology and high poverty levels in those days. It was very interesting to see people, who earlier on could not get a conversation to flow with one another, share their memories and bond with each other. All this time, differences of our culture, ethnicity, religion and social classes seized to exist. We all were adults reminiscing of our exciting childhoods.
Having people of different cultures and languages teach their languages and cultures to the rest was so fascinating. Others even taught us songs and games that they used to play in their childhood years. Each time someone talked about his or her childhood experiences, everyone would listen carefully, and it was evident from the attentive nature of the audience that everyone valued every story. People had different memories and experiences depending on their personality and their upbringing. Some talked of how they regularly received harsh beatings from their parents and guardians due to their naughty nature. Others talked of the different games they engaged in, in their earlier years.
While carefully listening to everyone’s experiences, it was clear to me that we all are different in our own ways and that the combination of theses differences make the world an interesting place to live. It also made me realize how valuable everyone in the society is. I now know that we have a lot to learn from each other due to our cultural and ethnic differences. This interesting and educative forum was not just a bonding session but also a revelation of the beauty of having people from all walks of life around me. It turned to be a valuable and educative session that made me realize how valuable our pasts are, and how they have a great influence on our present and future.
Among the stories given, one caught everyone’s attention and completely changed the mood of all of us. One of my colleagues shared with us her painful childhood experience. One could hear the pain in her voice as she spoke, and it was evident that she was yet to let go of those memories. She told us of how she lost her entire nuclear family to a fire that was started by members of a neighboring ethnic community, during ethnic clashes in her home area. According to her story, a few cruel political leaders had fueled hatred between two neighboring ethnic communities by inciting them against each other, and this resulted in tribal clashes.
This violence resulted in the death of many people, irrespective of age, some of whom were her family members. In between her sobs, she narrated to us how some cruel young men burnt their house with her loved ones inside before surrounding it to ensure no one escapes from the wrath of the immense fire. She was lucky not to be in the house at the time of the fire, but watching her parents, and two sisters get burnt to death was more painful to her than death itself. Her story was so touching that most of us could not help tears flowing on our cheeks. No one knew what to tell her in order to console her as no one could identify with her experience.
When she was done expressing herself, there was total silence. No one knew what to say to break the silence. As I looked at her with pity, I realized that she seemed somewhat relieved as though a heavy load had been lifted off her. This made me realize how effective sharing our experiences can be. Talking about painful experiences in our pasts plays an important role in our healing process. It helps us let go of the pain and anger we sometimes hold closely to ourselves. In such cases, where someone has greatly wronged us, talking it out is a crucial step in forgiveness and reconciliation between the involved parties.
Her story also made me realize how irresponsible behaviors can result into immense destruction. As I analyzed her story, I could not help but notice how powerful a remark from a leader can be on the society. It is evident that leaders in the society should be extremely careful of the utterances they make, as their remarks can be either constructive or destructive. Likewise, I appreciated the need for always being mindful of others. Instead of restricting ourselves to our ethnic and cultural cocoons, we should see everyone’s difference as an advantage in the well-being of our society.
The difference in our cultures should not be a segregating entry but rather, it should help us unite and improve our society with everyone being responsible for the development in our society. We all should realize that no ethnic group is superior to the rest, and we all need each other for the welfare of the whole society. I also got to understand the need to resolve our differences, no matter how immense they are in an amicable way to ensure that we all live harmoniously with each other.
Learning transfer entails the transfer of previously acquired knowledge in one context to another context that shares similar characteristics. It is the effect that prior learning has on later learning. As such, learning transfer seeks to make the skills and knowledge acquired in an educational forum to be of significant help to the participants away from the classroom. In learning transfer, enhancement of one mental function could influence another closely related function. According to the identical element theory formulated by Edward Thorndike, successful transfer of learning mainly depends on the similarity of the influencing and influenced functions.
According to Locke’s theory of learning transfer, learning transfer is dependent on the amount of effort put by a participant in mastering a certain task, as opposed to the skills and information acquired (Brent 20). Learning transfer is of two types, negative and positive transfer. In the positive transfer, learning of the original task speeds up learning of the transfer task. However, in the negative type of transfer, learning of the original task slows down the transfer task (Alvesson 12).
