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Rebooting Industrial Era Seating. While driving the back roads of Pennsylvania one summer, I (Tom) came across a carefully laid-out cemetery. It grabbed my attention, so I pulled over for a closer look. As I perused the scenery, I noticed that all of the tombstones were equidistant from one another. The rows were impeccably aligned; each faced the same direction. Outlined by a stone wall, the plot of land was a perfect rectangle. With the exception of some updated landscaping, the space had remained seemingly untouched for a number of decades. My heart sank when I thought about how this space—a cemetery—resembled the classroom space I designed for my very first class of fourth graders. These classrooms are suffering from what we’ll coin the “Cemetery Effect.” But that world of work no longer exists in the United States. The need to redesign our students’ learning environments is not simply an idea from the latest Pinterest board; it’s one of necessity.

Designing Learner-Centered Spaces Designing for Collaboration. Edutopia. I remember exactly where I was when I had a watershed moment that changed me as a teacher forever. In fact, it inspired my EdSurge column, Why the 21st-Century Classroom May Remind You of Starbucks. I was working on my TEDx presentation at my local Starbucks and, looking around, I realized that everyone seemed to be happy, engaged in their work, and relaxed. Some people chose the traditional chairs and tables while I opted for a big, comfy chair with my MacBook on my lap. The quiet music, perfect lighting, and overall aesthetics of the coffee shop were favorable for a variety of learners. Problem Solvers Now = Problem Solvers Later I'm a firm believer in keeping the focus on what's really important: the students.

What the Research Says Everything I do in my classroom is based on research and best practices for kids. Simple in-class activities can boost performance. Classroom Redesign on a Budget Up Your Classroom Management Other Considerations We follow the Responsive Classroom approach. Edutopia. Most educators have little choice about the (usually) over-crowded, (often) unappealing rooms they teach in -- but they intuitively know that the spaces children spend their time in can have an effect on how they learn. I've gathered a collection of videos to explore the questions: How important is environment to learning?

And what small changes can you make in seating, organization, lighting, and decor to build your own space into a better place to teach and learn? Video Playlist: Innovative Learning Spaces Watch the player below to see the whole playlist, or view it on YouTube. Flexible Learning Environments (04:02) Students and teachers at Eanes Independent School District in Austin, Texas, talk about the district's experiment with creating classrooms of the future to foster 21st-century skills at all grade levels.

More Resources on Learning Spaces Ready to roll up your sleeves and re-think your classroom space before the school year starts? 20 Classroom Setups That Promote Thinking. 20 Classroom Setups That Promote Thinking by TeachThought Staff This is part 1 in our #iteachthought campaign. This is our equivalent to “back to school,” and is intended to help you focus in the 2015-2016 school year on taking a thoughtful approach to your craft as a teacher. Among these shifts we’ll talk about is turning our focus from content and teaching to thinkers and thinking. Part 1: Classroom Setups That Promote Thinking Part 2: Learning Profiles: What Great Teachers Know About Their Students Part 3: 50 Questions To Ask Your Students On The First Day Of School Learning Is An Ecology Can how you setup your classroom impact how students think?

Desks are a staple of the ‘modern’ classroom as we know it. So what can we do? So, the bit about “classroom setups impacting thinking.” You can also setup a “Google Room” or “Maker Space” and not promote thinking at all, or have students performing stunning cognitive acrobatics sitting by themselves on a cold floor. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 7. 8. 9. 10. Edutopia. Global Education Episode 5: Designing a school that reflects local culture. You're listening to the Global Education podcast series from Teacher magazine. Hello, I'm Jo Earp. Throughout November we're exploring the theme of learning spaces. Earlier this month we brought you news of the World Architecture Festival awards. Today we're taking a closer look at one of the shortlisted finalists - a project to update the facilities at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngāti Kahungunu o Te Wairoa, a Maori language immersion school.

My guest is Ben Dallimore, a Project Director at RTA Studio - the lead architect behind the design. Jo Earp: Ben Dallimore, welcome to Teacher magazine. Ben Dallimore: Hi Jo, thanks very much for the opportunity to talk to you today. JE: Now, this project was an interesting one in terms of design. BD: Just by way of background, I think the regional population is about 8000 so it's quite a small town. The Kura inherited this and moved into them ... and had to make do I suppose with not the best facilities. So, we've tied those in too, to the wings. Learning spaces: The shifting lens. In 2003, I interviewed Herman Hertzberger, an architect from the Netherlands, for an article I was writing. I was very much interested in his perspective on school design; for he understood that classrooms should offer a variety of activity settings to support the diverse ways that people learn. More importantly, he understood that learning should not be confined to the classroom, but rather must extend beyond the classroom, into corridor spaces (Lippman, 2013).

His design approach was innovative, because it was grounded in pedagogical concepts that he learned from his wife, who was a Montessori school teacher. Nonetheless, he revealed how he wished that the school design of Northern Europe was as pioneering as the work he had seen from the United States. I was astonished by this, for I had always believed that the schools in Northern Europe were by far more innovative than what I knew in the USA. These teachers and principals wanted to better understand the framework that I used. Crafting collaborative places. School designs from around the globe My journey for understanding the transactional relationship between the learner and the learning environment began when I walked into a first and second grade public school as a teacher’s assistant in East Harlem, New York City.

