This episode is part of a short series that was published as part of the In Beta 2022 Unconference.
The idea of space as a metaphor to describe learning has been a staple of our conversations around learning and teaching design for a long time. And while it was a useful metaphor for much of our history, there are some ways in which the idea of learning as being place-based is starting to break down. At a time when we increasingly move between spaces, or where different spaces overlap, or where we occupy multiple spaces, the social and professional norms and behavioural expectations inherent to those spaces have become fragmented. It’s no longer especially helpful to talk about learning spaces as being online or offline, formal or informal, or clinical- or classroom-based. These binary conceptions of space may have come from a time when it was impossible for us to be co-located in multiple spaces but they have now become part of the language we use to talk about learning. These spatial metaphors may be limiting our creativity when it comes to thinking about new kinds of learning interactions. This episode takes a critical perspective to the idea of learning spaces, and suggests an alternative metaphor that may give us a different kind of language with which to talk about learning.
- Berman, N. (2020). A critical examination of informal learning spaces. Higher Education Research & Development, 39(1), 127–140.
- Boys, J. (2009). Beyond the beanbag: Towards new ways of thinking about learning spaces. Networks Magazine, 8.
- Lakoff, G. (1980). Metaphors we live by. University of Chicago Press.
- Mackness, J. (2016, June 6). New metaphors for learning. Jenny Connected.
- Morris, S. M., & Stommel, J. (2015). The Course as Container: Distributed Learning and the MOOC. In P. C. Layne & P. Lake (Eds.), Global Innovation of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Transgressing Boundaries (pp. 167–180). Springer International Publishing.
How to engage with this podcast
- Listen to the podcast taking breaks in between sections as you wish.
- Make a note of your key reflections and possibly share these with other participants.
- Join a discussion with other unconference participants on the topic and the reflections that it has stimulated.
This podcast it includes some discussion to make you think about the possible future of physiotherapy education and reflect on your responses. We suggest that you listen to the podcast away from your desk. You might choose to listen whilst you go for a walk or a run in your local area, or you could find somewhere to sit and listen quietly away from other screens and distractions.
The podcast is divided into different sections with notices to pause at key moments. You can leave the podcast running and listen to it all in one go, or you can pause the podcast after the notices to make brief notes on your thoughts as you go, but you don’t have to record and share your response to every question.
Michael is an Associate Professor in the School of Health and Social Care at the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom. He conducts research into the use of digital technologies in the classroom and their influence on teacher and student relationships as part of teaching and learning practice. His PhD evaluated the use of technology-mediated practices for clinical education, and led to the development of design principles for blended learning environments in the health professions. His current research interests include the role of critical pedagogy in practice, as well as the increasing potential of artificial intelligence in higher and professional education. He is the editor of OpenPhysio, an open access journal with a focus on physiotherapy education, which aims to challenge traditional assumptions about academic publication and research dissemination. He is also the co-founder of In Beta, an international community of practice that aims to initiate conversations around the practice-based experiences of physiotherapy educators from around the world.