Learning through Liminality #rhizo15

learning-and-painLeave it to Maha Bali @Bali_Maha to not only get me to read one of her blog posts, Learning as a Gift to Yourself & Others (I struggle reading anything longer than a Tweet these days), but to make me want to reply to her.

She took Dave Cormier’s @davecormier introductory #rhizo15 post, Learning Subjectives – designing for when you don’t know where you’re going:

Build learning subjectives: How do we design our own or others learning when we don’t know where we are going? How does that free us up? What can we get done with subjectives that can’t be done with objectives?

and answered it.

Her learning subjectives (as learning is a bit too messy to only have learning objectives) involves the metaphor of learning as a Gift.

I have spent quite a bit of time studying how very deep learning, such as of conceptual thresholds, comes through difficult, painful, liminal experiences. I like thinking of learning as a gift, like smiling on a sunny day or feeling I got through to one of my students struggling through a very difficult research concept, though more frequently consider learning (in my own life)–something that happens through difficulty, challenges, and struggle–to be somehow more valuable.

Learning through challenges, such as Liminal Learning in rites of passages, somehow resonates more with me. These sorts of threshold crossings that “may entail a shift in learner subjectivity, which is implied through the transformative and discursive aspects” of ones experiences can lead us in all sorts of new directions. The most delicious of those are the unexpected places, the opportunities we did not previously consider, where we are fundamentally changed.

What better way is there when approaching learning when we do not know where we are going? If this is the case for you, welcome to my Liminality!

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