“I wouldn’t call Blake a stand up comedian…”

This weeks class quiz:

1 – What is Topic Mediated Dialogue (TMD)? Topic mediated dialogue is a way of encouraging discussion by setting specific topics. It is super useful for research

2 – How do we collect TMD data? We can collect the data be recording or filming conversations as they take place, taking notes about key points that have been discussed, with transcripts from digital discussions (such as via email or whatsapp) or by interviewing participants once the conversation is finished. 

3 – How do we analyse the data ? We analyse the information we collect by compiling all the raw date and taking our time to interpret what we have, looking for ideas and themes that connect or mirror our literature review. 

Next, we were all given a copy of the poem ‘London’ by William Blake, and as a group we read it line by line, discussing our interpretations of what it was all about. This exercise was really handy in helping us see that with a little patience  we can collate the ‘raw data’ (or in this case, the poem) and interpret the hidden meaning behind WHAT has been said. Here is the poem, along with some notes. 

I wander thro’ each charter’d street, 
(Chartered as in controlled by the monarchy)
Near where the charter’d Thames does flow.
(The Thames, and all the worlds seas are controlled by the monarchy, ‘Rule Britannia’ etc)
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.
(These last two lines are pretty self explanatory, everyone looks super sad)
In every cry of every Man,
In every Infants cry of fear,
In every voice: in every ban,
(Again, pretty self explanatory, everything is NOT tickety-boo)
The mind-forg’d manacles I hear 
(Macro sense – Ideological state apparatus, such as education and the church, repressing the masses. Micro sense – Peoples own doubts and downtrodden mentality)
How the Chimney-sweepers cry
Every blackning Church appalls, 
(Recognising Religion as a repressive ideological state apparatus)
And the hapless Soldiers sigh
(The military as a Repressive state apparatus, under control of the monarchy)
Runs in blood down Palace walls 
(Recognising the Monarchy as the cause of the ‘Soldiers sigh’)
But most thro’ midnight streets I hear
How the youthful Harlots curse
Blasts the new-born Infants tear 
And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse 
(Young ladies of the night are NOT happy about crying babies (theirs or others) as many women die in child birth and there is no contraception. Also they aren’t exactly chuffed about the prospect of marriage as women are expected to be ‘clean’ and dutiful while men were allowed to play around.  Also that marriage is another form of ideological repression for women)


After this we went into pairs to talk about the concept of cheating, and to discuss the following 3 sentences

1 – How does the notion of ‘cheating’ help you think about and understand assessment: the what, the why, and the how?

2 – What does the notion of ‘cheating’ say to you about learning – and teaching?

3 – What does ‘cheating’ say to you about the relationship between students, teachers and the university – and about the purpose of higher education?

Sandra and Tom then asked us to write our own poem about cheating, students, teachers, assessment etc. Not feeling massively poetic, I wrote a Haiku.

Cheating is not good

But collaboration is

Where is the line drawn?

Just as we were about to leave, Sandra and Tom told us that we would be discussing and interpreting our poems next week, so I have decided to write another one between now and then. My Haiku doesn’t really leave much room for interpretation…

Random things Tom said that I MUST investigate further:

  • ‘Mind forged manacles’/ Pavlov’s Dog / Skinner on education, reward/punishment.
  • “Objectivity is the big lie of academia”.
  • After the VW emission scandal being mentioned at least once in EVERY lesson, I must find out what the story is with Tom and Volkswagen? Jilted lovers?

Vorsprung durch bildung! 



2 thoughts on ““I wouldn’t call Blake a stand up comedian…”

  1. Reblogged this on Becoming An Educationalist and commented:
    W14: #becomingeducational
    This week we started preparing for the Research Report – with a special focus on ANALYSING DATA.

    We opened with a discussion about TMD (topic mediated dialogue) – including as a research tool – and considered how we would COLLECT DATA from a TMD session… and then how we would ANALYSE THAT DATA.

    We moved on to analyse Blake’s London – modelling the slowness, focus and intensity of the data analysis process…

    THEN – we had our own TMD session on ‘cheating’ – to model this as a research tool – and of course to model the data collection and analysis process…

    BUT – why am I writing all this – when Dan has said it all so much better!! Thanks Dan!


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