The initiative of the Innovative Educational Environments (Ambientes Educativos Inovadores) or also known as future classrooms (Salas de Aula do Futuro, SAF), has grown tremendously in Portugal, all in a bottom-up movement. Schools are interested and eager to change their classroom methodologies, and find in these innovative environments a lever to support these changes. After the appearance of the first room in Setúbal, inspired by the European Schoolnet's Future Classroom Lab, other schools began to create their own space. At this moment in Portugal there are 32 Learning Spaces, and the tendency is this number to grow in a high way during this school year 2017-2018.
The future classrooms appear as an answer to some problems that schools have identified, for instance, student demotivation, problems with school achievement, etc. Carlos Cunha, a teacher from Sétubal, visited the Future Classroom Lab in Brussels, and soon after this he created the first Portuguese future classroom in his school in 2014. After that, more schools adopted the idea and started creating their own future classrooms.
During this time, DGE (the Portuguese Directorate-General for Education) started receiving requests of support, especially with the pedagogical conceptualisation of the future classrooms through meetings and training. This way, DGE started to monitor the appearance of the future classrooms and provide requested support. DGE has organised a number of events, e.g. Pedagogical Days, focusing on new learning spaces and new teaching methodologies within them.
Today, there are 32 future classrooms in Portugal (completed or being created) embedded in schools of all levels of education, from 1st to 12th year of schooling. Each one is unique and has its own approach depending on the selected focus and needs of the school. For example, the Alcanena School Cluster has a Snoezelen area, while the Rio Maior School Cluster has put its focus on robotics, the Barreiro School Cluster in programming and the SAF in Setubal in physics.
Some of the Portuguese future classrooms are described on the FCL website:
- Sala de Aula do Futuro (PT)
- Future Teacher Education Lab (PT)
- Sala do futuro e Laboratório de aprendizagem e multimédia (PT)
- CFAE Centro-Oeste Digital Training Classroom (PT)
- EduFor Innov@tive Classroom Lab (PT)
- Learning Lab (PT)
- Future Work Lab (PT)
- AE de Atouguia da Baleia (PT)
- Laboratório de Inovação e Aprendizagem (PT)
Find the complete list of the Portuguese future classrooms on the DGE website.
Direção-Geral da Educação - Directorate-General for Education
Av. 24 de Julho, n.º 140
1399-025 Lisboa, Portugal