How to better design the space for nowadays required learning? New publication is out


29/11/2019

Policymakers, school leaders, teachers and all stakeholders looking forward to spaces better supporting needs of students and teachers are concerned with two main questions: how to design such spaces? Once built, how do we know those spaces are indeed conducive to better learning in practice?

The new issue of the European Schoolnet's Perspectives Series, "Designing educational buildings and classrooms for learning", sheds light on the relationship between the learning space and the way student learn and teachers interact.

Summarizing the main findings from research and practice, the analysis goes deeper and pays attention on some key points.

First, it is important to plan or to implement an alignment between the curriculum (to be understood in its broad sense) and the design of the physical learning spaces. This activity has to be supported in parallel by training actions targeting teachers about how to use the new spaces. A lack of such alignment often leads to newly built educational spaces reflecting old ideas about education.

Then, how to measure the specific impact of the space? Simply capturing learning outcomes is a challenge. It is important to define precisely and realistically what is meant by "student learning" and pay attention that other characteristics – such as school culture or teacher competences – which can influence the results.

More generally a key element to sustain innovation and improvement of student learning is sustaining teacher, community and student voice through participatory design and embedding participation into everyday practice and decision making.

European Schoolnet has been planning a research programme on innovative learning spaces and will launch it in early-2020, in collaboration with learning labs inspired by the Future Classroom Lab created across Europe.

Read the full paper here: Designing educational buildings and classrooms for learning

Read other issues of the Perspective Series here.

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