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Learning Spaces Design: Creating Spaces That Work for Kids

Future Ready Schools Creating Spaces That Work for Kids


Learning Spaces Design:
Creating Spaces That Work for Kids

Pamela Moran
, EdD, Superintendent, Albemarle County Public Schools (VA)
Tom Murray, Director of State and District Digital Learning, Alliance for Excellent Education

On December 3, 2015 Future Ready Schools held a webinar as part of its Leadership Network, a one-stop shop of professional learning opportunities for school leaders. This Google Hangout explored the need for schools to transform learning spaces to better meet the needs of today’s learners.

Side-by-side images of classrooms from both 1915 and 2015 yield eerie similarities, even after 100 years of life-changing research and innovation. During the industrial era where students were trained to work in factories, “career readiness” meant preparing for jobs where a worker would spend hours every day performing the same task, often spending his/her entire career at the same company.

The one-size-fits-all, sit-and-get instructional model—where the ability to regurgitate was the key to success—was a sufficient paradigm for that world of work. But that world of work no longer exists in the United States. With such changes, the need to redesign students’ learning spaces becomes not simply an idea from the latest Pinterest board but one of necessity. How can schools and classrooms transform from an industrial-era model yielding teacher-centric classrooms with desks in rows and students facing forward, to learning spaces that are student-centered, personalized, and leverage the power of technology?

Superintendent of the Year, Pamela Moran, shared her district’s experience in transforming learning spaces and how these changes have impacted teaching, student learning, and district culture.

Future Ready Schools is a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Education and the Alliance for Excellent Education, a Washington, DC–based national policy and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that all students, particularly those traditionally underserved, graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship.

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Categories: Future Ready

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