How do you start to innovate in your Learning Spaces?

How do you start to innovate in your Learning Spaces?

It has been really interesting to read back through notes taken while listening to Sir Ken Robinson speak at EduTech last month. Sir Ken discussed education with his usual humorous and common-sense approach, exploring its constantly evolving nature. He reminded us that “education is not a static system, that it is constantly progressing, changing, shifting. Constantly.” Our current system of improvement and problem solving is very reactive and we need to get to a point where improvements and changes are more proactive, we need a really accurate sense of what our problems are NOW, what is not working and then use that to create a vision of what things would or should look like. And we need to be correcting the right problems – solving the wrong problems can, in fact, create new ones. And can cost a fortune.

Loretto Mandeville Hall senior area where students needed space to study, for quiet time and for breaks.

Change is necessary, it happens whether we like it or not. And grass-roots change happens when culture shifts – it happens at ground level. Our education system is incredibly complex involving millions of people, organisations and agencies – however it does change and adapt, and it does so dynamically when culture shifts. Our education culture shifted when we settled into classrooms, with desks lined up, a teacher out the front and bells to tell us when to have a break or move on to the next subject. This cells and bells culture has been firmly entrenched for decades and we are now experiencing the effects of this one-size-fits-all approach. Research now proves undeniably that we all learn differently, and each require different approaches and environments to learn the same information. The whole purpose of schooling is to create environments where learning is embedded, where learning happens automatically. We are learning a lot about learning as it happens.

Innovative Learning Environments (ILE) and outdoor education spaces are carefully designed to enable our Australian love of fresh air and natural light to continue safely. There is strong evidence suggesting that these spaces have a value that reaches much further than enjoyment and recreation. Outdoor education creates opportunities to teach self-reliance, interdependence and leadership, they can merge seamlessly with your more traditional classroom and learning areas. Loretto Mandeville Hall in Toorak needed an outdoor space where their senior students could have outdoor lessons with 100% UV protection, they had to provide heating for their cooler climate, they needed lighting for night time events and their students needed a comfortable and welcoming break out space. We were able to work together with them to create the award winning space pictured which ticked all the boxes for work and play, and where the students love going.

Do you have an area in your school, an underused space with the potential to become an innovative learning space that could offer a solution to a challenge for your teachers and students? If you are unsure how to start, Greenline can help, working our design around existing infrastructure, and taking all needs into consideration. Talk to us about your requirements, we’ll start with helping you solve the right problems to achieve innovation in your learning environment.

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