When our art and craft instructor gave us a task of making a unique model of house furniture, I did not have a concrete idea in my mind of the most appropriate and creative artifact to make. I knew I had to be very creative in my work for it to be competitive and appealing. The products made were to be exhibited in an art show room, and this would be an excellent platform for talented artists to showcase their God -given talents. The exhibition would not only involve famous local artists but renowned international artists, as well. As such, we all had to put our all in this task.
My main aim was to create something that not only leaves a lasting and alluring impression on everyone who would see it, but also one that had an important lesson for everyone in the society. According to my knowledge on art, I believe that artists have a unique and influential platform through which they should properly use to convey vital messages that will aid in development of the society.
History being one of my favorite disciplines, I decided to incorporate it in my creation. I wanted to tell a story of my past and present without the use of words. History is a discipline that influences our present and future by describing our past. The theory of evolution of humankind is one area in their history discipline that interests me. Although there are various explanations about the origin of the human being, history through the evolution theory gives a detailed explanation of the whole journey of the current human being.
It also seeks to provide substantial evidence of the matter by use of the past man’s life style and body remains. As such, I gathered relevant information about the subject from my knowledge on the matter. According to the evolution theory, man was once walking on his fours and had a different body structure from the present human being. With time, he developed in terms of brain capacity and body structure to become the intelligent person he is in the present.
Moreover, I wanted to use my creation to convey a message that will improve the lives of the society around me. With environmental pollution being an issue that worsens on a daily basis, I wanted to use my artifact to address this issue. Based on my knowledge on environmental pollution acquired from academic sources, I have a proper understanding on the effects of environmental pollution. Most of the wastes carelessly discarded in our environment can result into significant harm to all living things in the society.
One such waste, which can cause undesirable effects to the environment, is the metallic wastes. These are mainly from machineries, which are no longer useful. Such machineries include locomotive parts, computers and furniture among others. With these materials being non-biodegradable, disposing them improperly will result into environmental pollution. Some of these materials contain lead, which can be harmful. Moreover, some of theses materials find their way into water bodies hence polluting the water that most people rely on for their daily activities. This calls for proper disposure of these waste metallic materials as a way of saving the environment.
Therefore, I decided to incorporate knowledge obtained about these subjects into creating my artifact to successfully accomplish my objective of creating a message-relaying product. I gathered different metallic waste materials that were improperly disposed off as a way of being responsible for my environment. During this process, I discovered how a lot of these materials lie everywhere hence polluting the environment.
It was obvious that most people do not take responsibility of taking care of the environment instead pollutes it by discarding waste materials inappropriately. Pollution of the environment by use of such materials and other kind of wastes not only makes the surroundings unattractive but can also provoke major health complications to the people around these wastes. However, I realized that most people discard these materials allover because they do not know how else they can utilize these materials.
Lucky for me, I had some substantial knowledge about welding that I had acquired from watching my father who was a famous welder in our neighborhood. With this knowledge, I was able to join different metallic parts together to make the frame of the coffee table without much trouble. In addition to that, I creatively used the remaining metallic materials to make models of the various stages of evolution of the present human being.
To make the coffee table more attractive, I purchased a clear- glass frame to place on the top of the furniture. My main aim was to create a classy and modern furniture with a traditional touch to it. I had decided to incorporate the human being’s evolution theory since everyone could identify with it. By creatively welding the models together way in a circular manner, I joined the model to the base of the table such that it is visible from the glass at the top.
I painted the coffee table by use of wood varnish to make it more appealing. My creativity and artistic incorporations in the creation of this furniture was mainly because of the knowledge I had obtained from my tutor in the previous art lessons. Knowledge on the human being’s history and the wide issue of environmental pollution aided me to expound on my idea. I wanted to use my artifact to pose a challenge to everyone who would see it about the need for saving our environment.
Furthermore, I wanted to make them appreciate the fact that one can generate income from materials that were otherwise viewed as waste and useless. Various opportunities that can create employment for many people as well as raising their living standards through income generation lie in these materials. This would be of much benefit as many people will be in a position to earn a modest living, while at the same time ensuring that we save our environment and maintain it in a proper condition.
As we displayed our creativity and talents in the art show room, I was pleased by the great appreciation that people showed for my hard work and originality. This was hugely exciting and encouraging for me because my objective of expressing our culture and history in a modern way was achieved. Just as I hoped they would, people in the showroom could identify with the evolution idea on the furniture. They also appreciated the need for taking care of our environment, as well as the abundant income generating opportunities that surround us, and those that are yet to be tapped.
