As one of the possible challenge/outcomes for the Youshow is to find creative ways to share your research (and I have no idea at this point how to do this – thesis ≠ time for non-thesis related creative activity…though it does somehow allow time for fiction…see below), I thought I would start with a very short post on space.
In my research I am considering space and generally how much we don’t pay enough attention to its configuration in learning, particularly in our online context. Now that I am so immersed in the ideas around space, it is constantly emerging for me in places I did not expect.
The following section from David Mitchell’s new novel “The Bone Clocks” jumped out at me the other day, and I have been considering how much our physical and imaginative spaces are intertwined and shape one another.
“Writers don’t write in a void. We work in a physical space, a room, ideally in a house like Laxness’s Gljúfrasteinn, but we also write within an imaginative space. Amid boxes, crates, shelves, and cabinets full of … junk, treasure, both cultural—nursery rhymes, mythologies, histories, what Tolkien called ‘the compost heap’; and also personal stuff—childhood TV, homegrown cosmologies, stories we hear first from our parents, or later from our children—and, crucially, maps. Mental maps. Maps with edges. And for Auden, for so many of us, it’s the edges of the maps that fascinate …”
creative commons licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by futureshape
From a teaching and learning perspective we can change the first line to “Learners don’t learn in a void”…which brings up all kinds of questions. What kinds of spaces (material, social, cultural) allow for the imaginative spaces that value the compost heap, and crucially, start to push out the edges of the maps.