Category Archives: Literature review bits

Notes of the articles or books read

Is technology good for education?

Chapter 1: Digital technology and educational change

This is the latest book of Neil Selwyn. Illuminating and incredibly helpful for my research. The advice to NOT be an evangelist of digital technology is so useful for me. I have been observing this attitude very hidden but present in my thinking. When discussing my research project with my supervisors, I find myself, advocating for technology interventions. Even worse, I find myself, promoting the idea of the PLE. Reflecting on this, I have realised that it has nothing to do with being the PLE approach a good or a bad thing per se, but what is relevant is to let the research tell the story of what is best for the kind of students I am working with.

The book is relevant in that it brings to the fore the importance of the social reality in which education is embedded, a complex situation for which there is not a simple solution.

The overarching theme of the book is the need to be extremely careful with evangelistic discourses, phrases like “A digital fix for a broken system” is one of those. Selwyn acknowledges the potency of the space of digital education for voicing fears and visions about what will education look like in the near future. Therefore, he suggests, we need to treat any overly confident assertion of digital change in a circumspect and sceptical manner. I truly believe in the power of digital technologies for education, but I agree, any possible solution that is thought needs to be envisioned and treated with scepticism and moreover with a critical view were nothing is like magic and without any consequence. Where there are gains there are also losses; thinking about the balance of them, considering what is what we are losing when embracing a particular technological solution.

I like the phrase on page 19:

the essence of education has remained the same: punctuated by an entrenched grammar of doing things that reinforces the notion of the expert teacher and the regulation of time, space and place, alongside the routines of curriculum and pedagogy, and rituals of assessment and credentializing

What I like about it is the notion of regulating time, space and place alongside the basic rituals of education, namely curriculum and traditional assessment. Indeed time, space and place are the key elements for any educational experience to happen, but in my view digital tools and in general the Internet have changed the perception or notion of space, place and somehow, time. Although time as such never changes, not within planet earth, the managing of the time where people study is different. So students can view a lecture, a video or any other interactive element in the time that is right for them, which makes it less fixed to a particular time. The notion of place as gained a new dimension, space is no longer only the physical spaces we inhabit but also the virtual spaces that digital technologies have enabled to exist. These spaces then will hopefully become places where different experiences are mediated by digital tools and that are complementing all of the other experiences happening in the face to face experience.

In any case, the format of the teaching and learning experience within most universities is still fixed to the lecture format thus to the notion of traditional space -the lecture hall- and time -from 4 to 5-  and being the lecure the main event of the learning episode, taking that information as initial input to then try to give meaning to that knowledge through the activities designed for that. But this is the same as thousand years ago. What is that what can be changed through the new possibilities, affordances that degital technologies offer?

Genuine disruption involves re-thinking the very nature of education: its activities and relationships, as well as its core purposes and values. Genuine disruption is not about using technology to do the same differently, but using technology to do different things (p.20)

This is so true. It is about rethinking the possibilities available to learn any knowledge we want to teach. It is re-thinking how could we harness collaborative learning when we are showing, for example, the messy nature of social research. How can this topic be taught making use of digital tools? What activity would be best if we want our students to start to learn how knowledge can be co-constructed. Can we think of creating for each topic a wiki-page? But first, they would need to search what is already available on the web about the topic. If there are 3 wiki resources, is that the activity that would be relevant to do? Or could we negotiate with students which are the tools they would like to explore and this can be a way to explore that particular tool?

If we are willing to take part of the change that is happening in education we need to remain as dispassionate and circumspect as possible and ask suitable critical questions. Selwyn suggests that the idea of digital improvement/transformation/disruption of education require problematizing, namely, not taking them at face value. Questions like how are digital technologies actually finding a place in education settings and educational context, that is, finding out the state of the actual instead of the state of the art.

