All of us hide — in different ways, at different times, in response to different triggers.
As I continue to dance between traditional classrooms and online workshops, I notice that workshops, with the semi-anonymity of online interactions, allow for both more and less hiding than classrooms. Some people leap right in. Others sit back, waiting for something to happen.
Yet it also seems that the behaviors and postures that are ingrained and incentivized in most traditional classrooms are look an awful lot like hiding when they show up in a workshop.
In most classrooms, we sit next to each other but work alone. The instruction flows from the teacher to the students. And the deal is that if you sit through the course and do OK on the test at the end, you’ll get credit for learning something.
In workshops, we change all of that: students sit alone but work together. There’s far more cross-talk than one-way instruction. And, since there’s no test at the end, what you learn is what you learn.
Not all schools teach hiding, and not all workshops draw people out. Yet it might be worth asking how well it serves us, in an age of near-total digital transparency, to spend the first two decades of our lives training to hide.