'A' Teacher Space or a Learner Place? Reconsidering the Classroom Environment

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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
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Teacher Space or a Learner Place?, “A”


Dr. William L. Chandler

Professor of, Art Education
Curriculum and Instruction, University of Wisconsin

Whitewater, Wisconsin, USA

I am the coordinator of Art Education for my University. I teach in areas of Art Education and Alternative Educational Settings. I participate in a number of standing committees in and for my department, including Curriculum, Master's Degree Planning Task Force. I have most recently been nominated and appointed to my University's Teacher Scholar Program. External to my employment I am a member of my local constituencies Architectural Review Board. Additionally I have been appointed to the Board of Directors of Lutheran Special Schools and Educational Services, a private non-profit agency that provides educational services to learners with special needs. I am a walker and (by hobby) and have walked a number of pilgrimage walks including the Camino to Santiago in Spain and the Canterbury Pilgrimage in England.

Ref: L09P0273