Peripatetic Learning/Teaching

Topic-Talk Walks

385 South Forest Street
Denver, Colorado, USA 80246

Contact:  Fran Rew

(303) 321-1064 (H)
(720) 474-5182 (C)

Creative Commons 2008-2015,

Last updated January 14, 2015

“Like Plato before him, he saw such learning happening through life - although with different emphases at different ages.  Aristotle was the first to observe that ‘association’ among ideas facilitated understanding and recall.  He believed that comprehension was aided by contiguity, succession, similarity, and contrast.”

A current wise young man, a modern peripatetic sage, Grant McKenzie, recently wrote:

“I believe this activity (peripatetic group learning) happens more frequently than many people are aware of.  For instance, if four guys get together for a round of golf and discuss the latest issues at work or even their preferences for presidential candidates, isn’t that the same basic principle?  The only real difference is that it is not sponsored by an outside organization.  The difference between this activity and ‘traditional’ learning methods is that this one inherently builds relationships as well.  That’s why it is used in the military and in corporate training scenarios.  The idea is to go beyond the actual information and build a team mentality.  Relationships and a sense of community are what set this particular method apart from others.”

Grant McKenzie is a business coach, and an aerospace engineer who graduated from the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, in 1993.  His training included walking and running group discussions at Squadron Officer School in Maxwell AFB, Alabama, with mid-grade officers who participated in these groups, in 1999.

Grant designed the first walking improv “Yes, and...” game for Topic-Talk Walks (TTWalks) first walk in City Park, Denver, Colorado, on January 30, 2008 before it was on

Fran Rew, co-founder of TTWalks, also believes that walking interactive group communication for groups of 6 to 15 walkers, especially in urban parks, is not only possible, but one of many socially and spiritually essential exercise options.   It’s a way to tap into the joy that feeds our mental, physical, family and community feeling of well being.  The end product of happy healthy families and communities is a happy healthy economy that supports the innovative creations that have historically helped nations and our planet to thrive.

Like golf, the answer to whether group peripatetic communication is “ludicrous” or possible depends on the weather, and who’s playing with the proverbial ball. 

In keeping with the TTWalks’ mission of “Energizing balance in work, play and learning”, TTWalks is committed to supporting members in  posting and hosting their own peripatetic educational and entertaining events.

-- Fran Rew, TTWalks Co-Founder

The above painting by Rapheal pictures Plato pointing up as Aristotle points down, peripatetically teaching, while their students walk on either side of them through the Lyceum.  Our ubiquitous peripatetic frog may have jumped along side of them, unnoticed by Rapheal.

Don Clark wrote, “Plato founded what is said to be the first university - his Academy (near Athens) in around 385 BC.  He also believed that all knowledge is innate at birth and is perfectible by experiential learning during growth.  This was an early suggestion to the current theory of constructivism.”

“Along with many others in his time, Aristotle (384-322 BC) placed a strong emphasis on an all-round and balanced development.  Play, physical training, music, debate, and the study of science and philosophy were to all have their place in the forming of body, mind and soul.”

Is the concept of a peripatetic learning and teaching “ludicrous”, or possible? 

How can a walking group hear each other, let alone learn anything while walking in groups of 6 to 15 walkers?

The definition of peripatetic is:


(pĕr'ə-pə-tĕt'ĭk) adj.

  1. 1.Walking about or from place to place; traveling on foot.

  2. 2.Peripatetic Of or relating to the philosophy or teaching methods of Aristotle, who conducted discussions while walking about in the Lyceum of ancient Athens.