tinker with text
Literacy-Based Maker Education
Liminal space is a time of waiting, a threshold, or the space in-between. It can be an advent(ure) filled with excitement, anticipation, anxiety, or turmoil.
Examples of liminal space are:
No matter what the circumstance, liminal space requires patience and sometimes courage.
The idea of learn-try-do has an element of liminal space to it. The trying stage lives in this space. We might try something new on a menu or try a new sport. We might like it; we might not. In education and psychology, we speak of growth mindset and it is acknowledging that you’re not there yet that we develop perseverance, open-mindedness, and character.
“We don't always succeed in what we try - certainly not by the world's standards - but it's not the honors and the prizes and the fancy outsides of life which ultimately nourish our souls. It's the knowing that we can be trusted, that we never have to fear the truth, that the bedrock of our very being is good stuff.”
- Fred Rogers, commencement speech at Middlebury College (2001)
This year, let’s use the word ‘try’ more often in our classrooms. Rather than assigning students to finish a book by a certain date, can we invite them to set their own goals using the word ‘try’? For instance, “I will try to finish a chapter every other day” is more realistic for some students than “I will finish a book a week.” What if they don’t? What if they can’t? We’re setting them up for small failures in not achieving these goals. Asking students if they tried is more empathic. We can tweak the goals accordingly until the trying becomes doing. Let’s start using the motto “Just try it!” instead of “Just do it!”
Vicki Den Ouden is an Elementary Reading Intervention Teacher from BC, Canada. She loves to dream, learn, teach, and create.