This classroom was different from anything I had ever experienced; for, it was not a room with rows of seats facing a blackboard, rather it had been organised with a variety of activity settings (Tharp & Gallimore, 1997). These settings were defined zones where learners were engaged with others as they read, constructed objects, painted, built with blocks, explored the world of science, or were involved in dramatic play.

Given that these activity settings were located along the perimeter of the room, the centre became what I call the 'spaces-in-between'. Within this 750 square foot classroom, a fluid, flowing, and flexible learning environment lived. Why collaborative spaces? Image supplied by Peter Lippman. References Lippman, P. School designs from around the globe. Throughout November, Teacher is exploring the theme of learning spaces. To kick things off, we take a look at the latest developments in school design, showcased this week at the World Architecture Festival in Singapore. The Ballet School in St Petersburg, Russia, has just been named the winner of the School Buildings category at this year's World Architecture Festival.

School design teams around the world face different challenges - from providing basic sanitation facilities and cool spaces in warm climates, to energy-efficient elements. The shortlisted projects were: The Ballet School, St Petersburg, Russia Lead Architect: Studio 44 Architects The Ballet School includes two new buildings – teaching and dormitory blocks. The walls of the recreation spaces and ballet classes are realised in semitransparent glass, which serves to provide more natural light into the building. Baldivis Secondary College, Perth, Australia Lead Architect: JCY Architects & Urban Designers Lead Architect: RTA Studio. Redesigning My Classroom Environment | Edutopia. I moved my classroom at the end of the school year. I moved my posters, my bookshelves, and my computer cart. What I didn't move, however, were my traditional tables and chairs. I get to design a different kind of space next year, one that encourages different learners to work both independently and collaboratively.

I picture students moving about more freely, cozying up with a book in a corner or working on their laptops in the sun. I'm thinking about throwing away my seating chart altogether (after I learn their names, that is). What Matters Most I've done some research including talking to Laura Bradley, the "Classroom on Wheels" lady herself. 1. This is so that kids can pilot different kinds of seating styles and arrangements. 2.

After seating, then figure out the tables. So I spent my late spring doing research and curating photos and ideas around classroom seating: I pinned pictures on Pinterest. Select a Seat! 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. OK, so I couldn't diss all thoughts of tables. Edutopia. I decided to focus on learning spaces this year in the classroom and around my school. It led me to create a makerspace in my school's library, but it also led me to take a hard look at the classroom. Last summer, I visited my classroom and decided to change it around. The entire process started with one simple question: "Is this room designed for me or for my students? " It was on this question that I based every decision I made when it came to designing the room. The Benefits of Desk-Free Teaching The major change that I made in the classroom was deciding to get rid of my teacher desk. 1.

By getting rid of the teacher desk, there was more space in the room for the student desks to spread out. 2. The teacher desk has always created a barrier between student and teacher. 3. I have always considered myself an active teacher in the classroom. 4. By the end of the year, I no longer felt comfortable calling it "my room. " Gone But Not Missed. Flexible Classrooms: Providing the Learning Environment That Kids Need. How it's done: Giving Students a Choice in How They Learn "From day one, I've said, 'You may sit anywhere you like as long as you're safe in our classroom,'" says Katie Collins, a Woodbrook Elementary School second grade teacher. Becky Fisher, the director of educational technology at Albemarle County Public Schools, is interested in learning about the thinking that drives student choice.

"What we're really striving for are those choices that have a lot of thought behind them. We want kids to really be strategic about where they go," Fisher says. She painted the picture of walking into a classroom and seeing kids: Lying on the floor Sitting at low tables on their knees Standing up. When Fisher walks into a classroom, she asks the students the reasoning behind why they choose their particular learning space. "Why are you standing right now? " "Well," says the student, "we're using math manipulatives, and I move better when I'm standing up than when I'm sitting down.

" The First Step. 20 Classroom Setups That Promote Thinking. 20 Classroom Setups That Promote Thinking by TeachThought Staff This is part 1 in our #iteachthought campaign. This is our equivalent to “back to school,” and is intended to help you focus in the 2015-2016 school year on taking a thoughtful approach to your craft as a teacher. Among these shifts we’ll talk about is turning our focus from content and teaching to thinkers and thinking. This is a student-centered approach to pedagogy (and heautagogy), and will consist of three parts: Part 1: Classroom Setups That Promote Thinking Part 2: Learning Profiles: What Great Teachers Know About Their Students Part 3: 50 Questions To Ask Your Students On The First Day Of School Learning Is An Ecology Can how you setup your classroom impact how students think?

Desks are a staple of the ‘modern’ classroom as we know it. So what can we do? So, the bit about “classroom setups impacting thinking.” Note, we’ve placed an asterisk* beside those approaches that are more strongly suited to “thought” than others.