Sounding Knowledge: About

Sounding Knowledge Network

AHRC Network Research Project (2022-2023)

About

This Sounding Knowledge Network developed from the Listening Across Disciplines II AHRC research project led by Prof. Salomé Voegelin. (CRiSAP, Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice) and Prof. Anna Barney (Biomedical Acoustic Engineering at University of Southampton) between 2019-2021. Read about the Sonic Pedagogy research strand of Listening Across Disciplines II.

Sounding Knowledge Network responds to the visuo-centrism of conventional educational methods and the resulting lack of participative and embodied learning opportunities. It does so by investigating the potential of a Sonic Pedagogy that promotes and practices embodied, sensory and tacit learning possibilities, which are able to nurture a sensational dimension in education that can engage students within the classroom as well as the complex socio-political environments we live in (Ebner, 2019).

Current educational patterns conceptualise knowledge as predominantly visual and text-based (Gershon, 2011). This focus on visual methods and contents represents the general dominance of visual epistemologies and hierarchies that exclude many learning participants and their experiences which find no representation or cannot be grasped within this hegemonic scheme (hooks, 2009). This exclusion and limitation of the learning experience has educational consequences: disinterest and disenfranchisement of student sub-groups, resulting in gaps in educational attainment and exclusion (Ortloff, 2009), which translate into societal consequences: disengagement from the democratic process, a lack of active citizenship and cultural participation leading to social and cultural exclusion, poverty, extremism and right-wing populism.

Addressing these complex interdependencies, this network brings together a multidisciplinary group of specialists from Sound Art and Sound Studies, Education Studies, Pedagogy and Civic Education, as well as students, teachers, Early Career Researchers and other stakeholders, in order to conceptualise, test and develop sound beyond a narrow expectation of hearing a referential or objective sound (Gallagher, 2017), as radical sensory and participatory element for education. The network will establish Sonic Pedagogy and the practice of Aural Literacy as modes of teaching and learning that can admit the "sensational" (Springgay, 2011), support participative and plural teaching and learning, and thus a participative and inclusive civic identity and agency. The project is developed in the triangulation of Sound Studies, Sound Arts and Education (Pedagogy and 'Bildung'), and within the frame of a 'sonic turn' in arts and social science (Eng, 2017).

The network will be realised through five events: Three online meetings - two to exchange expertise and methods, and one to evaluate possibilities for transfer and impact; and two offline workshops, to create, test and apply Sonic Pedagogy in the form of a toolkit which, as Zine-Workbook, will be available online and in print to be used as a manual for teaching and learning from sound. Each network event will be edited into a radio programme, broadcast both in Germany and the UK. The insights of the network will further be publicised through two peer-reviewed articles and a conference presentation.

Key issues under investigation:

  • The multi- and transdisciplinary working between Sound Studies, Sound Arts and Pedagogy
  • The connection between lack of attainment among student subgroups, social exclusion, lack of civic agency and a visual focus in education
  • The scholarly and public understanding of the benefits of a multisensory, participatory and embodied pedagogical practice

Aims:

  1. To establish a sustainable, international and multidisciplinary research network fostering new partnerships between Sound Arts, Sound Studies, Pedagogy, Civic Education and Social Science to develop shared practices, to work together within the different connotations of Pedagogy, Education, Bildung and Art.
  2. To conceptualise Sonic Pedagogy and define parameters for an Aural Literacy to contribute to artistic, civic and educational knowledge and thought.
  3. To create and implement new transferable tools and skills for pedagogical practice. These ‘sonic skills’ and toolkit will provide sensory, responsive and embodied learning methods that aim to enable learners to critically engage with their cultural, social and political surroundings empowering their democratic subjectivity.
  4. To determine the political, social, financial and infrastructural conditions that need to be met to implement a sustainable Sonic Pedagogy in the UK and Germany, and ultimately globally, and design a future research project towards the realisation of such a condition.

Objectives:

  1. To work transnationally, between the UK and Germany, to be the first to develop the relationship between Education and Bildung in the context of sonic practices, by reviewing trends in critical and experimental teaching theory across national boundaries (Aim 1).
  2. To conduct two virtual network meetings in order to explore positionalities of the practical and theoretical frameworks of sound in education and education through sound, presentations, exchanges of good practice and discussion (Aim 1).
  3. To employ the frame of the virtual meetings to develop these positionalities: collectively evaluating strategies, technologies, methods as well as consequences of Aural Literacy to create a shared understanding of Sonic Pedagogy that is able to respond to low educational attainment and high exclusion rates, which especially affect already marginalised communities, and have an effect on social, economic and civic participation (Aim 2).
  4. To host two offline two-day workshops to design, apply and test non-visual teaching and learning modes via listening and sounding, to confirm the cross-disciplinary educational scope of sound, and engage, through practice, the socio-cultural implications of its sensory and embodied learning (Aim 2).
  5. To analyse the workshops to determine ‘sonic skills’ and develop a bilingual toolkit in the form of a Zine-Workbook, shareable across education and Bildung and in a variety of fields and learning communities (Aim 3).
  6. To use online and offline means to disseminate the research insights and outputs to make the project outcomes widely useable, ensuring application and impact (Aim 3).
  7. To stage a Virtual Reflection Meeting, through shared analysis, interpretation and evaluation, to determine and log the political, social, financial and infrastructural conditions that need to be established to implement a sustainable Sonic Pedagogy in the UK and Germany, and ultimately globally (Aim 4).
  8. To exploit the reach of the network and its outputs to transfer the findings of Sounding Knowledge Network to practitioners and theorists within the field of Sound Arts, Sound Studies, Pedagogy, Civic Education and Social Science, and write a major funding application for Sonic Pedagogy to generate future developments and impact in these fields (Aim 4).

Timeline:

July & Aug 2022: Project launch and preparation.

Sept & Oct 2022: Online Workshops with subsequent radio broadcasts.

Nov 2022 - Feb 2023: Aural Literacy Workshops in Germany and UK with subsequent radio broadcasts.

Mar - July 2023: Analysis and evaluation of findings plus preparation of outputs.