In the process, I managed to get a number of customers who were interested in buying my product and even requested for customization of other products at a substantial amount of money. Being able to use and incorporate my academic knowledge into my career path was not only fascinating but also encouraging. Moreover, the fact that I was able to convey a message that is of importance to the society without necessarily using words to express it, was an amazing experience for me. As such, I believe that transfer of learning from one context to another is of great importance and can help us in our everyday lives.
Various works written about different topics of research offer the reader an opportunity to review and critique the facts present in the written material. The academic journals and other written materials not only offer facts about certain researched topics by the author, but also offers an educative platform upon which the readers expound their knowledge on the field in question (Finlay 112). The reviewing of the written materials by experts within the same field of research purposes to refrain the reader to a certain line of interpretation. This is because, on his own, then reader can interpret the content of the publication within a wide scope and in the process fail to get the intended information.
Moreover, the format of most academic materials is such that it sets the right tone to the reader. By the author focusing more on the content in the material, as opposed to the graphics, the reader is able to focus on the content inside, hence ensuring that the intended information is conveyed to the target audience. Likewise, the serious and formal language used in the writings serves to ensure the information is clear, and the author leaves no room for the targeted readers to imagine the information intended to be brought forth.
The effective use and understanding of language is crucial for a reader in understanding the content in any written material. Language can be a major hindrance to proper communication between the writer of a certain academic or professional material and his target readers. As such, there is a great need for the author of any resourceful material to use proper and understandable language depending on the intended readers. Language is an essential tool of writing that helps to create informative works of literature.
I now appreciate the role that language used by an author plays in selecting the target audience for his work. Different pieces of literature have different intended readers and the language used in these pieces plays as important role in segregating and attracting them. Moreover, while scrutinizing pieces of writing by various authors, I now have a deeper approval of their work. These authors input a lot of effort in terms of research, time and even finances in order to come up with a piece of literature that meets the intended objective.
Documentation of informative materials such as articles, journals and books, involve the effort of a number of contributors. Whether these contributors are actively involved or not, their involvement ought to be recognized and appreciated. There is need to acknowledge the fact that the research from these enlightening writings would not be a success without the involvement of previous researchers within the same discipline who documented their findings. This is because most of the documentation by various authors are developed from previous documented researches conducted within the same field of expertise.
Furthermore, it is now clear to me that the target audience of a certain author is not restricted in one geographical zone. Actually, various literature pieces act as a vital communication tool that plays a crucial mission of uniting all the members of a certain discipline, whether in their professional or academic capacities. Additionally, these writings separate readers with a common interest from the larger lot. These readers normally have an interest in the same discipline.
In addition, I realize how powerful authors can be in terms of their convincing power over the targeted readers. Through their writings, authors seek to inform the readers of the existence of a certain idea or theory, as well as attempting to persuade them to take a certain stand on a particular issue. Though they may not offer concise answers to the argument in question, they attempt to challenge the readers to contemplate on the issue while channeling a certain path that they intend to persuade their readers to follow. This is mainly in terms of a theory or idea.
From the context of the journal articles, it is evident that the readers possess shared beliefs and interests. Moreover, the authors seek to advance the readers interests on the matter addressed. Upon reading a certain literature piece, the critical thinking and awareness of a reader is increased. Likewise, the author enlightens the reader on certain critical issues within a certain field.
Alvesson, Mats, and Kaj Sköldberg. Reflexive Methodology: New Vistas for Qualitative Research. London: SAGE, 2000. Print.
Brent, Doug. “Crossing Boundaries: Co-Op Students Relearning to Write.” College Composition and Communication. 63.4 (2012): 558-592. Print.
Finlay, L. “”outing” the Researcher: the Provenance, Process, and Practice of Reflexivity.” Qualitative Health Research. 12.4 (2002): 531-45. Print.
Finlay, Linda, and Brendan Gough. Reflexivity: A Practical Guide for Researchers in Health and Social Sciences. Malden, MA: Blackwell Science, 2003. Print.
Qualley, Donna J. Turns of Thought: Teaching Composition As Reflexive Inquiry. Portsmouth, N.H: Boynton/Cook, 1997. Print.