ECO Friendly Design

Designing for change

Northern Beaches Christian School in Sydney is fast gathering a global reputation for truly recognising how innovative learning spaces can support changing teaching practices. We asked Anne Knock of the Sydney Centre for Innovation in Learning to explain how they got to where they are.

I love seeing photos of cool learning spaces with funky furniture. They can be captivating and inspiring, yet the question remains, ‘Are these new learning environments changing the way we teach?’ New spaces require educators to implement new pedagogical approaches. Many schools are looking at the classroom through a 21st century lens, they are rethinking the traditional ‘egg crate’ model with desks in rows and the classroom with an obvious ‘front’, where the predominant model is the didactic, pedagogical approach. Sometimes we gain inspiration from the modern workplace, such as the offices of Google or Microsoft and understand the way that the world works, thinks and learns may also have a bearing on the way we organise the classroom. In 2017, when our young people need to develop adaptive skills of connection and collaboration, it seems incongruous to enclose learning in single cells, organised in rigid rows. 

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