The framing of time in narrative form

If the apportioning of time impacts our perception of its passing; it is the mental framing of it that gives us the freedom to use the time we have, to dig deep.

In my last post I tried to describe the transition from the notion of a single hermetically sealed lesson, to the conceptualization of a series of learning sessions, that shift and change in response to what has happened and what still needs to happen.

In this post I will try to describe what I see as the next layer – a mental framing of the school-term, in a narrative form, which by its very nature imposes a beginning, middle and end on the learning activity it describes. Maybe this is not a layer, but an equal and opposite response to the freedom granted by the endless possibility of laying one block (learning session) upon another in an endless exploration?

Either way, each term starts with an immersion day designed to elicit positive and/or negative emotions. These experiences act as a marker in time and as a rich source of personal experience from which the students draw, across all subject areas. Some learning experiences are designed to set a project of work in motion, culminating in an exhibition or market, whilst others end with the retelling of the student’s stories from a new or different perspective.

It is within this framing of the work-of-the-term that both students and teaching staff are afforded the luxury of learning along a line – that more often than not – runs deep and wide.

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2 thoughts on “The framing of time in narrative form

  1. You might like to consider what sense of an “end” is elicited by the temporal resolution of the “term”. If the learning experience has any holistic validity, it is neither drawn to a close in acknowledgement of time-frame conventions, nor abandoned in favour of other discrete modes of being. Instead….?

    1. Yes, I see where you are coming from and I will have to think about this. I was trying to get at the heart of the change from small discrete successional units of learning (but probably teaching) vs. a processional flow from one larger less well defined unit to the next within a narrative frame? So my next post will have to be on skill and the difference between successional and processional practice!

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