Who can assess?

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Have you ever watched an artist create? A musician compose? A poet play with words? They dab, sketch, play a note, make a sound, toy with a word. . . then stand back, look up, ponder, wonder, add another and start the process again. Working, going back…..moving forward…sometimes way forward and some times going all the way back to the beginning and changing everything and often just enjoying the process of reflecting on the entire process again and again and again.

 

I often read books this way, some times even novels. I make notes, go back and read a passage again…..sometimes I go back to the beginning. I may even jump way ahead just to calm myself. I particularly like to pick up a book I have already read and check the notes I left for myself in the margins.

 

Looking at paintings, drawings and other works of art that I have created are like this as well. I can remember what I was thinking about, reading, watching, and/or what was going on in my life when I was working on particular areas of the painting. Looking at the art is like reflecting on my life, my history, indeed my learning. . . story.

 

And journaling, of course is like this…even more so.

 

The point I’m trying to make here or that I am getting to is…..when we look, read, reflect as artists do….we are reading the story of the life of the work…..and the life of the maker….the learning of the artist in the process of making/creating/thinking

 

But, the issue is—-the only one who can truly decipher the indications or data of these stories is the maker, the artist, the poet, the writer, ……….the student artist, the student poet, the student writer………

RE-Reflecting as Service-Learning Data Mining

KiarraThe students couldn’t help expressing how overcome emotionally they became with this process of RE-reflecting for the sake of gathering data from their service-learning reflection journals (even though they did not enjoy the “counting” aspect of hand-coding).  I suppose much like reminiscing special times when looking through photo albums or reading diaries, rereading was like retracing their personal journeys of many of their realizations. So many of the students had no idea that just two blocks away there was such poverty; or that there was such an apparent need even with well-meaning parents and teachers; or that their attention, their attendance, and their responsibility to their young mentee were hugely valued on both sides; or that just by being there, they revealed a possibility that was not seen before; and the list goes on. Here’s one artistic data visualization done in the form of a handmade book that I think may speak to you.

 

Book as Data Visualization of Service-Learning Experience - Book Cover
Book as Data Visualization of Service-Learning Experience – Book Cover
Book as Data Visualization of Service-Learning Experience - Accordian Book visual metaphor side
Book as Data Visualization of Service-Learning Experience – Accordian Book visual metaphor side
Book as Data Visualization of Service-Learning Experience - Close up
Book as Data Visualization of Service-Learning Experience – Close up
Book as Data Visualization of Service-Learning Experience - Accordian book - text side
Book as Data Visualization of Service-Learning Experience – Accordian book – text side
Book as Data Visualization of Service-Learning Experience - close up
Book as Data Visualization of Service-Learning Experience – close up