by Roger Schultz, Head of School
Does the design of learning spaces affect the way that learning can best take place and if so, why?
Modern learning spaces are being designed to be flexible and versatile with mobile and adaptable furniture, supporting and encouraging different ways of learning and teaching and enabling collaboration and encouraging communication and teamwork. Access to information through the internet, digital technologies and social media are altering the experiences and aspirations of learners and their teachers.
Pedagogy, technology and space, carefully considered and integrated, are defining new learning spaces in schools. There is less direct instruction, with teachers adopting and developing constructivist teaching pedagogies, the “sage on the stage” giving way to the “guide on the side.” Classrooms and their surrounds support teachers moving among students to provide real-time feedback and direction and to support students in peer-to-peer learning.
The use of space can impact learning and teaching. Interactive pedagogies require spaces where ease of communication and the capacity to work with others face to face or online are fundamental features of design. Everyone should be able to see, connect, engage and interact and have choice. Ensuring that physical space, furniture and technology can readily adapt to pedagogies and learning preferences creates a more active and engaging experience for learners and teachers.
In school design, a new classroom paradigm is guiding the development of learning spaces for facilities for different ages, ensuring that physical space, furniture and technology can readily adapt to pedagogies and learning preferences and create a more active and engaging experience for students and teachers.