Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Discuss the importance of the disposition of focus to the field of counseling. ? page self-reflection on why the referral was made. ? page expressing your commitment to this disp - EssayAbode

Discuss the importance of the disposition of focus to the field of counseling. ? page self-reflection on why the referral was made. ? page expressing your commitment to this disp

 1 page summarizing the article in your own words. 1 page discussing the importance of the disposition of focus to the field of counseling. ½ page self-reflection on why the referral was made. ½ page expressing your commitment to this disposition going forward (e.g., how you will approach similar situations in the future).

The referral was made due to misunderstanding instructions on turning in a field experience application and failing to ask clarifying questions. 

The key professional disposition to express commitment to is "communication". 

Regarding the question of presence in online education: A performative pedagogical perspective

Ozum Ucok-Sayraka and Nichole Brazeltonb

aDepartment of Communication & Rhetorical Studies, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA; bEnglish Department, New England College, Henniker, NH, USA

ABSTRACT In response to the interruption of all levels of education following COVID-19, we start by underlining the difference between emergency remote teaching and online learning. Next, we inquire into the question of presence in physical and virtual classrooms, and offer a discussion of presence as “being-here-now,” a “movement toward becoming,” and as gelassenheit or “releasement toward things.” We highlight the material- ity of communication, and the performative production and transform- ation of the classroom space. Finally, we illustrate how performative writing enhances the sense of being-here-now, and facilitates the co- inhabiting of online learning spaces that lack co-presence of bodies in the same physical environment.

ARTICLE HISTORY Received 2 December 2019 Revised 22 October 2020 Accepted 4 January 2021

KEYWORDS Presence; online education; performative pedagogy; embodiment; inhabiting

Before COVID-19, we started this paper stating its focus as the problem of presence in the physical and virtual spaces of the communication classroom at a moment when the trend towards online education is on the rise. At this point, following an interrupted Spring 2020 semester in all levels of education with COVID-19 having pushed both K-12 and higher education to move the classrooms online, we are called to start first by underlining the difference between emergency remote teaching and online learning. As Manfuso (2020), and Hodges et al. (2020) caution, it is crucial to differentiate “online learning” and “remote learning,” rather than use the two terms interchangeably. Though it might seem like a trivial distinction to some, high-quality online teaching requires significant planning and design, as Means et al. (2014) have identified in Learning Online: What Research Tells Us about Whether, When and How.

Manfuso (2020) compares remote learning to telework where “workloads that might normally be tended to in person and in real time are instead conducted online” using collaboration tools like Zoom or Microsoft Teams, along with other multi-user platforms like Dropbox, or Google Drive. Effective online learning, on the other hand, requires careful planning that is not limited to just identifying content to be covered and information transfer, but also tends to the overall “ecosystem of learner supports, which take time to identify and build” (Hodges et al., 2020). In contrast to well-designed online learning experi- ences, emergency remote learning involves a temporary shift of instructional delivery in response to a crisis, such as the use of fully remote teaching solutions that would otherwise be delivered face-to-face or as a hybrid course, as in the case of COVID-19 pandemic. Once the crisis is over, instructional delivery returns back to the original format. It is important to understand that

CONTACT Ozum Ucok-Sayrak [email protected] Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies, Duquesne University, 600 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15282-0001, USA. This article has been corrected with minor changes. These changes do not impact the academic content of the article. � 2021 Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia


the primary objective in these circumstances is not to re-create a robust educational ecosystem but rather to provide temporary access to instruction and instructional supports in a manner that is quick to set up and is reliably available during an emergency or crisis. (Hodges et al., 2020)

The term “educational ecosystem” is key in making sense of the different instructional aspects of learning environments, whether face-to-face or online, towards supporting learners with resources that help create a community of learning beyond information transmission. Our discus- sion of presence in this paper, and the performative dimension of the classroom, directly connect to the construction of the “ecosystem of learner supports” that Hodges et al. (2020) underline.

Resisting the popular tendency to privilege digital educational spaces due to the various con- veniences they offer (flexibility of time, location, and economic appeal among others) that makes online education attractive to many (including university administrators), we highlight the need to give some thought to the experience of learning and teaching that the traditional and online educational designs offer. Cautioning against the common unquestioned assumption or expect- ation regarding the sameness or similarity of educational experience in physical, embodied class- rooms and the virtual, abstract experience, we explore their differences focusing specifically on presence and performance.

