Opening brave spaces through practices of connectedness: Embodied and experiential experiences from the ‘collective enacting’ of four doctoral students learning in crisis

Building upon Buechner et al.’s (2020) “From Liminality to Communitas: The Collective Dimensions of Transformative Learning”, a group of four doctoral students offer an account of their own liminal experience that fostered transformation in a dynamic, collective learning environment constrained by a global pandemic and unexpected virtual learning. Transformation in the group’s learning only emerged as we made intentional efforts to lean into the discomfort of learning-in-crisis and frame our learning container as a brave space. We sustained this brave space through intentional practices of connectedness (Tsao & Laszlo, 2019) — practices that allowed deeper, generative, and transformative learning to occur. Our proposed experiential session will engage participants in the creation and cultivation of their own brave space through the application of 3-4 short contemplative and aesthetico-poetic practices that integrate both euro-western and indigenous ways of knowing. Upon completion, participants will know more about how they can transform within communitas, underscoring the conference’s aim “make meaning of where we are today, and conceptualize our future” both in spite of and also because of crisis and uncertainty. Through this ‘pracademic’ session, we hope to contribute to the transformative learning community in a way that illuminates the multidimensional elements of transformation.

Format: Experiential Session


Katherine Mistry, George Washington University
Ina Gjikondi, George Washington University
Kyle Dobbeck, George Washington University
Jocelyn McDaniel, George Washington University
Session Date & Time: Wed, 06 Apr 2022 | 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM EDT