Looking at the Dimensions of a Topic

  • Forming a line in the room: one end represents (…), for example the individual, one end the opposite, for example the social
    • Situate yourself in the line – do you want to go to one end or somewhere in the middle?
    • Do you feel more comfortable in the individual or in the social?
    • Embody your position, not being fixed but able to move
    • Is this the right place? Do you want to move still? Is this where you want to be?
  • The dimensions:
    • Past – Future (tradition – innovation)
    • Individual – Collective/society
    • Subject-oriented – Cross-curricular 
    • Recognition – Alienation (Affirmation – Provocation; Affirmative – Destructive)
    • Learner-driven – Curriculum-driven
    • Discipline – Freedom (Expression – Impression; Divergent and Convergent thinking)
    • Engagement – Entertainment


  • To look at a certain dimension of a topic, for example individual – social experiences
  • To position a thought in space
  • Standing up and moving, not only sitting at the table and discussing
  • A good start for conversation
  • This exercise can be fast and then move on to discuss the experience and insights
    • In the exercise, one has to seize agency, to make choices.
    • It is an opening to talk about topics.
    • Multi-voicedness, different ways to approach the task.
    • Combinations of embodiment and language.

Who with:

  • May be used with people of different ages and backgrounds.
  • May also be done as a team: How does our team position itself in relation to a topic?


  • Different themes and questions may be selected, suitable for the group and the aims

Author: Gudrun Beckmann, Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen, Netherlands.