I am having a quiet moment. My train just got cancelled and it’s an hour until the next one.
My initial commuter frustration has subsided. It’s been a long adrenalin-fueled day at our Learning & Teaching Conference (#SHU_LT), following a long day yesterday where I was presenting at Nottingham Trent’s TILT conference, and now I’m looking ahead to Tuesday where I am running a workshop at Greenwich #uogapt entitled “Visions of the revolution: how studio pedagogy reinvents the higher education learning space” which is exciting me. Later next week I am presenting at the University of Sheffield. All of these workshops are different and therefore each one presents a challenge I have given myself intentionally in order to explore ideas and hypothese I have about active learning and belonging in studio-based learning environments. The workshop format, interestingly, has become the only way I can reconcile my commitment to active learning and co-production in a conference context.
The knowledge outcomes in such settings are mostly self-knowledge. I always theoretically underpin my workshops, but I regard my job to be catalytic, creating a space for individuals and participants to generate knowledge and ideas that will hopefully haunt and inspire.
So, in my unexpected quiet moment, I am reflecting on the loud, loud day I have had chairing a large multi-participant forum and then my workshop on Active Learning Classrooms (featuring a long cast of co-presenters, but especially my colleague Ian Glover). We’ve been playing with whiteboards, talking about stand up learning, navigating concept maps, making lists and sorting lists, and ensuring everyone is talking, writing and drawing at the same time. Well I had fun (and perhaps the focus on revolutionary space for APT is begining to make sense)!
In the noise today, as we collected our thoughts in a final whiteboard activity, one of the workshoppers proposed that making quiet space is part of a good learning environment. Yes, there is something in that. For the loud, active and excited space to work we need to know that there is a quiet space that goes with it.
I will take that into next week’s revolution!