We highlight two themes connected to the discussion of presence based on the discussion of Coonfield and Rose (2012), and Heidegger (1966):

1. “Being-here-now” as openness/attentiveness to the spontaneous, unexpected aspects of experience and a “movement toward becoming” (Coonfield and Rose 195).

2. Gelassenheit or “releasement toward things” (Heidegger 54).

These themes highlight an attitude of letting or allowing, and attentiveness to emergence, rather than exercising control or planning/calculating. The question we inquire into on presence centers around the loss of this emergent experience in human interaction in the absence of bodies in online education where most or all communication takes place behind the screens. Interaction behind screens involves a very different experience than the spontaneous, unex- pected moments of the presence of “be-here-now” (Coonfield and Rose 195) due to a “hyperconscious staging of self in relation to others that attempts to freeze a reality” (p. 195) and the time spent on “‘performing’ a better version of herself” (Turkle, 2015, p. 24). We first dis- cuss our own experience of presence (or its lack) in traditional and online classrooms that led to our co-authorship. Following the discussion on the performative production and transformation of the classroom space, and an exploration of the two themes we introduced above in relation to presence, we illustrate how performative writing enhances the sense of being-here-now for a student of online education and cultivates a sense of presence between participants in a mediat- ized environment that lacks the co-presence of bodies in a singular physical location.

“Something happens…”

As I (Author 1) type now reflecting on my motivation to engage in this work, moments from my traditional classes are evoked. This past week for instance, one of my students gave a speech on living with a pacemaker. At the end of her speech, she showed the mark on her body of her sur- gery to have it installed. A subtle, small, pale pink mark. This unexpected and tender moment invited us into her speech as we joined her through our senses, fully, empathically, waking up to life and what we take for granted. Another student in that same class, who has a hearing disabil- ity, and whose speech is impaired due to the connection to her hearing, told me that she wants to give her speech, speak it rather than use sign language. She did not want to choose the option to write up her speech and submit it as a written assignment. We met outside of class in my office, and made a plan that would work, and she presented her speech verbally along with


power point slides as support. As she stood in front of us, and gave her speech I could sense the shared sense of tenderness, vulnerability, attentiveness, and support in the classroom.

In Intercultural Communication last semester, a quiet female student from Saudi Arabia who wears a headscarf spoke about a recent experience in the U.S. that stood out for her. When it got dark and she was still on campus, she contacted the campus police and got a ride her to her dorm. She reflected on the challenge of riding in a car by herself with a male officer, con- necting this experience to her cultural background, and how this was not a familiar or a comfort- able event for her. I could see and feel how the rest of the students in the classroom were tuned in, listening and feeling with her. A moment to remember, of learning not just through the story that is shared but also through a sense of shared presence, of being touched by the other’s voice, face, movements, and vulnerability.

These three moments shared above exemplify the ways in which the classroom is inhabited through body, heart, and minds. It is moments like these that I am afraid might be lost in the absence of bodies in the online classroom. Something unique and powerful does happen when we are in each other’s bodily presence. As I kept repeating this and continuing with this work, I met my co-author (A2) who was working as my research assistant at that time. After listening to me and my concerns about online education, she said that her experiences had been different. Over the years, she had participated in several online college classes, and felt safe in those envi- ronments. Furthermore, A2 expressed to me that, during her online classes, she had experienced a true sense of presence with fellow students and her instructors. What follows, is a brief descrip- tion of her experiences.

“Presence in the Online classroom”

I joined my co-author (A1) in writing this piece because I wanted to help increase awareness and acceptance of the benefit of online classrooms for non-traditional students and students with disabilities. I was only able to complete my undergraduate degree as a non-traditional stu- dent because of the option to take online classes. As a single, working mother there was no way for me to attend face-to-face classes, even in the evenings after work. I was dependent upon public transportation, working 40 hours per week, cleaning houses on weekends, living with an invisible disability, and mothering two children who required supervision. At that time, there was no room for me in “traditional educational environments.”

I could not then, and cannot now, disagree that there is something very personal, immediate, and tangible that occurs between two people face to face or in a group of students in a face-to- face class. However, I was then as I am now, unconvinced that an online classrooms are incap- able of producing a sense of presence and connection. For a certain few, such as myself, the online learning environment is a safer, more open, and respectful place to engage in vulnerabil- ity and form relationships.

