Active Learning Blog

Active learning blog

The Active Learning Blog created by the Novigado project focuses on active learning, innovative learning spaces and integration of ICT in present and future classrooms and schools. In this blog we will read stories written by the project partners, Future Classroom Ambassadors, FCL network labs, teacher trainers, invited experts, etc. If you would like to submit a story to be published, please send it to



Redefining schools’ space design for thriving teachers

The 21st-century classroom benefits learning through an innovative and flexible design, moving from a teacher-centered to a student-centered space. However, in classroom design, we often focus on students’ needs. Isn’t it about time to consider how can teachers thrive in their classrooms, too? This is what Lennie Scott-Webber ponders in her recent article, which has inspired us for this blog article!

Learning space designers need to start with the following questions:

What places are currently provided for educators only?
What is/was their intention?
How are they currently being utilized, if at all?

Other questions like: What type of spaces do you need for: yourself, one-on-one with students or parents, preparation/assessment, work with colleagues? might help educators become aware of other needs that they might have, for example working collaboratively across departments.

As Lennie Scott-Webber states, the “Work of Pedagogy” (see diagram below) is multi-faceted and we need to understand its full spectrum for benefiting both teachers and students. From the students’ perspective, learning space designers need to understand that there are no boundaries in learning, it can happen everywhere whether onsite or online, anytime, morning or afternoon and anyhow through multiple sensory inputs. Therefore, this experience count for learners is what keeps them engaged and motivated.

On the other hand, designers should also keep in mind that the school is where the teacher goes to work every day, every month, every year. The students move through the system and eventually out of it. The teachers don’t. The 21st century shift means the design needs to support the work of pedagogy and what teachers need to do that work, collectively and individually across several types of scales for the work types, work needs, and human needs.

For that reason, Lennie Scott-Webber wisely proposed the idea of applying the workplace model into the education-place. In particular, she developed a diagram in which the 5 Work modes: to (1) Focus, (2) Socialize, (3) Collaborate, (4) Create and (5) Rejuvenate are applied into the educational environment to support productive and psychological comfort.

The Work of Pedagogy, retrieved from What Design Forgot: What Happens When 'My Classroom' Goes Away? - Essentials Magazine (

In the diagram above these 5 Work modes are incorporated in the four aspects of working as an educator, and each is better served with functional space:

  • School & Community
  • Teach and Learn
  • Prepare and Assess
  • Create and Collaborate.

There is also need for the ‘me’ and ‘us’, which are indicated in the two-by-two matrix, as well as ‘private’ and public’ time. For educators to thrive, it is essential that the work of pedagogy has places to support all these multifunctional needs.

In her article, Lennie-Scott Webber focuses on how users and designers might think about these places and shares some insights/guidelines for thinking about the ‘work of pedagogy’ aiming at advancing all types of work, work needs and collaboration needs. As a concluding remark, the article wants to ensure that educators are aware of the opportunities that spatial designs may offer in support of these well-defined work needs. Read Lennie-Scott Webber’s original article here.


Scott- Webber, L. (2019). What Design Forgot: What Happens When “My Classroom” Goes Away? Essentials.Edmarket.Org.

Key Info

  • Funding: Erasmus+ Programme Key Action 2 (School Education - Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices)
  • Start time: 01-12-2019
  • Duration: 30 months
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Erasmus+ Programme (funded with the support by)

The Novigado project is funded with support from the European Commission's Erasmus+ Programme. This publication/website reflects the views only of the author, and the EC cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.