Category Archives: Thesis Thoughts

#AcWri Accountability 22.3.12

Today’s Goals:

  • Read 3 articles
  • Update thesis journal
  • Photograph+upload+blog handwritten notes

Reward:

  • Skype date with my mummy and daddy (when they get home from their road trip)
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Skype Supervisor Meeting Notes 21.3.12

  • Framework for thesis
  • Double check word length
  • How to engage with kids in museums > still a developing field (but not included in education in museums > we already know how kids learn, etc. re: pedagogy)
  • Curator/Museum journals
  • 3 x institutions as case studies > compare and contrast
    • Similar size but different locations?
    • Small vs. big institutes?
    • Fine art institutions only
      • Different approaches to education > different philosophies for teaching
    • Teaching programs
  • Ethics approval process
    • Interviews: phone, physical, etc.
    • “ANU ethics form”
    • Questions, identity protection, etc.
  • Develop a paragraph proposal of what I will be looking at and start to build up a reference database
    • Flesh out a more defined topic structure
    • Literature review > what hasbeen done; developed re: background information > previous dialogues and when people started getting interested in children’s education in museums (look at old annual reports, etc. also); changing emphasis; changing (children’s) visitor numbers
      • Looking at everything > stuff can be ditched!
  • Regular weekly/monthly contact
    • Regroup on 18.4.12
  • Receive email later today with meeting recap

Follow up email from supervisor:

  • Following on from our call – some tasks:
  • Literature review – I suggest you focus on this at present, looking at any material you can find about children and art galleries. Perhaps focus on UK, maybe some US approaches, and Australia/NZ. Check annual reports from Australian major institutions for info on education and children
  • Have a good look at the major gallery websites in Australia, with a view of deciding how many and which ones you will focus on in more detail. In some ways this doesn’t matter too much – you may decide on a more general ‘thesis’ highlighting the  role of children’s education in galleries, or look at one in detail and compare with others. Think also about your actual ‘thesis’ (argument) will be – this will become clearer as you do the literature review – what question/argument do you want to answer or present?

Daily Notes 20.3.12

Literature Review HQ file naming method

  • YEAR_1ST.AUTHOR_JOURNAL
  • ‘Tagging’ ideas
    • Date found
    • Other key authors
    • Who recommended the resource
    • Keywords

Daily Notes 16 March 2012

Notes from supervisor:

  • The general idea is very good
  • Would probably consider just using 2 case studies
  • Starting point – children’s education and museums – literature search
  • If you plan on talking to the education staff at any institutions will need an ethics approval – good to start this now

Today’s literature search terms:

  • “children’s education and museums”
  • “children’s education and galleries”

Databases consulted (accessed via ANU):

  • Wiley Online Library
  • JSTOR
  • Project Muse
  • Art Full Text (H.W. Wilson Online)

Notes for remembering later:

  • Formal, informal, and non-formal education
  • “Museums AND education”
  • Mendeley Tip: Notes and Annotations
  • Literature search/review matrix
  • Bunch of article refs in OneNote folder

 

Daily Update: 15 March 2012

Today the power was out from first thing this morning until a little after 5pm. And due to the limited life of my laptop’s battery, I started the day in my notebook (possibly at the pub, where we maybe had lunch).

Without the distraction of the internet (in conjunction with my dead phone battery), I easily completed the final draft of my exhibition proposal (which I’d convinced myself was due tomorrow but, having just checked my diary for something else, is actually due Monday!)

I emailed my thesis supervisor, once the power came back on, about my thesis thoughts. Included the following:

My thesis ideas are heading towards looking at children in galleries (participatory programs, exhibition design, best practice, etc.) and using the NGA, NGV, and QAG as my case studies (relatively easy to visit, significant institutions, varying program structures, etc.) The general ‘question’/‘discussion topic’ I fleshed out before summer school is the following:

Children’s programs and resources at the NGA, NGV, and QAG: best practice, appropriateness of programs and resources, and the involvement of children throughout the institution.

I want to investigate the varying definitions of ‘children,’ what’s working and what’s not, where the institutions differ, how the programs are developed/run, and then try to form some concept of ‘best practice’ for involving children in Australian galleries, etc. and perhaps include some sort of exhibition proposal package as a way of demonstrating how these ideas could be realised by institutions.

Achievement Unlocked: productive afternoon

Achieved Today
Cleaned the bathroom
Had a nap
Read five articles

I spent about three to four hours this afternoon doing some ‘starter’ research for my exhibition package’s catalogue (my summer school project). It’s making me feel like maybe I want to change the direction of my (potential) thesis! And I’d love too include an exhibition proposal/plan within my thesis 🙂

Exhibition Title
Still Reading Picture Books: highlights from the Marcie Muir Collection of the National Library of Australia.

