Facilities for Next Generation Learners

When it comes to next generation learning, facilities have a unique ability to promote educational delivery. How do educators begin to create a learning environment that will serve the students of today? Key qualities of next generation facilities are: Relationship building, intentional positioning of people and purpose to create strong connections.  Strategies include: Small Learning...

Date

May 3, 2016

When it comes to next generation learning, facilities have a unique ability to promote educational delivery. How do educators begin to create a learning environment that will serve the students of today? Key qualities of next generation facilities are:

  • Relationship building, intentional positioning of people and purpose to create strong connections.  Strategies include:
    • Small Learning Communities
    • Teacher Collaboration Centers
    • Distributed leadership and guidance
    • Looping of teachers with students
  • Personalized/student-centered learning, empowering the multiple intelligences of the student as worker with the right tools for learning
  • Brain-based furniture, designed for movement, individual learning preferences, and personal fit
  • Variety of spaces to support multiple learning modalities, since different students learn best in different ways and effective educational delivery needs purposeful environments.  These include:
    • Reflective spaces, collaborative spaces, performance spaces
    • Small group, large group spaces
    • Technology rich spaces
  • Flexible platforms for continued change, including:
    • Agile school organizational structures (departmental, thematic, Small Learning Communities) without physical change, and often simultaneously
    • Agile spaces for learning, with multiple connections and possible interpretations
  • Interdisciplinary connections supported through strategic positioning of functions
  • Foster communication and collaboration:
    • Team teaching spaces for two, three or four synchronous teachers
    • Teacher planning centers, small group rooms
  • Support active/applied learning with technology and places to make things
  • Make learning visible through visual connections and display of student work
  • Collaboration and communication: strategic positioning of teachers to stimulate working together
  • Expression of the school’s enduring signature through the architecture to foster continued identity and spirit

These facilities strategies may prescribe the end of the classroom as we know it today, or certainly the end of the school buildings as we know them today.  Empowered next generation learning demands these strategies, and our children deserve them!