Sonia Livingstone suggests that problematising the place of technology in education involves 3 areas:

  1. What is really going on?
  2. How can this be explained?
  3. How could things be otherwise?

Selwyn proposes a set fo simple but complex and hard questions to move forward the critical agenda of educational technology with more chance to impact and change current deficits or improvable practices:

  1. What is actually new here?
  2. What are the unintended consequences of the use of ed tech?
  3. What are the potential gains and losses?
  4. What underlying values and agendas are implicit?
  5. In whose interests does this work? Who benefits in what ways?
  6. What are the social problems that dig tech is being presented as a solution to? 
  7. How responsive to a ‘digital fix’ are there problems likely to be?

Question 1, 5 and 6 I think, will become my underlying guiding questions along my research. There are not far away from my currently research questions, but I think I need to take a more dispassionate stance towards technology.

What drives my thinking is the need that I see to learn these different literacies that are related with being able to use digital technology at its full potential. I see it as the same situation that happened in the 18th century when the need to teach (in a more broader fashion) how to read and write started. I don’t think that the idea of digital literacies as need is bad per se, what I do see is that a simplistic or evangelistic view on it is the wrong way to go.

Chapter 2 comes next: Making education more democratic?

 

 

 

 

paper, thesis and book titles – think ‘key words’ and ‘the point’

We all know that it is now more important than ever to have searchable paper, (digital) thesis and book titles. So, as well as the key word list, titles need to use the kinds of words that will sho…

Source: paper, thesis and book titles – think ‘key words’ and ‘the point’

Identity and teaching and learning spaces

Relevant and interesting ideas to look at! @catherinecronin and open spaces

kshjensen - always learning

Recently, a paper I co-wrote about the ‘Student Teaching and Learning Consultant’ scheme was published. I wrote it with Dawn Bagnall, who was one of the students working as a consultant, and it was a really valuable experience to be able to discuss and analyse what the scheme had been about with someone who had worked with the staff. I was the project co-ordinator and co-trainer of the student consultants and although I did get feedback from staff who participated in the scheme, I did not participate in the consultancy activity itself.

Although the scheme is not running this year, for a variety of reasons, I continue to reflect on the space that was created as a result of the scheme. I have characterised this space as ‘liminal’ in other posts (and in another forthcoming paper, link added 25th June 2015) because the roles of students/staff became ambiguous and…

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Timeline Outline View : HistoryofInformation.com

Source: Timeline Outline View : HistoryofInformation.com

This is an interesting resource to look at the history of social events, in particular I am looking at the history of the written tradition and the book and the concomitant writing skill in order to search for the intellectual impact it had in society and its culture. This with the intention to find similarities, at least in the process, with the intense and -in some sectors-ubiquitous use of the Web as the platform for almost every thing that has to do with writing, much of the reading and publishing, which is a relatively new possibility afforded by the Web.

Publishing our thoughts and ideas to a broader audience, the possibility to share, in a very easy way our process of thinking and generating ideas is, I think, one of the major shifts the Web has brought about to our society. The transition from the printing press to the ‘publishing Web’ at the tip of our fingers and the concomitant digital literacies required to use this features to its maximum potential, not always consuming the media but also thinking about creating and produce in it, are under scrutiny in my mind.

I am trying to make sense of this process. Not only am I looking at this online resource but also reading two relevant texts: Ong, W. (1982), Orality and Literacy and Haverlock, E. (1963), A Preface to Plato. Both are good sources of knowledge about the transition from the oral tradition to the written tradition, starting with the Greek Plato and his struggle with poetry and the writing tradition.

Haverlock in Preface to Plato wrote:

The oral state of mind was Plato’s main enemy

Ong adds to this that

Plato was thinking of writing as an external, alien technology, as many people today think of computers (…) Once the word in technologized, there is no effective way to criticize what technology had done without the aid of the highest technology available (…) the new technology brought the critique into existence. Plato’s philosophically analytical thought including his critique on writing, was possible only because of the effects that writing was beginning to have on mental processes

Looking more into the thinking process he argues,

(…) the writer-reader situation created by writing deeply affects unconscious processes involved in composing and writing , once one has learned the explicit conscious rules

He continuous his line of thought saying that although writing is an artificial creation, a technology that calls for tools: styli, brushes, prepared surfaces such as paper, animal skins, strips of wood and inks or paints, it is essential for the realisation of internal human potential.

