Happy Steve

Innovation and Learning

Start with clarity of intent.

Now build it out with an evocative vision. Improvise progress by tinkering: with lots of trial and lots of error. The not knowing is the best bit: the mysteries the surprises, and from time to time the windfalls! 

Hello there, I'm Steve Collis! 

Click on "contact", won't you, and wave right back at me?

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?

A laboratory?


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

Science Museum...


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!