The idea that learning is a journey is not new. Nor is it revolutionary to draw on metaphors of travel to describe a learning process. John Dewey, in his How We Think, describes the “forked road situation” as the seat of critical, reflective thought. Dewey notes that when we come to a forked road, we have a choice to make. And we often inform our choice by attempting to investigate our options. You might stroll down each direction a bit before you choose your path. You might climb a tree and try your best to see what lies ahead in each of your options. In the end though, you can’t know exactly what to expect — and so the journey begins with a choice and a critical awareness that you carry on your journey.

In one of the books we’ll read for this course, Paulo Freire suggests to Miles Horton that they “speak the book” and when Horton questions HOW this might be done, Freire returns: We make the road by walking. In other words, sometimes you’ve got to start walking to know where you’re going.

This is all to say that this course is a journey — specifically, a roadtrip (more on that here) — with lots of roads to choose from. Our course syllabus and schedule are the “maps” that we’ll use as a way of getting up in the trees that Dewey describes — for a better view of what roads/options are out there for us! At the same time, we’ll make the road by walking, completing planned (mapped) activities and creating others together.

Map 1: Syllabus

Map 2: Itinerary/Schedule