The most important space of all

While much of my work at the moment focuses on the formal learning space (that which is timetabled for teacher-facilitated learning) my fascination is and always has been with adjacent space. I talk about adjacent space, adjacency, and proximate space in relation to liminal space.

These notions of learning space are about time, commitment, psychological engagement and social context as much as they are about physical position.

I sat in a wide corridor connecting some classrooms today, as I often do. It’s a good place for meeting with colleagues. I observed people talking as they waited to go into rooms, as people came out of rooms, and finally, as they paused before they headed off.

This is learning.

This is talking about,

  • being a learning
  • topics
  • problems
  • actions
  • reflections
  • nothing much at all
  • what’s happening next
  • what it all means
  • how life is going
  • how work is going
  • how things are changing
  • how you are changing

It is the adjacent space in which our connections and meaning come together and begin to form into some shape.

The inbetween space is the richest space of all.

About Andrew Middleton

NTF, PFHEA, committed to active learning, co-operative pedagogies, media-enhanced teaching and learning, authentic learning, postdigital learning spaces. Key publication: Middleton, A. (2018). Reimagining Spaces for Learning in Higher Education. Palgrave.
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