In Teaching to Transgress, bell hooks writes, “for me this place of radical openness is a margin—a profound edge. Locating oneself there is difficult yet necessary. It is not a ‘safe’ place. One is always at risk. One needs a community of resistance.” For hooks, the risks we take are personal, professional, political. When she says that “radical openness is a margin,” she suggests it is a place of uncertainty, a place of friction, a place of critical thinking. This is not an Open pedagogy neatly defined and delimited.
Open pedagogy pushes on the notion of education as content delivery in favor of education as community and dialogue. The work is less crudely didactic, more ephemeral. This can be especially true in online teaching and learning, where presence is signaled in very different ways and risk is felt differently. When we ask students to work openly on the Web, it’s critical that we make space for them to critically interrogate digital culture and to contribute to knowledge on the Web. As online educators and designers, we must also make space for students to teach us about working on the Web, about learning, about what education can be.
[Plenary at Open SUNY Summit, March 2018]