Face to face interaction does not magically guarantee presence. In truth, I felt a deeper sense of connection to and presence with people with whom I have shared online spaces than all but a very small number of people with whom I shared physical presence in graduate school. Despite corporeal proximity, presence must be intentionally fostered and cultivated. In my online classes, my body might not have been physically present, but I felt more wholly present than in most traditional settings. Perhaps, this is because my online educators have been more aware of the need to intentionally cultivate presence, whereas instructors in face-to-face settings tend to assume that bodies simply placed in a room together is equal to “being present.” Perhaps, this is because in the online classroom each student must be intentional about attending to class from their different positions in life versus simply attending a class with their bodies as their minds are elsewhere. Regardless, I have often felt a deeper level of connection and presence in online spaces than I have in traditional classroom settings based on shared human connection,


expressed concern for the thoughts and ideas of another, and respect for the autonomy and expressions of an individual as a contributing member of a community.

In the next section, we discuss the performative production of the classroom space and the materiality of communication in relation to presence. At this point, neither do we assume that presence is automatically part of traditional classrooms due to the presence of our bodies in shared space, nor do we disregard that we can cultivate presence in online educational spaces. We both agree with Coonfield and Rose (2012) that presence involves attentiveness and open- ness to experience, and releasement (Heidegger, 1966). When we turn our attention towards the matter at hand, such as a classroom discussion, lecture, or a class activity, we actively make our- selves a part of it. This participation allows for listening, learning, and contributing to the build- ing of knowledge. Thus, an implicit assumption we have is that presence enhances learning, and our examples from the traditional and online classrooms help illustrate this point.

Bodies, space, presence: the performative production and transformation of the classroom space

Madison and Hamera (2006) write about the performative production of place and the performative transformation of space into place through the placement of bodies into a space, the regulation of movements and positions through the organization of space such as seating arrangements, rules of engagement/interaction, and other “technical protocols” (p. 52). The interaction of the body and space, though regulated and prescribed to various degrees, also has a vernacular dimension where the individuals construct place and form “affective environments, geographies of the heart” (Madison and Hamera, 52). The following example from A1’s Intercultural Communication classroom illustrates the spontaneous emergence of presence through the performative production of place as students move around the room and work together on a question.

One way we inhabit a physical classroom space is through the movement of our bodies, visiting different parts of the room to meet others and engage in dialogue over a text. As part of the first author’s Intercultural Communication class, students are invited to move around the classroom to meet other classmates that they do not know, and to work with them sharing what stands out for them from the assigned reading. At the end of their discussions, each group shares the emerging discussion points with the rest of the class. On one of these group workdays, the instructor noticed that two students from the back rows in the class moved to the front and teamed up with two other students there. One of them stood and leaned on the desk as they had an animated conver- sation going on. Within minutes, the standing student in the front group raised her hand to share a point that came up in their discussion with the rest of the class. She was positioned diagonally across from the instructor towards her right, and enthusiastically shared her ideas connecting them to a personal experience about the issue. She sounded excited, her facial expression and tone of voice were animated, and her care about the matter drew the rest of the class in, inviting their care and attention. This was an impactful moment in the classroom. In that moment, the first author as instructor, also noticed that it was through bodily co-orientation towards each other and to the audience as all engaged in a dialogue about this student’s experience in connection to the reading that something powerful was happening… a mutual creating or bringing forth of learning, through our bodily presence and orientation in the classroom.

In Digital Proxemics: How Technology Shapes the Ways We Move, McArthur (2016) refers to Hall’s (1966) work The Hidden Dimension: Man’s Use of Space in Public and Private and expands the discussion on proxemics, the organization of spaces and human distance, to digital spaces. McArthur (2016) writes about the social arrangements of space that Hall pointed to, the socio- spatial design that focuses on the effects of space arrangement and use on human interaction that ranges from sociopetal to sociofugal. “In a sociopetal arrangement, people are oriented toward each other for social interaction. Conversely, a sociofugal arrangement of space orients


people away from social interaction” (McArthur 22). The discussion of sociopetal and sociofugal arrangement can be easily illustrated through the basic example of organizing chairs in a circular format in a classroom that invites people to turn towards each other and engage in interaction (sociopetal) versus turning the chairs to face the walls that would orient people away from each other (sociofugal). In the classroom experience discussed above, through our flexible use of the classroom space, we created a sociopetal design for interacting and learning that opened the way for spontaneity, creativity, and engagement.

An emerging question at this point is how the online classroom space can be connected to the discussion of sociopetal and sociofugal space arrangements. Later in this essay, we discuss the role of performative writing in cultivating presence in the classroom, and how one might think about the experience of performative writing as a sociopetal element in the online space that invites participants to turn towards each other and engage in interaction through sharing their writing, reading, and discussing. First, it will be helpful to examine the corporeal relation of space to presence through bodily connection and extension of self in the world.

