Image: Ørestad College Denmark, 3XN
The landscape of teaching and learning is changing at a more rapid pace than ever before. The way we interact with our peers, share information, carry out research, create knowledge, build understanding and develop skills has shifted dramatically in the last 10 years and continues to change. As such, our relationship with these learning activities is often filtered through a technological interface that frees us to learn and teach independently of time, place and paper. This is creating challenges and opportunities for our schools and universities which prompts us to ask:
- Do we really need 'spaces' for learning?
- And if so, where do we start?
Do we really need 'spaces' for learning?
The true answer to that first question is that we don’t need space 'per se' to learn (which explains the explosion of distance learning). However, there is an increased awareness of the value of person-to-person, face-to-face interactions of teacher and student and student to student. Which is based on the belief that people inspire other people to learn and because people exist in space, we need spaces for learning.
Activity Based Learning (ABL), like Activity Based Working, is a philosophy that seeks to align space, technology and behaviours we want to see with the desired teaching and learning approach. Creating an opportunity for the education sector to inspire pupils to innovate and create in ways they haven't been able to before, in preparation for the changing world of work. We see this happening in Australia as we work with educators to test the application of more flexible models of teaching and learning, such as ABL, in secondary schools. We are now seeing schools consider how improvements to their campus can support new ways of teaching and learning, in the same way that organisations are using their workplace projects to shift their culture.Where do we start?
An opportunity would be to use your next building project as a tool, to enable innovation in your teaching and learning model. We believe every journey of change starts with an important process of building awareness and desire. So here are the first 3 questions you can ask yourself to start you on your way:
- What are some of the challenges that your school is facing in the next 5-10 years? And how might these impact on your teaching and learning approach?
- How can your campus' built environment be improved to address these challenges and/or enable your teaching and learning vision?
- Is there consensus on what the new way of teaching and learning means for teachers and students?
Considering how quickly the landscape of learning and work is changing, educators are increasingly looking at how space and pedagogy can be aligned to create a more connected approach to learning and a more inspired group of graduates entering the workforce of the future.
If this has prompted you to think how your school or university could redefine how it approaches teaching and learning, contact me on +61 419 231 572.
Alternatively you can read more about how we recently helped Scots College Sydney innovate their science teaching spaces, to create the first Activity Based Learning project in Australia. Simply click here for more.
Join in the conversation with us, and let us know what you think below...