Tools are not only external aids but also internal transformation of consciousness and more so when they affect the world.

The transformation some technologies bring about can be uplifting says Ong. He argues that writing heightens consciousness and that ‘artificial’ technologies, when properly internalised enhance humans ‘awareness’ thus, humans’ lives. I sustain that in order for tools to transform and enhance humans’ lives they need to be used in such a way that they become second nature (this is the maximum standard, there are different levels of mastery possible). In this process of mastering the tool skills are developed. The more internalised the skills become the better the tool operates hence the inner transformation, or in Ong’s words, the interior transformation of consciousness is more deep and intense.

This supports in part my argument that being digital literate is desirable in nowadays society and more so in the near future. These skills are aids to flourish in a society that is almost entirely mediated by digital technologies (take a look at this: Gov 2020). Digital skills are the equivalent of writing skills or literacy that Plato was rejecting but paradoxically he experienced its benefits in dramatic ways, leaving an intellectual legacy that still almost 2 millennia ago, when learned deeply can be transformative.

Digital literacies are the skills people, in this particular case, undergraduate students, need to develop in order to master different digital tools and the Web (as the overarching platform where most of the tools and resources live) in a way that allows them to take advantage of the benefits and opportunities this new digital ecosystem has to offer, in particular in academic setting . It will also enhance their digital capability so much in demand in the work place. Look at this interesting report from the Institute for the Future (USA) to get a grasp of what the future work skills will look like.

For young people operating in their personal and informal digital context, away from the university, seems natural. Using mainly ‘consuming’ tools, e.g. Google to find out almost everything or YouTube as the source for any informal hands on learning and BBC channel to find more about an area of interest. All of these platforms and tools seems to be handled easily without much of a struggle. Some preliminary and very early findings from the focus groups I conducted, students navigate documentary channels, shopping platforms, online banking, social apps like WhattsApp, describing with no complications the sets of functions that these technologies allow them to carry out: communicating with friends and family, listening to music, watching documentaries, reading online books, playing games, or watching video clips. All of these activities that are part of their personal life and where they have a visitor approach seems to occur smoothly and seamless, not to much effort nor struggle is attached to its use. They were even able to offer a quite coherent pictures of how all these platforms and tools fit together in their daily lives giving meaning to the many activities they carry out, having a very clear picture of the advantages those spaces bring to them, some of them included how these personal activities had an influence in their academic life. One student said:

I watch a lot of documentaries in the BBC and I think it is not only for my personal benefit because when I watch those documentaries I gain a broader vision, a wider perspective and then when I write my essays I have a stronger position, I have developed a point of view. I safe them so I can see them when I need to refresh my knowledge.

It seems to me this student is very clear about the benefits of this medium. She has found also a system -not very efficient she said-to safe the relevant resources in case she would need them later. This was not the case when they talked about tools they could use only for academic purposes, e.g., Mendeley, MindMeister, Evernote to cite some. Word and PowerPoint where not mentioned, they take them as the default tool to write and create presentations, the main means by which they are assessed. It would be similar if we ask students about the use of their hands for typing. I think the word processor functions as an extension of the hand and the mind while thinking and writing.

The use of these new tools, mainly web-based tools or applications, that can serve as an aid to work in a more effective and organised way seems not to be very common, even less popular, among undergraduate and at first sight it seems to me they generate more aversion than pleasure let alone curiosity.  Digital literacies in academic setting definitely needs more exploration. We need to find ways in which they can be foster and improved, particularly for the more vulnerable and disconnected ones, so students can benefit of a wide range of possibilities that are available only if we know how to operate in this new landscape.

