Labyrinths in Places

Labyrinths are found in many places. Some are permanent and some are brought in temporarily for events. The challenge for labyrinth enthusiasts is often how to get permission to introduce a labyrinth into a specific environment. This section of the website examines some of the places where labyrinths may be found, the benefits of having them there, how they are used, and how people were able to install them there in the first place!

1. Introduction

This section focuses on labyrinths in Higher Education - in universities, and in colleges with degree programmes. It is written from a British perspective, with examples from Australia, Canada, Norway, the USA and the UK.

Labyrinths in universities and in colleges provide a quiet reflective space for staff and students, and often for the wider community. But labyrinths are also being used in other creative ways, within and beyond academic disciplines: as part of teaching and learning, for staff and student development, and as the topic of research or to support the research process.

 

My starting point is in the UK at the University of Kent, in south-east England. Our journey with the labyrinth has been a rapid one, mainly because of the constraints of time-limited funding opportunities. Building on a National Teaching Fellowship project exploring aspects of reflection and creativity in student learning development (Jan Sellers, 2005), a Labyrinth Project was launched in 2007. We purchased a canvas labyrinth, commissioned initial training, and launched a series of open and guided walks for staff and students. We now have four trained Veriditas facilitators amongst the staff (two in the University’s Counselling Service, two in our Unit for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching). Meanwhile, interest grew to such an extent that the University decided to install a permanent labyrinth as a resource for teaching and learning. Designed by Jeff Saward, and completed August 2008, our labyrinth is also a wonderful work of art and a potential performance space. We are in the early stages of this learning journey, and I would be delighted to hear from anyone, anywhere, who would like to share ideas and inspiration for working with labyrinths in Higher Education.

 

Contact Jan Sellers for more information.