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Issues with flexible learning – access, equity; Because Many aspects of a persons opinion are culturally determined- there will always be cultural differences in most groups and it is fear of difference (ignorance) that instills prejudices and hewn into racism, classism, sexism, ageism etc. Thinking about otherness in terms of us and them is downright barbaric.

Eluminate session contained a practical suggestion by Kate Timms to learn more about what there are in the way of cultural differences between people. This approach would be applicable to most course designs. One of the ways she employs to engender cultural understanding during the Treaty of Waitangi workshops, is to break group into one on one. By generating discussion in pairs there is more opportunity to spontaneously encounter in anothers culture get to know a little of what if any are their differences and similarities. This mode of inviting participants to learn on the one hand about their own cultural influences whilst simultaneously gaining mutual respect for difference is more likely to lead into mutual respect and understanding.

Flexible planning should endeavor to provide opportunities that are inclusive of diversity particularly any evidence of prior learning and goal setting, working formally or informally, independantly or collaboratively. Different ways could include designing ways to map cultural diversity with cultural congruence between students and students . . .students and teachers. . . . Flexiblity could extend to collecting evidence via student evaluation and including evaluation of course assessment, as discussed in a previous post for both learner profiles and in order to determine the future shape the content and the delivery.

“the key idea of flexibility is learner choice in different aspects of the learning experience.” So a component of my practice of Flexible design for music learning could be an incremental continuous movement over reviewing and reshaping the content etc. away from key decisions by the instructor and institution about a range learning dimensions (which were made in advance in order to design a course) towards student choice and student contribution to specify content to course providers.

It could be that and more in a music course, the cultural content, and cultural context of learning design assumes that formal instruction of one convention is based in an elitest cultural group, ie western classical music tradition. Formally this classical genre priviledges a minority of professional musicians by subsidising “certainly very little of this support is offered to the vernacular artist who generally has to endure the full rigors of the economic climate.” ( Working for the government?)

Small, Christopher, 1987. Music of the Common Tongue, Survival and Celebration in Afro-American music. Calder, London.

Now for something I got off of the list of extra resources of some footage from an Aussie mockumentary