Entries by a MOOC participant
Years ago, I had the opportunity to hear Chogyam Trungpa speak in New York City. At one point in his talk, he said “LEAP.” I thought to myself, leap where? And, as if he heard me, he said “It doesn’t matter where you LEAP, it is the action of leaping itself that is important.”
I will never forget that moment. Most of the time, we spend our lives
in between. Should I leap or should I stay where I am (where it is safe)? Is it the right answer or the wrong answer? Black and white, yes and no. Well you get the idea.
Thanks to Cath Ellis, I did delve into A Thousand Plateaus, but I did it on my terms, as the authors themselves suggested — “the reader is invited to move among plateaux in any order.” In doing so, I found this description that resonated with me and the concept of of leaping into the void.
A rhizome has no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, between things, interbeing, intermezzo. (Deleuze & Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus. P. 25)
This week our Trickster, Dave Cormier asked us simply to ‘Embrace Uncertainty.” Like a good student, I fell down the Rabbit Hole…..
Trungpa’s student Pema Chodron, in her book, Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change, frames this concept for me in this way:
“As human beings we share a tendency to scramble for certainty whenever we realize that everything around us is in flux. In difficult times the stress of trying to find solid ground—something predictable and safe to stand on—seems to intensify. But in truth, the very nature of our existence is forever in flux. Everything keeps changing, whether we’re aware of it or not. “
On Monday, this tweet caught my eye:
In this blog, Lines of Flight: Deleuze and Nomadic Creativity, the author describes “Nomadism as a desire to experiment, explore, learn, grow, and boldly venture forth.” That struck a chord. Are nomads then agents of change? The same idea was echoed in a post by Maureen Maher on Following Uncertainty and Finding Music:
“Any time the world moves into a state of uncertainty, that’s the point at which cultural change, musical change, any kind of change, can happen. It comes out of the uncertainty and solidifies into the new structure.”
Ever the rhizome, following this line of thinking, I remembered someone last week calling the nomad the knowmad. Looking for connections, I stumbled upon the The Knowmadic Society. This group explores the future of learning, work and how we relate with each other in a world driven by accelerating change, value networks and the rise of knowmads.
In their book, the Knowmadic Society, Knowmadic thinking is “exposing metaspaces in between each, opening new opportunities for new blends of formal, informal, non-formal and serendipitous learning. As in the Invisible learning project, we focus on educating for personal knowledge creation that cannot be measured easily.”
There appears to be a light at the end of the Rabbit Hole. For me,
Rhizomatic Learning is embracing these new opportunities and new literacies required to communicate and collaborate in this digital universe. Rhizomatic Learners are change agents, exploring new frontiers. For me the #rhizo14 experience is using our knowledge to make changes in education, starting with our own classrooms.
And that is actually the real question. Dave poses it in this week’s Google Hangout, “how do we bring this concept of embracing uncertainty into our classrooms?”
I like this idea: Don’t ask what you want to be when you grow up, ask “What problem do you want to solve?” (seen on Facebook?)
Or what about the conference Sandra Sinfeld, attended Look Make Learn?
To make changes in education, we must embrace uncertainty in our teaching, and we must help our students understand that it is ok not to have the right answer. The quest — the leap into the unknown is the learning process.
Or you could try Googling Embracing Uncertainty (this deed indeed unearth some gems):
Looking forward to next week’s adventure and to sharing it with the knowmads of #rhizo14!
How creating works by hand opens the mind, establishes a sense of self and brings peace.
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