Rhythms of Education: Changing The Tempo

In this video I aim to convey how distinctive the experiences had on this module are, given the institutional context.  To represent how fundamentally different practice is, I chose to focus on rhythm and I have included audio and images representing the two contrasting ‘tempos’ that I experienced and witnessed: 

1. A Regimented Tempo 

2. An Expressive Tempo 

The first tempo is related to some of the operational and practical logistics that I was involved in for these modules.  More broadly, I think that the contextual culture at Imperial College is one where order and structure is highly valued. It is for this reason that the first tempo is entitled ‘Regimented’ and the visuals are accompanied with a snare drum clip. This is intended to evoke notions of the military and of a highly disciplined context. This is further represented by a ticking clock, underlining the time pressure on preparation before the module starts.   

The second tempo is ‘Expressive’ and it is in deep contrast to the first. It is here that the students are encouraged to divert from their usual rhythm of their daily studies. The photos were all taken by students and posted online to represent each of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These images are accompanied by a Latin musical genre, which is distinctive to the more rigid beat of the military snare drumming from the first clip.  This music also requires discipline to be played successfully. However, crucially, it is a different discipline.  For me it is the change in tempo that is most impactful. Its distinctiveness evokes feelings of liberation and a feeling that expressive and different approaches will be valued.  

Both tempos end with a reproduction of the sound of me scanning students’ identity cards, as they enter or leave the room. This beep signifies the individual students’ registration on the College systems and it is included here to highlight the institutionalised context from which they enter the room and, no matter what our collective experiences during the session are, which we ultimately return to.   

Mark Pope, Teaching Fellow, Centre for Language, Culture and Communications.
I joined the Change Makers team in 2016. I enjoy teaching on the first-year Global Challenges modules, the second-year  Global Village modules and the third-year Creative Futures module.  

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