I am very interested in learning and what the body language of learning looks like. Today was the third and final day of a workshop I have been attending at the San Diego Watercolor Society and a terrific opportunity to watch the body language of adults who are intent on learning as much as they can. After three days people are more comfortable as a group and with their standing within the group. They do not seem to worry as much about appearing to know more than they do, they just want to learn what it is that the teacher is offering them. Some participants have abandoned their seats during the demonstration and they even jostle a bit for the best vantage point to view how the artist treats the challenges of her painting.
The instructor is clearly confident and she shows this by maintaining a calm focus on her painting even as the learners crowd her a bit. The adult students shown are not confident and they convey this by clutching their notebooks, crossing their arms and one is even holding her neck protectively. Their faces have slight frowns and they look a bit perplexed. This is the kind of body language I would see in classrooms with high rates of learning. It comes from the teacher establishing a safe culture and the students themselves taking ownership of their own learning. Real learning is often tough, often involves humility and always resides in the learner. This is the look of learning.
This was originally a pencil sketch and later at the house I added watercolor and watercolor pencil.