This paper reports on the proposition that “the richest space of all is the in-between space” and connects thinking on liminality (Shortt, 2015), hybridity (Goodwin, Kennedy & Vetere, 2009), Third Space (Bhabha, 2004), and non-formal learning (Eraut, 2000). The challenge of the open is cultural. Ultimately learning happens how and where the learner decides, epitomising the notion of ‘remix’ (Wiley, 2014) and the other ‘4Rs’ that frame open education. We draw upon a series of self-determined non-formal initiatives that critically examine and seek to develop the relationship between binaries such as formal and informal, teacher and learner, physical and virtual, open and closed to reveal a liminal learner-centred world. Here the learner is already open and is faced with constraints that are remnants of a previous academic tradition. We demonstrate the inadequacy of binaries and polarities in the way we, as academics and as higher education institutions, talk about how students learn and teachers teach, and we make strong connections to the rhetoric and principles of open learning.
Bhabha, H. (2004). The location of culture. New York: Routledge.
Eraut, M. (2000). Non-formal learning and tacit knowledge in professional work. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 70, pp. 113 – 136.
Goodwin, K., Kennedy, G., & Vetere, F. (2009). Exploring co-location in physical, virtual and ‘hybrid’ spaces for the support of informal learning. ASCILITE 2009 “Sa,ed places, different spaces”, Auckland
Harriet Shortt (2015) Liminality, space and the importance of ‘transitory dwelling places’ at work. Human Relations, April 2015, 68(4), pp. 633-658
Wiley, D. (2014) ‘The Access Compromise and the 5th R’. [online] Available at: http://opencontent.org/blog/archives/3221.