The materiality of communication and presence

Gumbrecht’s (2004) discussion of presence focuses on our spatial relationship to the world and its objects. Gumbrecht underlines the immediate impact of present things/objects/people on human bodies, which he refers as “effects of tangibility” (p. 17). In his discussion of presence, Gumbrecht emphasizes the “touch” of the material elements of communication on the body. Later in the text he offers some specific examples that illustrate this discussion such as the effects of the physical presence of a text, of a voice, of a canvas with colors, of a play performed by a troupe on our bodily being. When students stand up and move in the classroom, meet others, and discuss a text, they “touch” each other through their bodily presence, which impacts and deepens their learning. We do not only share content in a classroom but more importantly we share the ways in which we bring the content to life through our bodily being. The performative dimension of the classroom matters.

At the heart of Gumbrecht’s (2004) exploration of presence is a longing he acknowledges for reawakening or recuperating a state of being in the world and relating to the world by “simply (and ever so lightly) reconnecting with the things of the world—and being sensitive to the ways in which my body relates to a landscape while I am hiking, for example or to the presence of other bodies (while I am dancing)…” (p. 144). Gumbrecht makes the body central to the discus- sion of presence as he brings to attention the encounter of the body with its surroundings and the material elements in that space. He critiques modern Western culture due to its tendency “to abandon and even forget the possibility of a presence-based relation to the world” (xiv-xv). It is this automatic “bracketing” of a presence-based relation to the world that concerns us regarding the discussion of presence, and the online classroom specifically.

In this paper, we inquire into the ways in which teaching and learning in the classroom space affect and shape our presence-based relation to the world that is intertwined with the meaning- based relation. So, we ask: How does living our lives through the screen affect our presence and the “production of presence” (Gumbrecht, 2004) in the online classroom? We specifically engage this question later in the paper under the section on cultivating presence in online learning spaces through performative writing. Before we do so, the next section offers a deeper explor- ation of the themes we introduced at the beginning of this essay: “Being-here-now” (Coonfield and Rose 195), and “releasement toward things” (Gelassenheit) (Heidegger 54).

Exploring presence

Being-here-now. Coonfield and Rose (2012) offer two examples from their experience of teaching at a summer abroad course in Greece that are strikingly different from each other that develop


the discussion on presence, performance, and communication technologies. As part of their sum- mer course in Greece, students were to do solo performances of short lyric poems based on Sappho’s work, and they were asked to create their own poems using fragments from Sappho’s poetry in combination with their own words, or using only Sappho’s words. Students could select a location and time to perform their poem, and integrate the natural environment with the performance. Referring to Wallace Bacon’s (1996) work, Coonfield and Rose highlight the coming together of the text, the performers, the audience, and the space in bringing their poems to life, along with their commitment to “be-here-now” that allows for spontaneous, unex- pected experiences to emerge and become part of the performances (such as the effects of the wind on the meaning of a phrase, the angle of light on the performer’s face, or flowing tears.) In the summer program during 2011, however, the teachers noticed a major contrast between the “being-here-now” practice in the students’ performances, and the way students engaged their everyday lives as a tourist in Greece.

Armed with their digital cameras and smart phones, they increasingly mark and document their experience with intensely self-consciously posed photos. They update their Facebook pages with these photos several times each and every day. They grasp, grip, and attempt to fix and control their reality by recording and posting. (Coonfield and Rose 195)

Coonfield and Rose discuss their observation above as part of their exploration of presence, discussing how the preoccupation with the capturing, recording, posting, and representation of the students’ experiences was radically disconnected from the “be-here-now” experiences of their performances. “The students are too busy experiencing the recording and exhibiting of their moments to experience the moments they fervently endeavor to capture” (p. 195). This “hyperconscious staging of self in relation to others that attempts to freeze a reality yet to be experienced” (p. 195) is very different than presence that “exhibits movement toward becoming, an unself-conscious matching of self, text, and audience that creates something irreducible to the sum of these parts” (p. 195).

Along these lines, in Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age, Turkle (2015) writes about her friend, Sharon, who shared some concerns about how the social media is shap- ing her sense of self. Sharon worries that “she is spending too much time ‘performing’ a better version of herself—one that will play well to her followers” to the point of losing track of her connection with herself and taking responsibility for it (Turkle, 2015, p. 24).

