Teachers and Students: Creating a Place for Learning

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                             Source: http://www.scil.com.au

In his blog, “A Place for Learning: The Physical Environment of Classrooms”, Mark Phillips shares his insights as he assists a young teacher working with her class to create a new and more stimulating classroom learning environment.

For the full story, http://www.edutopia.org/blog/the-physical-environment-of-classrooms-mark-phillips.

As Mark suggested, there are a couple of lessons from this story:

  1. The physical structure of a classroom is a critical variable in effecting student morale and learning.
  2. Students’ involvement in the process of creating their environment can empower them, develop community and increase motivation.

Mark recommends the following resources to help teachers take classroom design ideas further:

  • One of the best is The Third Teacher, a collaborative work from Abrams Books.
  • The Classroom Design page of the Behavior Advisor site is a rich resource for guiding options on arranging classrooms.
  • Classroom Desk Arrangement, while a bit less easy to follow, is also filled with rich ideas.
  • For more general direction from the University of North Carolina School of Education, Kristi Smith’s 12 rules are a quick, useful guide to things you need to think about.
  • Scott Doorley and Scott Witthoft’s Make Space: How to Set the Stage for Creative Collaboration is more generally focused, but educators can find many creative ideas for physical environments that maximize participant cooperation and creativity.

I can also highly recommend these resources:

*  Nair, P and Fielding, R. (2007). The Language of School Design. Design Patterns for 21st Century Schools. DesignShare.com.

*Newton, C and Fisher, K. (2009). Take 8 Learning Spaces The transformation of educational spaces for the 21st century. ACT. Australian Institute of Architects.

* Harrison, A and Hutton, L. (2014). Design for the Changing Educational Landscape. Abingdon, Oxon and NY. Routledge.

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