'A' Teacher Space or a Learner Place? Reconsidering the Classroom Environment
The ways that schools are currently envisioned and designed are consistent with ideas and norms that have existed for centuries. Educational spaces continue to be a collection of classrooms lining a common hallway. While these spaces might now regularly include the latest in electronic gadgetry and Internet connections, they are not designed or organized in ways needed to meaningfully engage learners. Callously, one might state that classrooms are more intended to house learners, like so much livestock, rather than provide these learners with innovative ways to connect to whatever topics under consideration. Moreover in this enduring state of educational architecture it can be construed that schools and classrooms are more teacher workspaces than they are student learning-places. This presentation will propose investigating a broad collection of formal and informal settings in which learning happens, and that in the diversity of museums, alternative schools, and supermarkets it will be possible to identify methods that foster students’ exploration, invention and creative expression. It will be further proposed that when schools adapt and adopt such means classrooms can be converted to more authentically endorse and enhance meaningful learning.
Keywords: Learning Environments, Formal and Informal Learning, Educational Reform
Dr. William L. Chandler
Professor of, Art Education