Learning Spaces

Our Places | Learning Spaces

What are Learning Spaces?
Why do we need to “Get Creative” with Learning Spaces?
How do we “Get Creative” with Learning Spaces?
Who could “Get Creative” with Learning Spaces?
Where are our Learning Spaces in Christchurch?
Learning Spaces Links

What are Learning Spaces?
“Learning space or learning setting refers to a physical setting for a learning environment, a place in which teaching and learning occur. The term is commonly used as a more definitive alternative to “classroom,” but it may also refer to an indoor or outdoor location, either actual or virtual. Learning spaces are highly diverse in use, learning styles, configuration, location, and educational institution. They support a variety of pedagogies, including quiet study, passive or active learning, kinesthetic or physical learning, vocational learning, experiential learning, and others.”

“Empower students in a collaborative, flexible learning environment. Creating active, flexible learning spaces is often associated with modern designs and stylish furniture. But changing the mindsets of teachers and students is the most crucial element of flexible learning environments.
The ultimate goal is a student-centered classroom where the teacher acts as a facilitator, not a lecturer. This transformation doesn’t happen overnight, nor does it happen in a vacuum. It is a process that involves numerous stakeholders, resources, time and creativity.”

Why do we need to “Get Creative” with Learning Spaces?
“Are Flexible Learning Spaces the Future of Education? ‘It’s not just what you learn, but also where you learn.’
Most schools think about flexible classrooms as spaces where all of the furniture is on casters. Rolling furniture has become the proxy for the word ‘flexibility’. But what happens when you need to change the walls, the tech, the tools students use, the look and feel of the space? For a great learning space, you have to consider acoustics, color, light, layout, materials, interactivity, graphics, inspiration, technology, and so much more. Putting furniture on wheels and calling the classroom ‘flexible’ is not the answer. That’s a fraction of what makes a learning space.
The tools and hardware that students will need in a decade or two will be radically different from what they need today, and new learning spaces need to be designed to be open to new possibilities and ways of learning.”

“The Changing Face Of Learning Spaces:
Contemporary education is more dynamic, engaging and student-centered.
New generations require new ways of teaching and learning and adaptability is key.”

“The Need To Innovate Learning Environments: Schools need to drive a shift from a world where knowledge that is stacked up somewhere depreciating rapidly in value towards a world in which the enriching power of communication and collaborative flows is increasing.”

How do we “Get Creative” with Learning Spaces?
“State schools must follow the NZ National Curriculum, but are free to determine their own educational vision and translate this into how teaching and learning takes place within its facilities.
Extensive research has proven that students learn best when they are:
1. actively involved in decision making
2. initiating learning
3. collaborating together
4. making connections within and across learning areas.
New teaching approaches have evolved from this knowledge. Traditional approaches to teaching and learning are no longer enough on their own to give children the best education to prepare them for life. Along with strong foundations in reading, writing, mathematics and other learning areas, young people need other skills such as digital fluency, complex problem-solving and the ability to work with others both in person and virtually.”

“The OECD’s work is based on a strong foundation of research and aligns very closely with the NZ National Curriculum. OECD recommends seven principles for innovative learning:
1. Make learning central, encourage engagement, and be where learners come to understand themselves as learners.
2. Ensure that learning is social and often collaborative.
3. Be highly attuned to learners’ motivations and the importance of emotions.
4. Be acutely sensitive to individual differences including prior knowledge.
5. Be demanding for each learner but without excessive overload
6. Use assessments consistent with these aims, with strong emphasis on formative feedback.
7. Promote horizontal connectedness across learning activities and subjects, in and out of school.”

“A flexible learning space has the right acoustics, lighting, technology, heating and air quality to support learning. The spaces can be easily configured and used in a number of different ways to support and enable a range of teaching and learning approaches on any given day or at any time of the day. They can support single teacher whole ‘class’ teaching practice, and can adapt to a broader range of teaching and learning practices and groupings as a school’s education practices evolve over time.”

Who could “Get Creative” with Learning Spaces?
“The National Curriculum makes it clear that education in New Zealand puts learners at the centre of teaching and learning, asserting that they should experience a curriculum that engages and challenges them, is forward-looking and inclusive, and affirms New Zealand’s unique identity.
The National Curriculum further establishes that learners will be encouraged to value:
1. Excellence by aiming high and by persevering in the face of difficulties.
2. Innovation, inquiry, and curiosity by thinking critically, creatively, and reflectively.
3. Diversity as found in our different cultures, languages, and heritages.
4. Equity through fairness and social justice.
5. Community and participation for the common good.
6. Ecological sustainability which includes care for the environment.
7. Integrity which involves being honest, responsible, and accountable and acting ethically, and
8. Respect for themselves, others, and human rights.”

Our learning doesn’t stop at our school/polytech/university gates.
We need to provide more opportunities in our communities to reinforce the above values, through our libraries and community centres.

We need to “Get Creative” in the ways we include these groups of people in our community, so that they feel included and not excluded:
WINZ, Housing NZ, Probation Services, Immigration, Disabilities, Mental Health & Addictions.

We have an aging population, when you retire your ‘working’ life may be over, but you have a wealth of work/life experience that you could share with others in the community through Skills Share at your local library/community centre.

We have artists that create artworks for local/overseas galleries.
We have craftspeople that create crafts for Encraftment Market, Pay It Forward, www.felt.co.nz and other markets.
We have entrepreneurs/innovators that work from home on their startups/ideas.
What seminars/guest speakers/learning/networking could be provided for these groups through the Learning Spaces in our libraries/community centres?

Where are our Learning Spaces in Christchurch?
Our Learning Spaces are our schools, polytechnics and universities, for primary to tertiary education.

Q. Where do we go for continued learning?
A. Our libraries, community centres, adult and community education at some high schools.

“Community Connections for Adults
These courses provide individuals and groups with hands-on skills in using information and communication technologies to support lifelong learning, and encourage community connectedness. Devices include iPads, Android and Smart phones.”

“Lynda.com (Library Card Required).
Video library of courses and tutorials on software, technology, creative and business skills designed and taught by recognised industry experts.”

Learning Spaces Links
https://christchurch.bibliocommons.com/item/show/733424037 Make Space Book