Opening up thinking about education today for tomorrow - Imagining possibilities and solutions

Monday, February 16, 2009

Playing Spaces, Learning Spaces

I love FutureLab! I always enjoying getting their newsletter. The February 2009 Newsletter linked through to a presentation by Tim Rudd (photo left) on Re-imagining the design of outdoor play and learning spaces.

Whilst the presentation is about 43 minutes in length, it is well worth having a look at. The screen shot below is linked to the presentation.



The presentation explores the link between school design and personalisation. The challenge is put forward that school design requires visioning and thinking differently.

I think this is particularly pertinent with the recent announcement (4 February, 2009) by the Australian Government to fund 7,700 primary schools to construct or upgrade buildings.

There is a danger that we set about building the same style of buildings that will not serve us well into the future.

Tim Rudd from FutureLab puts forward the challenge to place children at the centre of the design process and to involve children as co-designers.

In the presentation a number of questions are posed that got me thinking - no answers - just lots of thoughts!
  • Should we be even thinking in terms of "school"?

  • How do you actually think of a school as a learning community?

  • How are children involved in the co-design of learning spaces?

  • Do our environments really constitute areas that really stimulate people and get them to think and relax and play as well?
He argues that in building schools there has been a lack of emphasis on outdoor learning spaces

"because it’s building schools and everybody automatically starts to think about the structure."

He believes that outdoor spaces in schools are often under-utilised and often unimaginative.

In developing outdoor learning spaces he explores the place of technologies (handheld and projection technologies) and the possibilities for developing sensory environments.

FutureLab have also published a handbook, Reimagining outdoor learning spaces which maybe of interest.

1 comment:

Mark Walker said...

Your post and its links to future lab are interesting however some things like personalisation and space can be over played. For me my current thoughts are that personalisation means the teacher knows the needs of individuals and then structures teaching groups and tasks that require both explicit teaching and deeper levels of thinking. Having just built some of these flexible spaces we are now challenged with environmental design elements: e.g in a writing workshop students needs to be scaffolded with word walls - who uses them and how and what are the implications for learning in flexible spaces? It's an interetsing topic.

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