After visiting the Auditorium, Please begin here.
- First thing: Begin with the morning pages, then read our welcome and blog post below.
- During the day: please look for the activities and readings as they are released and engage with the tasks in padlet, discourse, and away from the screens.
- Join us for coffee break at 5pm UTC.
This is an open, informal space, without an agenda.
- As always, we'll be engaging with conversation in Discourse and Padlet throughout the day.
- Before you say goodnight: Look for our "Good Evening" post later today.
I want to begin by saying this: it can be hard to feel playful when you're tired, when you feel like the world is fraying and there's nothing you can do to stop it, when you see the pain and suffering among your fellow learners, educators, and students and feel powerless in its wake. Facing up to the harm done by education, and the ways that can be magnified at this time, in which there is so much suffering, some of which we have known was there for a long time, some of which we might just be starting to become aware of
Yesterday I spoke with Lanaire Aderemi about her work as a poet, learner, co-creator, maker of change and decoloniser, as she now comes to the end of her time as an undergraduate – in fact she graduated last week! She quoted bell hooks drawing on [xxx] who said that children make the best theorists because they have not yet learned how the world 'should' be. One of the many thing I took away from that rich conversation was Lanaire's ideas about the role that play can have, and safe spaces in which to play, in creating space for children to reimagine and recreate the worlds they live in.
Today we invite you to play. This is not us standing over you, like Miss Haversham, instructing you to 'Play, go on, play. Play!'
This is offered in the spirit of a gentle and inviting outstretched hand.
As you contemplate your morning pages, we would invite you, if it feels right to you, to give yourself some space to consider some of the harder emotions that can arise in this work. The discomfort, the grief, the loss, the despair. To invite ourselves to be playful is not to exclude any of those important aspects of our humanity and our wholeness. It is, perhaps, to shake the box of lego upside down and see how we can fit all these different things together, and then take them apart and try again.
After Elena and I spoke below, I interviewed Lanaire and my colleague and (to take Lisa's phrase) fellow Wyrd Sister, Dr. Nese Tosun. Both these women are making change in different ways, recreating education, and both are being playful. I hope you find the conversations with them, shared here, as inspiring as I did. Please don't feel you need to watch them all today, they'll be here when you need them and rest is the word of the day today. There is also a link to a blog written by Qurratuain Amir Ihsan who reflect on 'enjoying and learning'.
In the spirit of aspiring for 'good enough', and in acknowledgement of the tiredness of Elena and I are feeling in our bodies at this stage of DPL, we invite you to make today a day of restfulness, of care, of nurture. To feel tired is not to fail, but to recognise that our bodies are in conversation with us and inviting us to listen. This is what I'm telling myself this evening as I write. We invite you to do nothing at all today, if what you need is nothing. Space to grow, space to reflect, space to nap.
Interview with Independent Academic and founder of Uniqorn Academy, Dr Nese Tosun, about Food Enabled Pedagogy
Interview with poet and co-creation officer, and recent graduate, Lanaire Aderemi
Conversation with educator and learner Nia-Cerise Conteh
Blog: 'My experience taking an IATL module' by Qurratuain Amir Ihsan
In the spirit of lightness of being and invitation to wellness, we offer the following prompts and questions for you to respond to if you wish, and however you choose.
- Grounding in some of the ideas expressed in the interviews with Nia- Cerese, Qurratuain, Nese and Lanaire, what could you begin today in the intention of 'play', without thinking at all about outcomes?
- Maxine Greene, Ursula K. Le Guin and others have written of the importance of imagination. What does 'being imaginative' mean to you? Can you choose one small way to enact that today?
- 'What if' questions can be a useful way to unlock the imagination. What playful 'what if' questions can you come up with. Can you write a list? What if you took one further and followed the stories or possibilities it opens up by creating something in response to it?
- Draw a self portrait of yourself with your non-dominant hand.
- Bring together the objects from earlier this week, and tell a story that includes them all.
- Find a plant, get on the floor, and look at it from underneath.
- A day of rest... no engagement with screens, giving yourself permission to not check in with DPL.
- Making a flower crown or garland out of found objects to wear in our 'coffee break' meeting.
- Something you choose yourself. Or something that just happens.
All of these things are grounded in ideas of 'ways of being' rather than focusing on outcomes. That can be challenging, especially in systems and cultures that are so focused on measurable outputs, and which encourage us to engage in 'backward planning' and to 'SWBAT' our students.
What might it mean to think about 'ways of being' we wish to engender in our classrooms, rather than learning outcomes?
You'll find resources and readings in the Resources Padlet. I've started off with just three things I find uplifting and challenging in the right ways. I'd like to invite you to begin with reading Ursula K. Le Guin. Elena has added a song from Leonard Cohen for gathering hope while acknowledging all the brokenness around us.
There is just one discourse for today, too, in the spirit of simplicity and clarity, for us to use as feels fitting, though of course you're welcome to create your own.