Liminality, Transition, Transformation – and Educational 'Re-Thinking'

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Conference Proceeding
Technology Education: Learning for Life, 2014, One pp. 96 - 103
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While the concept of liminality is closely connected to both Van Gennep and Turner in relation to anthropology, recent papers have applied the notion to postcolonialism, liminal spaces, mental health, homelessness, music, and so on. Without arguing the differences between such disciplinary viewpoints it is important to consider how the very notion of liminality – associated as it is with key issues of difference and identity, of rights of passage, and of transition and transformation – is significantly associated withe duration, with educational development, and with how individuals may come to think differently. The very notion of 'in-betweens' is educationally important insofar as it suggests that, while the individual can be somehow 'set apart' from the norm, they may be subservient to the effect of liminality, or may find this an opportunity or a necessity to challenge that which is 'given to them'. The latter suggests not just potential disruption and disagreement, but rather the idea of transition and transformation, and, from an educational perspective, a 'finding of something new' that enables a challenging response to 'arrive; that significantly affects our thinking; and that promotes the emergence of different and diverse self-understandings and meanings.
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