To complement this idea, again the Institute for the Future has a report about the future learning landscape that can give us an idea of the future of learning

Bildung and its connection with the idea of flourishing in the post-digital era

This post is about my reflections in relation to why I think that being digital literate will help students to flourish in a post-digital era, moreover why I think that being literate, in particular, digital literate, is desirable and will lead to students’ progress (I will not cover this second part of my argument in much depth, but it is my first approach to justify these ideas more theoretically)

A note from the author: It is a difficult task for a non-native and relatively new English speaker as me, to tackle some of this complex ideas from this still foreign language. My thoughts are still bubbling in my head trying to find better words and better sentences and paragraphs that can make my argument intelligible to others. I get very frustrated when I read my finished work, not because my ideas are not clear to me but because I feel still the limitation of not being proficient in the language in order to make them clear to others. My excuses for the confusion and lack of precision in parts of my text, all of this is still a work in progress.

I will start with my Research question:

How and to what extent can the university support and encourage undergraduates to enable their engagement with digital technology and research skills to become digital research literate and flourish in the 21st century?

With some help of a more knowledgeable other 🙂 I refined the question:

How and to what extent can the university support, encourage and enable undergraduates to become digital research literate and flourish in a post-digital era?

I have a potential solution to this question (the idea of re-designing and implementing a personal learning environment (PLE) by students will demand the deployment of digital skills in a critical manner)--> Re-designing students' informal PLEs and use it as a workbench in the context of the dissertation module will improve students' digital literacies and at the same time will increase their digital capability. My hunch, guess, hypothesis is that the PLE is in itself a learning outcome and an aid to improve digital literacies in students.

What do I mean by flourishing and on what does this idea rely on?

Bildung is an old German word usually translated into English as ‘formation’, ‘education’, ‘cultivation’ and more recently by Richard Rorty as ‘edification’ (edification takes us out of ourselves by the power of strangeness, to aid us in becoming new beings).

The word comes from ‘bilden’, German for giving shape and it is related to the idea of giving shape to a certain object. In its origin, it had connections with the religious sphere, but  later, in the 18th century, it became an indication of a new anthropological model and a different outlook on the world. The origin of the word does not lie in the Enlightenment although it is a keyword used in the 18th century due to the protagonism of knowledge as the driving force to construct a better world. Bildung and the idea of self-cultivation through the acquisition of knowledge give voice to the new intellectual attitude of the men of the Enlightenment.

Wilhelm von Humboldt’s work at the end of the 18th century is a good example of such a tradition. He placed the idea of Bildung at the centre of his work, it was rooted in a dynamic idea of transforming the idea of the natural and human world while also being oriented toward a model of balance and perfection. It is about the self and the world. The world represented by the unity of nature, culture and society all exerting its power of influence. In this sense, bildung is seen as a reciprocal process of formation between the individual as a self and the world she/he meets actively rather than passively (Fossland, et al. 2015). It suggests self-education as a path to transformation, to strive and change in the process of meeting the world. In words of Humboldt, it is about uniting individual and culture in a rich mutual and complex interplay.

Paola Giacomoni puts it in beautiful words,

Being is Bildung for Humboldt, it is growth, it is transformation, it is never a given thing, a quality. The point is not to recognize and identify a state, a condition or a situation but rather to understand the continuous substitution of forms, the never ending metamorphosis, the unstoppable flow in which the human world may be adequately illustrated. (…) What moves the world and history moves man above all, pressing him to act and express himself as a primary need and with no other goal than the reproduction of his own movement and research: man as part of nature is impulse, energy, an irresistible longing to live in a multi-form way.

Being educated or ‘becoming’, how I see it, is a concept encompassing but subjective knowledge as Kierkegaard calls it; it includes a broad cultural orientation, the understanding of science and technology, and a cultivation of the fine arts. All of this shall bring transformation and, in words of Reindal (2012), thus foster responsibility.  In this sense being literate (the word comes from the Latin word litteratus: learned, cultured, educated) is a necessary condition for knowledge to become subjective, a necessary condition to be able to understand the world and act on it, or at least that part of the world that is available to us, and participate proactively in society, taking responsibility for our transformation thus, societies’ change.

