5: Barefoot Barn teaching

I keep thinking of one of the most beautiful and harmonious moments I’ve had with my immediate colleagues for years. We were talking about ‘third spaces’ in teaching and learning – spaces where students and teachers are equal and ground is neutral and all the more fertile – and how to establish that in our new Writing Cafe. I wasn’t sure why, but my experience of putting on tango dances – DJing and hosting in a beautiful wooden glass-fronted barn on the moor – came to mind. As I told my colleagues about it they identified the parallels that I was feeling but not articulating. I was telling them about how, in this magical space, perhaps on a rainy afternoon or chilly evening, with a huge fire lit, I play music that stretches the conventions of traditional 8-beat tango in unpredictable jazz, classical and folk fusions that are very difficult to dance to. I find that dancers, even novice dancers, are able to dance in a way that they didn’t know they could ‘because they didn’t know they couldn’t’ (said  Helen). There seems something really important in this for teaching: setting people up to succeed and stretching people so that they really fly – because they don’t know they can’t. Then we find that they can.

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4 thoughts on “5: Barefoot Barn teaching

  1. I love the lived metaphor of the wild dancing in the beautiful setting – because we didn’t know we couldn’t… Awesome!

  2. Yes. This is a really significant statement, I think, and I love it: ‘There seems something really important in this for teaching: setting people up to succeed and stretching people so that they really fly – because they don’t know they can’t. Then we find that they can.’

  3. Pingback: #LD5D Module 1; Thing 5: blagging blogging for LD | Digital Things for Learning Developers

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