Research Trip to Europe: Learning Spaces
Over the next fortnight I am very fortunate to be travelling
around Europe investigating learning spaces, with the aim of bringing back
ideas for our own school.
We recently opened the SCIL building - http://scil.nsw.edu.au/scil-building/,
a learning space with no walls, room for 100+ students, and no front.
This space will need reframing / refiguring / renewing over
the coming years. It needs to turn into something new, just
like we are constantly turning into someone new. If you stay
still, you stagnate. This is the challenge of schools. So much
baggage in our notions of what ‘schooling’ is.
We’re hoping to renew all our school buildings. We’re
getting rid of walls wherever we can.
Instead of classrooms, plazas.
What language or frameworks could we use to redefine our
learning spaces? I’ve already blogged at length about the classroom as a
Could school become a shopping centre? Students browsing for
lessons? A class as a market? A stock exchange, where the stock are ideas,
rising and falling in the student discourse while alternate perspectives are
considered? A battlefield of ideas?
A hospital for the disenfranchised? A playground? A museum?
And by all means, a military academy, where the highest
possible expectations exert pressure on young people to find the best in
themselves. Don’t throw out old-school!
I would blabber for longer if I didn’t have to leave
in 10 minutes for the airport!
I’ll try to blog whenever I can get a wireless connection
and throw more thoughts together. The itinerary is intense. From Goteborg to
Nordborg, Copenhagen to Paris and London, I’ll post photos and
philosophies here, as we visit learning spaces that AREN’T schools. La
Cité des Sciences. The Creativity Centre. Orested Gymnasium. London
Sorry I have to go now! Follow the adventure on www.twitter.com/steve_collis ,
and subscribe to my blog (see link on right hand side of the page) to receive
reflections, interviews, photos, and so on as we travel.
I’d love to hear your own thoughts in the comments
section, especially about the assumptions, images, and language we have about
what learning spaces even ARE!