Sunday, June 2, 2013

Thinking about school design

In 2010 at Freemans Bay School,  we demolished a large subsiding classroom block and built new learning hubs in a two story building. This building design was scoped to develop flexible spaces to enable teachers to teach and students to learn in a variety of ways.  The remaining school buildings since have been identified as either leaky or past their use by date. We are now in the Ministry of Education’s new schools building project.

The challenge of totally rebuilding Freemans Bay School sparked my interest in thinking deeper about how spaces are designed and used to engage learners. The new building block gave us an opportunity to try working more collaboratively. 

Visits to schools, universities, libraries and co-corporate organisations continue to play a significant role in shaping my thinking around design and pedagogy. I have had many rich conversations with; educational, Ministry of Education, architects and business leaders with a passion for exploring change and innovation in their own contexts.  

I am thinking about how learning occurs within school design and what does that look like.
In terms of design I wonder what does exemplary practice look like? How does it link with what we believe about learning and why do we believe that? How is that prepare students for their future - say the year 2030.

While at the CEFPI conference I visited the Owen Glen building and  the Engineering School at the University of Auckland. I looked at the building design through the lens of flipped learning. In other words here were tertiary students, in charge of their learning and doing it in ways that is natural to the way they learn. I took a few pics on my phone and reflected on what they might mean for future learning spaces in our new school builds.

What does  the culture of learning look like at University of Auckland?  on PhotoPeach

What is your thinking on how design in schools should link with learning beliefs and in preparing today's five and six year old students for the year 2030?

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