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
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
(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?
Warwick University: OSL at IATL
• 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 Space
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”
“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
“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
“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”
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 LearningThe AHECS Employability Module in Practice
• 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.
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.
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
Walking Debate: FeedbackSold? Skeptical? Or of two minds?