Contextualising this idea of bildung in the academic world, Fossland et al. (2015) are of the idea that in higher education there is a particular form of bildung that is expected to happen in the student in formal and informal learning. They call it ‘academic bildung‘. The world students will meet is one of ideas, thoughts and practices. The authors argue that it is a normative concept, an idea with which I agree as it is loaded with values, it is linked with specific attitudes used in concrete situations. It is, therefore, a concept that describes a developmental process towards something better, a normative ideal in an educational setting. It is linked with critical thinking, society-oriented reflections, how Solberg and Hansen (2015) calls it, and autonomy. But it is also connected with self-development and existential reflections hence the development of the individual is not only concerned with knowledge but also with cultural sensibility linking the individual’s development with his/her wider potential through education. It seems to me that bildung and the development of greater potential are intrinsically related.

And it is precisely in the suggestion of developing more full potential where the idea of flourishing makes sense. The word flourish is derived from the Latin word florere, flourish, blossom, be prosperous. My idea is that developing the knowledge and digital skills that will enable students to interact critically with the world and the cultural reality they live in –a post-digital culture in this case- they are more able to take advantage of the opportunities offered by a digital mediated and knowledge driven society but at the same time being critical enough to think and speak from within their perspective and not only from the drivers of the labour market and other more deterministic agendas.

The link between digital literacies and progress still needs more development…

References:

  • The idea of Bildung of the Faculty of Educational Sciences of the University of Oslo
  • Bruford, W.H. The German Tradition of Self Cultivation. From Humboldt to Thomas Mann (I only accessed today the pages available online, there is much to read when the book arrives 🙂 )
  • Fossland, T., Mathiasen, H., and Solberg, M. (2015). Academic Bildung in Net-based Higher Education. Moving beyond learning.
  • Giacomoni, P. (1998). Paideia as Bildung in Germany in the Age of the Enlightenment. Paper given at the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy, in Boston, Massachusetts  August 1998. Available here
  • LLanera, T.A. ((2011). Shattering Tradition: Rorty on Edification and Hermeneutics. Kritike, Vol.5 (1). pp. 108-116.
  • Reindal, S. (2013). Bildung, the Bologna Process, and Kierkegaard’s Concept of Subjective Thinking. Stud Philos Educ (2013) 32:533–549. Available from here

What’s Happening in ‘Their Space’?

It is so nice to come across like-minded researchers with whom I share with out knowing it my own ideas about education and learning.

Article: What’s Happening in ‘Their Space’? Exploring the Borders of Formal and Informal Learning with Undergraduate Students of Education in the Age of Mobile Technologies

Source: What’s Happening in ‘Their Space’? Exploring the Borders of Formal and Informal Learning with Undergraduate Students of Education in the Age of Mobile Technologies

Margaret Wertheim on a constructivist way of seing reality

Each of us has a self and a mind and it is this mind that creates reality…

A beautiful podcast curated by Maria Popova as part of her wonderful and overarching project BrainPickings

It is about mathematics, physics, coral reeves, hyperbolic geometry, crochet and the construction of reality, a more mystical side of reality and the infinite being I guess?

And here is her TED talk

Powerful narratives and stoytelling within the context of my research

I have been doing some research looking for tools to work with for designing together with students their digital environment. One of the things I cam across is the idea of storytelling, which I always have been attracted to, a powerful tool when doing research with a participative mindset. A particular aspect of storytelling that captures me is the fact that when one tells a story inevitably the audience is giving meaning to that story hence co-creating it as it unfolds from the mind of the storyteller. It is in us, the storytellers, to decide what we do with this fact. We could ignore it and create a one sided story or we can take that into account and think about co-creating the story with our audience. In my case the last option is the one I have chosen. My story is a co-created story with students and other people involved in the research. More of this to come further in my research.

