Saturday, August 30, 2014

Flipping Learning Design - the start of the journey in UK and Scandinavia

Over the 10 weeks as recipient of the 2014 ASB / APPA travel fellowship, I had conversations with educationalists, designers and architects – during visits of twenty two schools in five countries. These schools were actively engaged in new school design and new ways of teaching and learning.  My next few posts will  explore school design and aspirations around personalising learning of the schools visited.

The school  types  visited in UK and Scandinavia , included state, church, international, independent, primary, secondary, academies and free schools. It included new school builds, remodelled schools and schools that were built in refitted commercial buildings. 

The visits in UK were arranged by Terry White. Terry is a director of UK  Learning which is the UK chapter of CEFPI  (Council of Education Facilities and Planning International).  He is  an educational design solution consultant for Nova Co-Design which supports schools through the process of designing new schools and developing  and supporting the teaching vision to be implemented in the new builds.

The visits in Scandinavia were arranged by Lene Jensby Lange. Lene is founder of Autens which is an educational consultancy that works with schools, local authorities, charities, architects and others to innovate learning spaces dedicated to personalising learning. 

Both Terry and Lene were incredibly generous with their time and hospitality. I found it really interesting that in the UK and  in Scandinavia the local authorities funded talented project leaders like Terry and Lene who seemed to have ownership / leadership over the design project at all phases. A key feature of their role  is to drive the vision around personalising learning and design.

In New Zealand the role of driving the learning vision is usually done by  the principal, whose task it is ensure that  the architect understands the learning culture of the school and how that might look in the new build. We discussed at length;  personalising learning, school design and the impact of the political, social  and local context.

What a luxury to have such design consultants funded to actively engage with schools to support their transition from old ways to new ways of teaching. 

The school visits were a  fast series of walk throughs where the  worlds of pedagogy and design, intersected and  fused with vision and concerns. They all aspired to learner led personalised curriculum and design that would drive these concepts.

The challenge in all the schools was to  embed and sustain teacher practice related to learning vision and school design so that learners will be prepared for their future world.


No comments:

Post a Comment