A conversation with Sophie Rudolph

by stronged

Sophie has been working on her masters project over at Melbourne Uni for a while now whilst simultaneously tutoring for the Education Faculty. I met up with her to pick her brains about what skills I will need to acquire to become a competent teacher in the future and how to wrap my head around formulating a Research Topic/Question.

She spoke of a group discussion between teacher and students that was captured and transcribed for the teacher to identify what promotes group discussion and how students engage with knowledge. After listening to me ramble on about where my interests lie in trying to marry interactive media with pedagogy, she suggested I construct a digital realm of the footage taken from group discussions in order to unpack it’s content. Create a series of hyperlinks that offer students to evolve the group discussion into a multi-layered collage of information. Create linkages between original references students have made to wikipedia pages, youtube clips, academic articles, etc.

Enabling students to have a platform to build upon is the key ingredient here. A diverse range of projects can then be facilitated by the teacher (i.e. oral histories, community engagement projects, book clubs).

A Research Question along the lines of ‘How can new forms of media enable students to make connections between subject matters and collaborative information sharing?’

Creating a project whereby process is emphasised as the key to learning and understanding concepts instead of goal-dependent tasks that only offer a narrow range of examination and – i would argue – benefit.

For my precursor assignment, she was intrigued by my question about what attributes make up a good teacher. Brings up notions of teacher quality. Would tie into the research quadrant of a qualitative-experiential study. This is apparently quite a hot topic in the world of Education at the moment, so articles from practitioners and scholars alike will be readily accessible.

She introduced me to the topic of “Regimes of Truth” (Foucault) and we discussed public pedagogy for a while. She brought up key educators such as John Dewy, Margaret Somerville (‘global contemporaneity’ (Carter, 2006, p. 683)), Paulo Freire, bell hooks (Gloria Watson), and Roger Holdsworth.


Foucault defines ‘regimes of truth’ as the historically specific mechanisms which produce discourses which function as true in particular times and places.