In another layer of the storytelling (more on the aspect of form) there are different audiences when telling a story. One is the story I am telling and co-creating with my participants -the co-researchers- and the other one is the one I am telling to the bigger audience, the story about my -our- research, a more static story that is aimed to communicate what has been achieved in the process of co-creation. In both cases I need to have a coherent story which unfolds in a plausible way implying space and time. How will I tell those 2 stories has been my intellectual journey for the last 3 years.

Why so long???
Yes it has been a long process. To start I have had to learn the language in which I wanted to tell the story -English-.
In order to address that particular audience -academia but general public as well- I need to talk a particular language with a special format. On the other hand I also needed, in order to craft a coherent whole, to be familiarized with all the components of that story. I see it like building a machine. I need to now for what is the machine for and what would make the machine do the job effectively and efficiently. For that I needed to find out what parts will suit best the job and how can they be assembled so that the machine functions smoothly and is capable of doing the job for which it was created.

Some of the spear parts are the topics I am interested in: Technology and society (science and technological studies is the big field where those components live in. Technology in this study is seen as a workbench to craft knowledge), Digital literacy which is a relatively new literacy students and citizens in general need to master in order to perform effectively and confidently n a society that is mediated mainly by digital technology. Education, the art of learning: What is that experience like when mediated by a set of digital tools? How can students become the designers of the system of tools they are deploying in their learning experience? How can the process of designing that space be scaffold? What is this scaffold like? What is the nature of the process(es) that needs scaffold? What is it in that process that generates the biggest anxiety and/or fear? Where is the biggest hurdle of difficulty to overcome? Where in the process of having a system of tools are students at? What kind of tools they use? Do they know that what they have is (an informal) system of tools? What does the word system implies or entails?

The bearing that connect those parts to make the motor move and work is still not clear to me. What theoretical constructs can link together technology, students with their needs and their learning experience? How can I link technology and learning in a way that it makes the process of producing some kind of knowledge in collaboration possible? What is the role of technology in that process? What can be done with technology that couldn’t be done without it? Or what can be improved in the process of learning through a digital environment, a workbench? And what can be learned in the process of crafting that workbench? This are, I believe, some of the crucial questions of this study and the process of finding the answers will be part of the story I want to co-create with my participants. Their thoughts, ideas, needs, expertise and experience as well as their hopes in relation to learn and become literate in a post-digital society where most of the future jobs are mediated through digital technologies is crucial in my work.

Students are citizens of a post-digital era, where technologies as the object of interest is disappearing smoothly as they become ever-present and easily available, not for all students but for now to the participants of this project (This study is done in a context of students that have access to mobile phones, the internet and the different platforms and tools that live in the Web). Although this research involves a small account of students, privileged maybe in that they have access to technology and to internet services, the findings I hope can be used with a wider range of students. My aim in the long term is to work with more disadvantage students that are also citizens of the same society thus are needing to become digital literate and able to design their working space as well. Ideas to this future project will be arising in the process of this research I am sure.

Still much to think about and write about…much stories to come and to tell 🙂

Reflections about the post-digital

The post-digital did sound really weird to me the first time I heard it. What??? Post-digital?? But how can we be in a post ‘what ever’ if we are still struggling so much to keep up with the ‘what ever’? I looked into the literature, videos, talks and I started to understand what people were referring to when talking about the post-digital. I think we are in a transition phase more than being fully there yet. It seems to me we are at the right time to start to think about how this post-digital will be best embraced.

We as educators and researcher are still looking at ways in which we can embed the digital (tools, format, thinking and operating) in a seaming less way into the everyday experience of our students, it is not a straight forward task and we can see that the research space is packed with those kind of studies. Question in relation to how much web based tools and the web in general are empowering and liberating our students of the hidden power structure is an important aspect to think about but politics and hidden power is not a topic for every one.

