Learning in third spaces: Community art studio as storefront university classroom

Third spaces are in-between places where teacher-student scripts intersect, creating the potential for authentic interaction and a shift in what counts as knowledge. This paper describes a unique community-university initiative: a third space storefront classroom for postsecondary students in professional education programs, which also functions as a community art studio for the surrounding neighborhood. This approach to professional education requires an innovative combination of theory, methods, and materials as enacted by the professionals involved and performed by the students. This storefront classroom utilizes collaborative and inclusive instructional practices that promote human and community development. It facilitates the use of innovative instructional strategies including art making and participatory dialogue to create a liminal learning space that reconfigures professional education. In researching the effectiveness of this storefront classroom, we share the voices of students who have participated in this third space as part of their coursework to underscore these principles and practices.

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