About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 380-389
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-695-3491-5
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain

CREATING TRULY FLEXIBLE LEARNING SPACES: VALUING THE KINAESTHETIC IN LEARNING

J. Bainbridge, C. Beasley, M. Carthew

Swinburne University of Technology (AUSTRALIA)
The notion of the classroom as an interactive learning space is most often used to describe that blend of online and physical learning tools such as discussion boards, chat rooms and streamed deliveries. However, postmodern conceptions of space challenge us to think of space as an imagined geography and a form of freedom (de Certeau, 1998) shaped by more abstract concepts such as identity, experience, and subjectivity. Viewed through this lens, the learning spaces of the classroom become empowered not through technological advances and their various blends, but by the desires and aspirations of the student and teacher. This paper uses the methodology of autoethnography, in which the self and individual narrative is examined as data (Chang, 2008), to map these different kinds of learning spaces through three case studies. The first, a case study in Education, draws on the porous boundaries of the primary school classroom as an example of a physically flexible, subjective, and interactive learning space. This learning space shifts with little resistance from indoors to outdoors, from homeroom to library floor, from chair to grassy oval, music to the dancer and art to the artist. Physical objects became learning tools long before pedagogy embraced the terms ‘realia’, ‘digital natives’ and ‘eLearning’. This idea of the interactive classroom forms the basis of particular approaches in online education and can be used to develop resources for pre-service teachers preparing for education practicums and the design of flexible and inspiring learning spaces (MCYEETA 2008) and teaching the aesthetic (Sinclair 2009).The second, a case study in undergraduate Media Studies, draws on hooks (1994) and Gauntlett (2007) to argue that while the theoretical spaces of online learning can offer an effective entry point into learning, they work more effectively when enriched with practical, tactile experiences and performative applications. These are drawn from the material world and include face-to-face teamwork activities, the handling of media materials, puppetry and interview. As such, learning spaces are demarcated between theoretical (virtual) spaces (for broad conceptual thinking and critical reflection) and practical (physical) spaces (for practical application and media production). The final case study, in Writing, draws on Anderson (1983) and Andrew’s (2011) concept of community as an imagined space to suggest that online PhD students in creative arts expand the space of their classroom by creating learning and sharing communities of fellow students. This recreates what they imagine to be the typical interactive space inhabited by the writer or arts practitioner rather than through the mediated space of the chat room or discussion board. In this way we argue that an understanding of learning spaces and of how to use each of these spaces to its maximum potential, has a profound effect on student learning, on creating a learner-led teaching environment and on student culture more generally. In this way we hope to offer both a new perspective on blended learning and a new understanding of what truly flexible, connected learning can be.
@InProceedings{BAINBRIDGE2012CRE,
author = {Bainbridge, J. and Beasley, C. and Carthew, M.},
title = {CREATING TRULY FLEXIBLE LEARNING SPACES: VALUING THE KINAESTHETIC IN LEARNING},
series = {4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN12 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-695-3491-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {380-389}}
TY - CONF
AU - J. Bainbridge AU - C. Beasley AU - M. Carthew
TI - CREATING TRULY FLEXIBLE LEARNING SPACES: VALUING THE KINAESTHETIC IN LEARNING
SN - 978-84-695-3491-5/2340-1117
PY - 2012
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2012
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN12 Proceedings
SP - 380
EP - 389
ER -
J. Bainbridge, C. Beasley, M. Carthew (2012) CREATING TRULY FLEXIBLE LEARNING SPACES: VALUING THE KINAESTHETIC IN LEARNING, EDULEARN12 Proceedings, pp. 380-389.
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