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Wanna Improve Education? Demolish the Classrooms

Wanna Improve Education? Demolish the Classrooms
"Education is experience, and the essence of experience is self-reliance." —T.H. White, The Once and Future King Who removed the classrooms? 3XN, an architectural firm based in Copenhagen, responded to the government's vision by creating a radically different learning environment for Ørestad College. 3XN's design for Ørestad College is a novel interpretation of agility and openness where the architecture complies with the pedagogy of individualized and interdisciplinary learning. In designing for teaching and learning, I am continually asking myself the following questions: 1. Well, I've found the answer—Ørestad College. For more of our coverage of 3XN's work, click here. For more images of the school, check out Dezeen. [All images © Adam Mørk / 3XN] Related:  French Learning Space

How School Buildings Can Connect Students To The Environment In his ethnography Wisdom Sits in Places, the anthropologist Keith Basso reveals the Western Apaches’ poetic sense of place. Landscape symbolizes a community’s history and is intrinsically linked with the memory of ancestors and their way of life. As children come of age, they demonstrate their maturity by recognizing and honoring the stories of each place. As we strive to shape society’s current relationship with the natural environment into one of respect, we need to create places that convey a new narrative and a connection to nature. Bjarke Ingels Group’s design of the Vilhelmsro Primary School in Asminderoed, Denmark, is a prime example of how a building can foster a deep connection with its surroundings. For the Western Apaches, place and the values of a community combine to ensure future generations continue to live by this vision.

Reggio Emilia – The environment is the ‘third’ teacher | Design for Learning Reggio Emilia educational approach and philosophy insists that children learn readily from their environment, and there for the environment is the ‘third’ teacher. I’m assuming that the teachers/parents and the child themselves are the first and second teachers. So much has been written about this educational approach that I posted links to information below. You might wonder what an instructional designer is doing by focusing on pedagogy rather than adult learning theory. Also, I have this hunch that really building people who are ‘creative-workers’ takes more than just giving them internet access and the opportunities to collaborate. I don’t believe that Reggio Emilia is the one and only approach to education. Not that this is the only example of this, but building a website offers children the opportunity to learn and apply knowledge and skills. Who is going to do the work? What is Reggio Emilia? Read More… Links and Resources (some to start): *Available thru ERIC Like this:

Schools Getting Engagement Results from Standing Desks New research from Texas A&M University has found that students who stand at their desks are better able to stay on task than those who stay seated during school hours. The study looked at 282 participants in grades 2-4 across an entire school year. Researchers measured student engagement through a number of actions including answering a question, raising a hand, or participating in a discussion, writes Dian Schaffhauser for Campus Technology. While both groups of students (those who used the standing desks and those who did not) showed increased academic engagement over the course of the year, results show that students who used the standing desks were able to improve their concentration while in class by 12%. Standing desks are taller than traditional desks. He added that schools that choose to use the desks can put an end to two problems: keeping students engaged and reducing childhood obesity. Teachers at the school agree.

Why Learning Space Matters From the front door and school grounds to the classroom, the aesthetics of learning spaces impact brain function and influence how students feel when they're in school -- as well as how they feel about their school. Neuroscience continues to inform us about how the brain functions and what this means for effective teaching and, more importantly, effective learning. We know: Why emotionally connecting with our students is crucial to their learning experience What is the importance of connecting new information with prior knowledge How using art to engage multiple senses results in increased cognition and recall. But what about the physical design and layout of our classrooms? The average American school is over half a century old, designed at a time where information transfer followed the "sage on the stage" model. So what should schools look like? Curved and Open, with High Ceilings Another study revealed that more enclosed spaces lead to an increase in cortisol, the stress hormone. Well Lit

How to Identify and Reframe Design Problems in Your Library Space Figuring out the Design Problems in Your Space Many of us are rethinking and redesigning our library spaces. We have visions of flexible, mobile furnishings on wheels, beautiful charging stations, tools to support technology. And these are all great and wonderful. But if we go to our administration/school board/people who have money to give us and all we do is paint pretty pictures of what our space could be, they may or may not give us money. Setups for large meetings use up valuable time Problem: The Library is the host of meetings, and setup takes a long time This is a common issue for many school libraries. Reframe: Meeting setups take away time for planning instruction Instead of complaining about how long it takes you to set up the furniture for meetings, reframe the problem. Access to books are often blocked during bookfairs Problem: Inflexible furnishings block bookselves during events like bookfairs Reframe: Inflexible furnishings prevent student access to learning materials

How To Get Library Design Inspiration: 6 Places to Visit Library Design Inspiration: How to Find it When rethinking and redesigning our library spaces, many of us tend to focus on looking at other school libraries for ideas and inspiration. However, there’s quite a few other learning environments and resources we should consider when planning our spaces. I think that I could pretty much live in the Children’s Area of the Seattle Public Library. Public & Academic Libraries Both public and academic libraries are excellent sources for library design inspiration. Public libraries often have excellent signage and good branding strategies. The Columbus Museum of Art is one of my favorite places ever. Museums Museums have long been designed for informal education, so they naturally provide amazing ideas for rethinking our library spaces. This elementary school classroom helped inspire our library makeover in 2014. Classrooms (And Other School Spaces) Whenever I visit another school, the first place I want to visit is the library. Learning Space Design?

