Today, the students completed the first part of their second project. This time, they did a walking project called a derive (drift). It is a psychogeographic approach to research in which one literally drifts in the direction of whatever they are attracted too. This project was a first of many series. Today, they had a set path and were given points along the way to take pictures. The paths they were given were of different neighborhoods in Barcelona. Wednesday, they will have a semi-structured derive where they must walk in a circle. Next week, they will complete an unstructured drift in which they choose their own starting point and must make it back to the end point that we assign them, stopping where ever they see fit.
This derive is part one of their qualitative study. It is the exploratory phase in which they first read the assigned textbooks, completed semi-structured observations, took photographs, rated themselves (feelings and connectedness) and the environment (accessibility and health promotion), and lastly, debriefed their findings. The program has 7 key areas, one of them being exploratory, which is why this project was critical. For now, we have set aside the data we collected and will be returning to it in two weeks to finish their qualitative study where the students will analyze the data, conclude their results, find the implications, and present their work. The end product will hit three other key areas for the students in the program outcomes, analyzing, synthesizing, and presenting.
The students may have walked a good amount today, but tomorrow we have an 8-mile walk in Costa Brava. Time to get those walking shoes to use! Check back tomorrow for a gallery of our 12-hour excursion along the coast!