Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Fifth International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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A Class of Nothing
Óscar Mascareñas

Last modified: 25-06-2019


Imagine a class with no syllabus, no teacher, no instruction, no method, no homework, no assessments, no grades, no ‘classroom’. What could that be? ‘A Class of Nothing’ is a radical pedagogical concept that stems from the need to create space. Physical space. Mental space. Space in time. Through the idea of nothing as a starting point, and no-instruction as a pedagogical tool, ‘teacher’ and ‘student’ immerse in a space of waiting, of disconnection from the outside world, and eventually, of discovery and making. In the space of ‘A Class of Nothing’ to educate means no more to teach, give, or exemplify: to lead out; but to inhabit, to experience: to let in. The concepts of teacher and student become blurred, and it is no longer possible to understand them in the traditional sense. Responses from students to various ‘classes of nothing’,reveal that this kind of experience is new, intriguing, mind boggling, unusual, surprising, interesting, strange; it places them in a differentspace: physically, mentally and in time. This paper introduces the notion of ‘A Class of Nothing’, and provides the reader with a number of examples where this concept and approach have been applied.


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