I’m looking into Muir’s collecting policies and practices, and how these are reflected in her collection (which is now held by the NLA).

Mind Mapping 19.1.2012

We all know I love a good stream of thought dialogue, but that technique was not appropriate for me today when I was brainstorming some thesis topic thoughts. So I turned to (my beloved) mind-mapping:

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
My first mind map of the day
The pencil was during a Skype chat with my mum

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Second mind map of the day
Starting to refine my ideas further; working towards a specific topic

Daily Goals Update

After talking with Jenn, I have decided that my current #AcWri goals need to be tweaked a little. I will read two articles a day, but I will also spend time working towards my monthly goal (refining my thesis topic to something more specific). Once I  have gotten approval for my topic, and can start research towards it, I will re-tweak my #AcWri goals.

Scanned Notes 17.1.12

Notes from: Hooper-Greenhill, Eilean. “Learning from Culture: The Importance of the Museums and Galleries Education Program (Phase I) in England.” Curator: The Museum Journal 47, no. 4 (October 2004): 428-449. http://doi.wiley.com/10.1111/j.2151-6952.2004.tb00137.x

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Click thumbnails for full size.

Main point I want to remember
I’m looking at children attending museums* as general visitors, not as school students.

*The term “museum/s” is used in the place of art gallery, gallery, museum, general collecting institution, etc.

Avoiding Reading 13.1.12 (plus some notes)

So, I have officially wasted yet another perfect study day due to procrastination. “Perfect study day?” you ask. Yes — the perfect study weather (slightly overcast and cool enough to rug up), no noisy neighbours, and a sleeping husband.


Source

Things I have done today:

  • Running errands in town (we booked haircuts for both of us and an eyebrow wax for me, and then we had to pick up Dan’s pay, which was of course followed by the exciting weekly visit to the post office and then brunch at the cafe)
  • Watched YouTube videos (generally titled “How I Organize my Planner” and “What’s in my School Bag” — I’m a nerd/geek/loser, get over it.)
  • Tried on outfits to wear to summer school (I want to look like me, but professional too — and many of my summery dresses feel too short for that description!)
  • Started writing a shopping list for when I visit Officeworks (nerdily excited to spend my birthday money from Dan there)
  • Taking Charlie to the beach (but not for long due to massive winds down there today — boo!)

Thesis Thoughts

I am lucky I have already hit on the broad topic I want to research for my thesis. But this is also a bit troublesome for me, due to the fact I now feel a little overconfident, and like I have already achieved my January academic goal. Really, I should be reading more and trying to narrow my focus! Especially as I am beginning to feel passionately about ‘curating for kids’ (in such a way I am hoping to do well enough to do my PhD after my MA — whereas earlier in my MA, I was not convinced I would ever be at that point, and would just keep doing odd courses to get pieces of paper).

I already feel better about my thesis topic than I did the whole year of my Honours.

And, to add something productive to my day, please indulge some random mind dribble regarding ‘curating for kids’:

  • Any interviews, surveys, etc. I want to do need to be decided upon pretty ASAP re: ethics need to be put through
  • Look into UN ‘Convention on the Rights of the Child’ (CRC) >> Articles 12 & 31 primarily re: child’s rightsto ‘cultural citizenship’
    • “…Article 12 – the right to participation – and Article 31 which defines participation in the arts contexts…” (Mai & Gibson, 2011)
    • I could look at this in general, and then see how it is/n’t implemented in Australian institutions (above article mentions QAG as a good start — can toooootally have a study holiday there haha — and NGA and NGV are easy trips also), and then move on to howit could be implemented by these institutions and others
      • Look at how these institutions have been designed by and for adults, and how they can be adapted to suit the needs of children? >> Not sure. I know the NGA had a reworking of the gallery floor when they remodelled, meaning the children’s gallery was removed (and now only seems to ‘reappear’ in blockbusters, and even then it is behind a closed door!)
        • The words ‘segregation’ and ‘integration’ come to mind here >> loaded words but they certainly seem correct

I really need to read at least one article this evening before I wake Daniel up for dinner.

Scanned Notes

Jotted some notes while reading Mai, Lea, and Robyn Gibson. “The rights of the putti : a review of the literature on children as cultural citizens in art museums.” Museum Management and Curatorship 26, no. 4 (October 26, 2011): 355-371. >> helpful starting point; lots of good refs to follow up on >> then transferred into Mendeley (when appropriate) but some notes more general ideas that popped up as I was reading.


Click thumbnails to read notes.


My ‘snoopervisor-in-chief’ for today.