I worked for 40 years in K-12 education as a math teacher, principal, and CIA (curriculum, instruction, and assessment) Director. All of my work in K-12 was in Nebraska. I am currently an Associate Professor and Chair of the Educational Administration Department at the University of Nebraska Kearney (UNK). At UNK, all of our coursework is delivered in an online format.
Great point, Dan, about how to get faculty to use space in a particular way. My thoughts are that most schools are designed as a series of boxes down long hallways. Each "box" is designed for the teacher to stand in front of the class and deliver knowledge as the students politely listen. I know I am over generalizing here, but this is true more than we might want to believe or admit. If we believe that learning should be active and visible, does this model of "box" classrooms work for engaging students in collaborative work where they are able to demonstrate their learning? I think spaces in schools needs to flexible in terms of size, layout, etc. The spaces should be designed to support student learning, not teaching.
So, as a consequence, we need to work with teachers and principals to incorporate pedagogy that encourages active and engaged student learning. Once teachers experience the effects of student centered learning in their classrooms, they will begin asking for spaces that are designed differently and offer flexibility to the teachers and learners. If we continue to support teaching where the teacher "stands and delivers" for the majority of the time, it will be difficult for folks to see any need for change. In the "stand and deliver" model, boxes work very well!
I think Britta's examples of IN1 and IN2 are right on target! Shouldn't we be providing spaces like these in all of our schools? Just my thoughts!
Awesome idea! I agree that labs need to go. However, I think we need a larger discussion about the use of space in schools. Are there spaces that might be able to be configured in a variety of ways to meet a number of purposes to promote innovation, collaboration, and sharing? What types of furniture do we need for these spaces? Just some things to think about!