Adapting Open-space Learning Techniques to Teach Cultural Literacy

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There is a growing body of work on the theory of cultural literacy, but little has been written on how to teach cultural literacy in higher education contexts. This article discusses the use of Open-space Learning (OSL) techniques as valuable tools for teaching cultural literacy. Cultural literacy and OSL are two different areas of study, but there is common ground between them, and cultural literacy can draw great benefit from the cross-pollination of ideas with OSL. The paper focuses on practice-based models used in OSL that have been adapted to teach cultural literacy. The aim of these practice-based models is to create an environment that teaches students how to transfer the analytical and critical skills that they learn as part of a literary and cultural studies (LCS) course to real-life scenarios. We argue that an important part of this learning environment is what we refer to as cognitive "destabilisation," and discuss why OSL techniques are ideally suited to fostering such destabilisation in students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-519
Number of pages10
JournalOpen Cultural Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • cultural competence
  • cultural literacy
  • destabilisation
  • higher education
  • open-space learning

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