Has the library outlived its usefulness in the age of Internet? You'd be surprised U.S. institutions of higher education and U.S. local governments are under extraordinary pressure to cut costs and eliminate from institutional or governmental ledgers any expenses whose absence would cause little or no pain. In this political climate, academic and public libraries may be in danger. The existence of vast amounts of information – a lot of it free – on the Internet might suggest that the library has outlived its usefulness. But has it? In spite of the findings of a survey in which Americans say they are using public libraries less, the usage numbers reported by libraries indicate the opposite. Some upward trends In the last two decades, the total number of U.S. public libraries slightly increased – inching up from 8,921 in 1994 to 9,082 in 2012 (a gain of 2.14 percent). Here’s what data on circulation (books and other items checked out to library users) and annual visits to public libraries reveal. Rise of the e-book For academic libraries, the data are more mixed.

Tout ce qu’on aime dans les nouveaux espaces d’apprentissage L’affordance est un néologisme qui renvoie au sentiment que l'objet ou l'espace s'emboite parfaitement aux usages qu'on souhaite en faire. L'idée daffordance s'applique bien pour qualifier les espaces d'apprentissage. Les nouveaux espaces s'intéressent de plus en plus aux effets produits sur les apprentissages.

5 initiatives pour repenser l’espace d’apprentissage Bureau, estrade, tableau noir ; et si on sortait un peu de la salle de classe traditionnelle ? Ça tombe bien, c’est ce qu’une partie de la communauté pédagogique mondiale a en tête ! Rivalisant d’idées originales, ces formateurs imaginent les “salles de classe du futur”, faisant la part belle aux nouvelles technologies et au besoin des élèves d’apprendre autrement, avec plus d’interactivité, d’échange… et de confort, dans tous les sens du terme. Sydologie a sélectionné pour vous cinq initiatives intéressantes. 1/ L’école sans aucune salle de classe, à Stockholm Le groupe Vittra, qui gère une trentaine d’écoles en Suède, a sans doute créé à Stockholm le paradis de la modulation des espaces d’apprentissage. 2/ L’école aux rocking-chairs, à Lakeside (Pennsylvanie) Il arrive que les élèves soient stressés, agités, tendus. 3/ Les PECT, comme à Angers-Paris 4/ L’école design, à Londres Parfois, la modulation de l’espace pédagogique rencontre le design et la créativité architecturale.

Mix It Up! Authentic Activities for the World Language Classroom Do you ever feel stuck in a rut while planning your language classes? Perhaps you spend a lot of time lecturing at the white board, use the same activities with different vocabulary for every unit, or rely on teaching students grammar because that's how you were taught. No matter your "go to" activity, we are all much more engaging when we vary our activities and make them relatable. If the speaker is engaging, a good lecture every now and then is enjoyable. However, when faced with daily lectures, students dread class, and hence, learn less. So why not mix it up? When dreaming up new activities, our main focus should always be authenticity. In a previous Edutopia post, I outlined how to best shape a unit around communication. Interpretive Mode Read children’s stories. Interpersonal Mode Engage your students in these activities: Sign a contract on the first day of school promising to use only the target language within your classroom walls. Presentational Mode Have students do these:

The Science of Classroom Design [Infographic] - Blog | USC Rossier Online Studies show that the quality of your classroom environment is a significant determinant of student learning. Classrooms that are painted with color, lighted with full-spectrum lighting, and devoid of visual noise result in improved academic performance and decreased disruptive, off-task behavior. The following infographic was created by USC Rossier Online, the online master of arts in teaching degree offered through the Rossier School of Education at University of Southern California, to help teachers, parents and school administrators understand the power of brain-friendly learning environments The Science of Classroom Design [Full Size Here] Brought to you by USC Rossier's Masters of Arts (MAT) Online Teaching Degree Embed this graphic on your site:

8 Tips and Tricks to Redesign Your Classroom Editor's Note: Author David Bill is a designer and educator who consulted with The Third Teacher+ on the Remake Your Class project highlighted in the videos below. The tips in this post go along with the companion video. We are excited by the simplicity (and low price tag!) of this great redesign. If you're thinking of completing your own classroom remake project, good for you. The tips below can be used for smaller scale remakes right way. Whether you are looking to reorganize one corner or redesign the entire room, here are eight tips that may help you throughout the process. 1. Students are your primary users and should be at the center of such a remake process. Create Visual Inspiration Ask parents, colleagues or friends to donate a variety of appropriate magazines. Digitally, you can utilize Pinterest as a way for to create a "board" of inspiration. Students Define Pain Points Is there anything unsatisfying about the present setup? 10x10x10 Student Helpers 2. Word Association 3. 4. 5.

Tips for Creating Wow-Worthy Learning Spaces "Look at your learning space with 21st-century eyes: Does it work for what we know about learning today, or just for what we knew about learning in the past?” -The Third Teacher Does your classroom mirror the rectilinear seating arrangement popular in Sumerian classrooms, circa 2000 BCE? The Basics To rethink your student seating arrangement, use Kaplan's floorplanner and try out with names like lasso, the robot, and the big x. Flexibility: Students should be able to easily transition to functional spaces, such as a class library, literacy center, computer area, stage, reading nook, etc. Also, your classroom walls are important learning real estate -- spaces to fill with content-related murals, posters, banners, whiteboards, and bulletin boards. Make Sure Bulletin Boards Are Teaching Tools My first classroom bulletin board featured a hundred hand-colored carp. Consider creating a graphic organizer on a bulletin board in front of students while introducing a new concept. Perhaps not.