Classrooms of the future, here today.23 August 2017
Embarking on the construction of additional classrooms to meet its growing Middle and Senior School student intake, Peace Lutheran College took the initiative to think outside the ‘general learning area classroom’ style spaces and instead embrace the challenge of “how do we best design a space for the learning we wish to impart?”
A project team of teachers was formed and they set about visiting contemporary learning spaces of those that have been utilised in Brisbane schools and universities with the objective to identify elements that could be adapted to its school environment, as well as help the College prepare its students for necessary thinking skills for university.
This agile learning space is specifically designed to integrate digital technologies and promote collaborative learning. It is about offering flexibility to meet students’ preferred approach to learning, empowering students to make choices regarding the environment to learn within. The room is designed to be used as one open space, where classes are combined, but work in small collaborative groups. The teachers adopt a team approach to teaching, taking on roles in the room and working co-operatively to achieve learning outcomes.
All furniture was specifically chosen to allow flexibility for students, including standing and seated tables, whiteboard-top tables for recording of ideas and booths that are almost lounge room style. Students are encouraged to be agile, move around the room, work with others and in an area that is comfortable for them. As collaboration is a key focus area, all table tops are designed to be written on. The room, like the rest of the campus is fully wireless and students can also project their work from iPads to an LCD TV, or all four LCD TVs across the room.
The student feedback to this new style of learning space has been extremely positive, with students reporting greater engagement with learning since its introduction. In addition, they are better utilising digital technologies in this space compared to other classroom styles and are working more productively in group-work situations. Overall, this shift to embrace global thinking in terms of working and learning environments, has had a very positive affect on the learning outcomes of the College’s students.