The application of open space learning in the ahecs employability module
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The Application of Open Space Learning in the AHECS Employability Module. Dr. Nicholas Johnson 26 June 2014 AHECS Biennial 2014 • NUI Maynooth. OK, let’s get on our feet. Or, why is a Beckett scholar talking to AHECS? • Past engagement with TCD Careers Service & this research area

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The Application of Open Space Learning in the AHECS Employability Module

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The application of open space learning in the ahecs employability module

The Application of Open Space Learning in the AHECS Employability Module

Dr. Nicholas Johnson

26 June 2014

AHECS Biennial 2014 • NUI Maynooth


Ok let s get on our feet

OK, let’s get on our feet.


Applied theatre research

Or, why is a Beckett scholar talking to AHECS?

• Past engagement with TCD Careers Service & this research area

(my own department, AHECS 2012, “Knowing What We Know” 2013)

• Physical actor training — ”Speaking Without Language” —

has wide applications

(Disability Service, Medicine, CAPSL, Human Rights)

• Collaborations with Warwick, especially Jonathan Heron

(IATL, Beckett Summer School, Beckett Laboratory)

• Specific consultation on open-space pedagogy with the AHECS Employability Workgroup (2014)

Applied Theatre Research


What is open space learning

What is Open Space Learning?


Warwick university osl at iatl

Warwick University: OSL at IATL


Key pedagogical tenets of osl

• Learning should be grounded in discovery, enquiry and action, with a stress on the development of social intelligence• Learning flourishes best in flexible and non-hierarchical spaces that encourage collaboration• Learning should be affective and interpersonal, recognising both cognitive and embodied knowledges• Learning activities should acknowledge disciplinary knowledge as provisional, problematic and ‘unfinished’• Learning environments and pedagogies should favour interdisciplinary collaborations and multiple learning styles• Learning environments should be constituted as public spaces for the free exchange of ideas between participants in which learning is negotiated, and the protocols of the space are freely determined and amended by them.

(IATL, Warwick University)

Key Pedagogical Tenets of OSL


Concepts of space

Concepts of Space


Concepts of space1

Concepts of Space


Concepts of space2

Concepts of Space


Two epistemologies

DOMINANT since the ENLIGHTENMENT

(and still dominant in the Academy):

VIEW FROM ABOVE (objective)

anchored in formal axioms, theories, paradigms

secured in print & organized by/around text

knowing that _____, knowing about ______

SUBORDINATE and REPRESSED:

VIEW FROM GROUND LEVEL (subjective)

active, intimate, hands-on, participatory, personal

rooted in embodiment, orality, community

knowing how ______, knowing who ______

SCIENCE versus “OLD WIVES’ TALES”

Two Epistemologies


Idealist materialist

“To begin with, notice that the abstract/concrete dialectic is one of prehension, representing two different and opposed processes of grasping and taking hold of experience in the world – either through reliance on conceptual interpretation and symbolic representation, a process I will call comprehension, or through reliance on the tangible, felt qualities of immediate experience, what I will call apprehension.”

David A. Kolb (1984), 29

Idealist / Materialist


Workshop as integration

“The embodied nature of OSL begins, in very practical ways, to move us beyond the dilemmas and contradictions of idealism and empiricism, as mind and body, unified, promote an infinitely more memorable and integrated learning experience for students and tutors. Pedagogical theory and practice begin, perhaps, to catch up with recent thinking in psychology and neuroscience that increasingly foreground the holistic nature of body and brain.”

Monk et. al. (2011), 123

“Workshop” as Integration


Osl theory in practice

“Open” in the sense of spatial construction

(a “third space” — see Kolb, Vygotsky, Bhaba)

“Open” in the sense of exterior relations

(in sense of economics, politics — see Boal, Freire)

“Open” in the sense of power: “Uncrowning”

Further reading:

Monk, Nicholas, Carol ChillingtonRutter, JonothanNeelands, and Jonathan Heron. "Open-space Learning: Practice into Theory.” Open-space Learning: A Study in TransdisciplinaryPedagogy (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2011), 116–134.

OSL Theory in Practice


Using open space learning the ahecs employability module in practice

Using Open Space LearningThe AHECS Employability Module in Practice


Clear positives

• Consultations with stakeholders and huge efforts of Employability Workgroup have created an innovative, interdisciplinary module.

• Modes of learning in OSL and workshop-based pedagogy are much more responsive to contemporary careers environments and what is valued, thus contributing to employability.

• Careers Services can be at the cutting edge of pedagogical practices within the university, serving their position at one of many “trans” spaces:

Transitional, Transactional, Transgressive, Transfigurative, Transcendent,

Trans-Rational, Trans-Cultural, Transdisciplinary.

• Research opportunities arise within a recognized and highly progressive framework in teaching-and-learning theory, as well as in careers theory.

Clear Positives


Case study

Workshop B: I think, therefore I am… employable?

Exercise 6: Walking Debate

The debate consists of the two opposing statements:

“Get real – circumstances determine career success”

“Keep smiling and play to your strengths”

The first statement is based on opportunity structure theory, which foregrounds the role of socio-economic structures in career development.

The second is drawn from the positive psychology approaches discussed earlier.

An information sheet is issued to all participants in relation to each statement.

Case Study


Challenges in osl application

Built Environment

Participation

Preparation

Anxiety may arise.

Two ways to think about this:

Legacy of Teacher-Student Relation

(in old model)

Positive potential role of anxiety & struggle

Challenges in OSL Application


Dr nicholas johnson johnson@tcd ie

Dr. Nicholas Johnson

[email protected]


Walking debate feedback sold skeptical or of two minds

Walking Debate: FeedbackSold? Skeptical? Or of two minds?


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