Saturday, August 12, 2017

Vision Led Design

At Freemans Bay School, we strongly believe that it is important to have a clear vision for learning that prepares students for their future. The five-year olds who start school this year will be graduating from Highschool around 2035. We need to think about what sort of spaces they will be working and studying in and join the dots between education space, curriculum design and developing attributes needed for their future world. The Innovative Learning Environment (ILE) design of our new buildings promote flexibility, collaboration, creativity, choice and personalised learning.

Our school vision of "Engage, Enrich, Empower" underpins our plan to align school design and collaborative and flexible ways of teaching and learning. We want our students to experience learning spaces like the modern activity based designed office spaces that many parents experience in their work spaces today, rather than the factory typing pool or hierarchical silo offices of the past.

The item on TV1’s ‘Seven Sharp’ show last week, looked at ILE through a very narrow lens. It was disappointing that the article was so one sided. It did not refer to the New Zealand Ministry of Educations research and evidenced based policy on ILEs accessible on their website. Nor did it refer to any of the research underpinning the global movement towards ILE in education and workplace design.  The  OECD Handbook on Innovative Learning Environments pulls together recent research on ILEs. You can also click here for some of the latest research on ILEs.

The ‘Seven Sharp’ article seems to be promoting teaching in single classrooms in the same way as  in the 1960s or back in even further. The sentiment of, “It worked for me so therefore why change things”, does not have the depth of thinking required to influence schooling design.  It is important to rethink last century school design and align with what we want to happen today. Joining the dots on the best evidenced conditions for learning and attributes required in the workforce beyond 2035 is a priority for school design.

Typical 1960's single cell classroom
Sir Ken Robinson, in his 2010 Ted talk,” Bring on the Learning Revolution”  promotes that for students to meet their creative potential in our schools we must shift from standardised schools to schools that personalise learning and create conditions where learners can discover their passions and flourish.

1 comment:

  1. Great piece Sandy! The missing link for many schools - at least where we are based - is the How. Not so much the why as most recognise the need to encourage and incorporate collaboration, creativity, choice etc. The 'how' to design and organise learning in new ways requires unlearning and learning new ways of working teambased as teachers, following new logics and flexibly curating the challenges for and with each student. Would love a blog post on how you have worked with that transformation and what your 'how' looks like!

    Lene Jensby Lange,
    Autens future schools consultancy