I spend my time online wanting to be seen as witty, intelligent, involved, and having the right ironic distance to everything. Self-reflection should be more about, well, who I am, warts and all, how I really see myself. I worry that I’m giving up the responsibility for who I am to how other people see me. I’m not being rigorous about knowing my own mind, my own thoughts. You get lost in your performance. On Twitter, on Facebook, I’m geared toward showing my best self, showing me to be invulnerable or with as little vulnerability as possible.

Sharon states her worry that the urge towards performing for the others overcomes her sense of responsibility for being connected to herself as she is, including the discernment of her thoughts. A main concern for Sharon is to minimize vulnerability in her performance of her “edited self” (Turkle, 2015, p. 201). She works to eliminate or lessen vulnerability through managing and control- ling her online presentation, which takes away from letting the spontaneous, unplanned aspects of experience to emerge (though not completely eliminating the possibility for such moments.)

Similar to the students’ experiences in the study abroad program in Greece that we discussed earlier, Sharon’s intense preoccupation with the staging of herself online and presenting her “best self” illustrate the tendency to control, edit, and exhibit, in contrast to the “being-here- now” practices of the students that incorporated the spontaneous and unexpected aspects of performance to be part of the experience. One might argue that this presentation of self still includes a version of presencing, a movement toward becoming in the present moment. Yet, the hyperconscious mode of constructing how one appears to others is far from a receptive


attunement to what is already present in the moment that the practice of being-here-now high- lights, even if it might include some degree of allowing and surrendering as part of the editing and controlling. Performance of self can be associated with presencing as we discuss in this essay through awareness— which includes nonjudgmental noticing of the ways in which one interacts with, incorporates, and becomes part of, her environment, rather than a calculative, manipulative strategizing of how one appears in front of others. Sharon’s physical location behind the screen in the example above allows her to perform a version of herself that makes it possible to strategically impress upon others layers of meaning that contradicts the practice and cultivation of presence as receiving and allowing the emergent aspects of experience and, as we discuss below, “releasement towards things” (Heidegger).

Sharon’s example above also brings up further questions in relation to the classroom environ- ment. We wonder about the performance of an “edited self” (Turkle, 2015, p. 201) in the online educational environments as well as the physical classroom. Although the screen allows for a heightened level of performance in the absence of being physically and fully seen by the others, the traditional classroom obviously is a space where students as well as faculty present a version of who they are. The question then becomes, whether and to what degree we can make space for “being-here-now” experiences that enrich and inform learning in both environments.

Releasement Toward Things. Gelassenheit, or “releasement toward things” (Heidegger, 1966, p. 54), refers to a meditative dwelling in the world that is not focused on calculating the achieve- ment of any specific purposes or end results. It is a receptive orientation that privileges aware- ness and surrender over control. Along these lines, Heidegger writes about “meditative thinking” (p. 46) that is attentive to relations and processes, and to the emergence of meaning, which goes hand in hand with “openness to the mystery” (p. 55). “Releasement toward things” is related to the “be-here-now” experience in performance that Coonfield and Rose discuss as the “full sensory immersion that happens in performance” (Coonfield and Rose 194), integrating hard work and commitment with the unanticipated, unplanned occurrences that emerge.

The next section builds on the prior section on presence by integrating a discussion of per- formative writing as a pedagogical practice that helps facilitate the cultivation of presence in the online classroom.

Coming to presence through performative writing in the online classroom

How does one experience “being-here-now” within the mediated context of an online environment? In what ways can we as educators initiate or encourage a “process of becoming” and a sense of “releasement toward things” (Heidegger, 1966, p. 54) in the ambiguous space of a virtual classroom? We discuss the experiences of A2 in two different online courses, a creative writing course titled “Changing the World With Words” and an Intercultural Communication class, to illustrate the role of performative writing in cultivating presence in the online classroom (For a discussion of where and when teachers cultivate presence in the traditional classroom, please see Ucok-Sayrak, 2014).

As a graduate student, A2 enrolled in a long-distance course for practitioners of Transformative Language Arts. Throughout the program, courses are designed to increase and expand the student’s knowledge and awareness of the transformative powers of language in settings that range from interpersonal to organizational to trauma response. Students focus on ways of expression that include all forms of creative as well as non-fiction. Regardless of the writing genre favored, each student is guided using lesson topics, writing prompts, and several readings to cultivate an awareness of how our linguistic expressivity can connect us across distances, bring a se

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