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Introduction to OSL


  • Learning should be grounded in discovery, enquiry and action, with a stress on the development of social intelligence;
  • Learning flourishes best in flexible and non-hierarchical spaces that encourage collaboration;
  • Learning should be affective, interpersonal and recognise both cognitive and embodied knowledges;
  • Learning activities should acknowledge disciplinary knowledge as provisional, problematic and ‘unfinished’;
  • Learning environments and pedagogies should favour interdisciplinary collaborations and multiple learning styles;
  • Learning environments should be constituted as public spaces for the free exchange of ideas between participants in which learning is negotiated and the protocols of the space are freely determined and amended by them.


The OSL Research Question

What precisely are the creative pedagogies we have defined as OSL? Where may they be located temporally, spatially, and intellectually? Is there a “third space” that can be created that is available to all who wish to use it, that allows participants to take advantage of these creative pedagogies, and enables them to learn as they learn in the world? How, having identified and enabled OSL, do we isolate, define, and disseminate what in the process works, and how do we measure convincingly its effects upon an inclusive range of individuals both within and beyond HE?


The project enables a social constructivist approach to teaching and learning, introducing dialogic and experiential inquiry between tutors and learners as the means of actively discovering, rather than passively receiving, knowledge. The project feeds directly into broader strategies concerning interdisciplinarity and transferable skills, particularly important when graduates need to be flexible in their approach to the world of work.