We’ve been talking about free-range learning, but another powerful metaphor is coyote teaching. Eric Hoefler writes a thought-provoking article on the creative and destructive power of coyote, the trickster:
Tricksters live â€œin between,â€ answering â€œyesâ€ and â€œnoâ€ at the same time and sincerely meaning bothâ€“thus, they are frustrating figures who offer no real answers, only more questions.
Tricksters are boundary-breakers and disruptors; they violate laws, morals, and customs; they invite chaos; they are disturbing and unsettlingâ€“but this very attribute is also part of their power to create and invent.
Tricksters are sneaky, greedy thievesâ€“but their persistence is admirable and often leads to new solutions to a problem.
Tricksters are holy beingsâ€“though generally despised by the â€œrespectableâ€ members of the pantheon, they still rank as divine, meaning their methods may be oppositional, but what they do has lasting significance.
Coyotes leading free-range chickens has some interesting implications, but may illustrate the dynamic tension that is necessary for break-through learning. I’d suggest reading all of Hoefler’s post, and I intend to follow-up on some of the references.