What is happening with the gap between the rhetoric of the power of educational technology and the reality is also important. There is still a big space between the saying and selling of the idea and its benefits and real examples of how those tools are being use in every day practice. It need to be more about the ‘state of the current’ and not so much about the state of the art as Selwyn suggests in his text. My questions is what would be necessary from the side of the teacher to foster and encourage the use of web-based tools in order to improve student’s digital skills and competencies so necessary to succeed in a knowledge digital hyperconnected liquid society? If the general educational and political discourse is about the ‘inherent’ progress that technology implies then it would be necessary to have a clear definition of what we mean by ‘progress’ and who is benefitting of it? How can we empower students to be part of this so called -maybe wrongly- progress?

Some initial readings are to be done in relation to what progress means from a philosophical perspective and in conjunction with a deeper understanding about the nature of technology I think I can move forward my understanding in order to take actions in the near future

I tend to think that having skilled and literate citizens -amongst other- is how the post-digital will might be experienced fully.

Here some of the links I found useful in my understanding journey, which is still not closed.

The video is David White talking in a conference about the  Web as a ‘place’

Here the conference video 

Preparing for the Post-digital era is the document David White is referring to. Written by Group 52.

An interesting blog post about the post-digital

The illustration is from Julian Stodd’s blog

My (new) daily post (2)

My daily 700 words! Lets see if I can get on with them today 🙂

I had a fast read of a paper written by James E. Willis III: MOOCs and Foucault’s Heterotopia: On community and self-efficacy. 

The main question or quest they had was to understand why and help with the huge amount of dropouts in MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). They touch the concept of self-efficacy and community and how intertwining them could help participants in completing a MOOC (very roughly put of course).

Why did I read the paper and where is my interest? I am trying to find theories that could explain the dialectic between being or inhabiting a place but not really doing so in physical terms, understanding the meaning of this relatively new phenomena and how can this feeling of inhabiting/not inhabiting can be analysed and make sense of it. I am trying to find some explanations or words, concepts, constructs that could define this dichotomy and its consequences. I am looking for theories that can account for the idea of belonging to a virtual space and transform that -even inexistent- space into a place. What are the differences then, between space and place? Geo-phenomenography is a theoretical framework used by Hung and Stabble (2011) in their work –Lost in space located in place– in relation to this idea of transformation but in a different context, namely school. What interest me is their idea of transforming the space into a place in the context of HE.

I am exploring ideas in relation to sense of belonging which the literature demonstrate is so important when learning. How can we enact this sense of belonging in students and in particular if we are thinking of having them designing their own space-place(?). Sorry I realised this is in the wrong order. It goes like this, I think or have a guess in Feynman’s words, that the idea of having a strong sense of belonging of a place will make you more likely to do things in this place, to commit to working in this place, to be confident or at least to feel safe within this place and you are more likely to learn in this place, hence building or crafting -co-creating- your own learning environment is very productive for a meaningful learning experience. Furthermore it is a rich learning experience per se, with varied learning outcomes, some of them unforeseeable. All this of course needs to be framed theoretically, which is always my biggest challenge!! I hope I can get there.

Here the video of one of Feynman’s lectures (where he speaks about the guess, the calculation or consequences and then the observations) that are always a pleasure to watch 🙂

I have made my guess, what follows now is the research for theoretical frameworks that explain this guess. In words of Feynman the next step is to do the calculations and look for the consequences of this guess and then compare it to the observations of nature, in the context of the event.

I found a work of Foucault together with Jay Miskoviec in 1986: Texts/contexts of other places

Starting with Galileo and the 17th century extension was substituted for localisation (P.22)

We might attempt to describe these different sites by looking for the set of relations by which a given site can be defined. For example describing the user of relations that define the site of …transportation, streets, trains  (P.23)

Well maybe there can be some answers find in this text? Some hours after…nop! I did not find any answer at the moment in this idea of heterotopias. A second reading will be done, lets see what emerges from that.

In any case I will keep on searching for theories that could have a language with which to name the phenomenon I am interest in.

There is a text of Carlos Giovanella: where he speaks of liquid spaces, fluid with no boundaries…liquid spaces in an organic era.

Non representational theory is another option I am looking at. John Wylie, Emma Waterton.