CET research showcased at Harvard

June 2014

“… in order for us to truly create and contribute to the world, we have to be able to connect countless dots, to cross-pollinate ideas from a wealth of disciplines, to combine and recombine these pieces and build new castles.” (Maria Popova, Networked Knowledge and Combinatorial Creativity, 2011).

Knowledge alone is not enough anymore. Be it in an academic context or the business world, being innovative and competitive means making new and surprising connections between exiting fields of knowledge. And that is exactly what the new research on metaxis, the phenomena of operating in two simultaneous realities, and its role as catalyst for deep-learning in process drama and TESOL does. Patrick Pheasant, author of the study and CET Director, uses knowledge from four distinct fields: process drama, aesthetic engagement, TESOL and phenomenology, to analyse in depth language acquisition in a drama-based ESL classroom.

The research poses ground-breaking questions on deep-learning through moments of epiphany. An epiphany represents the moment of revelation, the “Aha!” moment when learning happens. The epiphany is triggered by the student’s aesthetic engagement while operating in a dual state of awareness as both himself/herself and the character he/she is asked to embody in a drama-based ESL classroom. The study received a warm welcome at Harvard University’s 38th Annual Conference of the International Society for Phenomenology. Knowledge on when deep learning happens is extremely valuable not only for the fields of ESL or phenomenology studies but indeed for educational practices in general.

This research is part of CET’s innovative approach to teaching English as a Second Language. “Knowing what triggers moments of deep learning can take our teaching to the next level. At CET we aim not only to teach English as a Second Language but to develop intercultural competences and communication skills that our students can transfer to any field. We want to instil in our students the idea that they are global citizens. We want to inspire them to dream big and empower them to maximise their academic and professional outcomes.” (Patrick Pheasant, Director Centre for English Teaching, University of Sydney).

To find out more about this research, contact .

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