Sunday, June 2, 2013

Enabling Teachers to Change Pedagogy through School Design

Last week I enjoyed the Australasia Region Conference of Council of Educational Facility Planners International. (CEFPI) here in Auckland.

Stephen Harris gave a thought provoking presentation called "Factories no More: The Key Role design and furniture has in enabling Teachers to Change Pedagogy"

Stephen Harris is principal of Northern Beaches Christian School in Sydney. On the  school website you can view information about the school, Stephen's blog and their professional development arm activities and related research called scil.

Stephen contends that schools that think about their vision for learning that prepares students for 2035 and beyond, that have modern open learning environments that promote flexibility, collaboration and personalised learning will disrupt old thinking and cause learning to happen that is fit for purpose.

I had a look on our Ministry of Education website examples of recent remodeled learning environments.Sadly they do look like classrooms that I experienced as a student in the 1960s.
They are currently  promoting examples of single celled classrooms with adjacent cloakbays.

Stephen was exploring the notion that the design of a school, that drives where education needs to go can cause teachers to shift from old last century thinking and learning to happen at a different level.

He provoked thinking around: What are we prepared to change in order to shape a positive, resilient learning culture?  Promote what you expect to happen in teaching and learning in the design of the building.

Use design to cause learning to happen otherwise we might end up with graduates like this one - who says - " I choose C!"

What are you prepared to design into the fabric of a  building for learnng?  How does this link with your thinking about learning, preparing students for 2030 and why?

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