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A Journey Through Learning Spaces

A Journey Through Learning Spaces

Chelsea Brennan

on 21 September 2014

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Transcript of A Journey Through Learning Spaces

A Journey Through Learning Spaces
By Chelsea Brennan
Heads up...
This presentation will take you through a short, but explicit journey through learning spaces.
Along the journey there will be five key learning space destinations:

The classroom and the school;

Beyond the classroom;

The electronic learning space;

The individual learning space;
The group learning space.

Each learning space destination will explore and focus on:

The physical elements of each space;
How each space influences the curriculum and pedagogy, and
The role of the teacher and students in each space.
So how is the study of learning spaces relevant
to you as a teacher?
Isn’t it the principal’s responsibility?
Sit back and think for a moment…
Ask yourself…
What did you do in class today? This week?

Think about the space(s) you used and why?
Think back to the beginning of the year…

How did you set up your classroom? Why? Is it different or similar to others?
Did the principal instruct you on how to plan and implement the above?
The study of learning spaces is an essential part of the teacher’s role.
It is
role to ensure that
students are exposed to a
of active learning spaces that support each unique child’s learning needs.
Learning and teaching should
occur in a range of learning

(Keppell, Souter & Riddle, 2011)
The big question you have been wondering….
What is a learning space?
...A space where learning occurs?
“Learning spaces represent all
spaces in which the learner
undertakes some form of study
or learning”
(Fraser, 2014, p.4)
Let the journey begin with the most obvious and familiar learning space…
Destination 1:
The classroom and the school
The classroom and the school
is usually what we think of
first when we think about a
space where learning occurs.

So what exactly do you think of when you think
about the classroom?
Do you imagine the classroom looking like this….
Figure 1 retrieved from http://www.taunton-city.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/classroom.jpg
or sounding like this…
This design of a classroom supports a pedagogy
that is teacher centred, with the teacher having
absolute authority and being the disseminator
of knowledge while the students are passive

Sound out-dated and old?
That's because it is!
Figure 2 retrieved from http://historytech.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/whistle-dog.png
(Keppell et al., 2011).
But it is still a learning space right?
Yep... but not one that is active, engaging, motivating and fun, and where conceptual learning would take place.
Thankfully, learning spaces may evolve over time
due to various factors such as research, and
economical and technological advances and
changes. Learning spaces must serve to empower
and educate the needs of the present and future generation of learners in order for them to be
successful citizens in society.
So what should a contemporary classroom look and sound like?
Well that depends on what you mean by contemporary…
A lot of education institutions such as universities and high schools still use the ‘old’ didactic approach where there is a stronger focus on teaching content instructively, rather than engagement and conceptual learning.
(Keppell et al., 2011).
Boring.. ZZZZ
The classroom design is dependent on the
method of intuition and the pedagogical
perspectives on teaching and learning an
educational institution believes to be most
Most contemporary schools have adapted a constructivist approach to teaching and learning.
These educational institutions, such as primary
schools, believe learning needs to be active and
(Fraser, 2014; Scratzenstaller, 2010)
Scratzenstaller (2010) states that it is necessary
to have “cooperation between architecture and pedagogy” (p.31).
Things to consider when designing the classroom

that supports a constructivist approach to learning are:

• Comfort
• Aesthetics
• Equity
• Blanding

(Keppell et al., 2011)
A space that creates both a physical and mental ease and well-being.
Chill-out zone
Reading in comfort
Figure 4 retrieved from http://cdn1.confessionsofahomeschooler.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/IMG_3777.jpg
figure 5 retrieved from http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/5c/5b/ab/5c5babf08068978f713da42bb0e56677.jpg
You must consider the needs of all your
students within the space.
Whether it be culturally...
Figure 6 retrieved from http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-zDY0t76MO_Y/Uf9tlmyf2CI/AAAAAAAAF4U/r5evT6o8_CM/s1600/IMG_0826.JPG
...Or physically.
There needs to be a balance and mixture of technological and non-technological resources
Technology resources...
Figure 8 retrieved from http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/istock_tech_trans.png
and non-technological resources
Figure 9 retrieved from

Children understand and appreciate the aesthetics of their learning space within the classroom environment.
(Read, 2010)
In the high visual stimulating environment, key elements that enhance the richness and complexity of the classroom are activity materials and décor.
Figure 10 retrieved from http://d2c.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Colorful-Furniture-Sets-and-Tiles-in-Preschool-Kindergarten-Classroom-Themes-Decorating-Design-Ideas.jpg
In the low visual stimulating environment the key elements are circles and windows.
Chelsea Brennan, 2014
Circle tables
Full length windows
Those two photos (table and window) are photos I recently took at a school I assist with.
The tables:
The tables are an absolute must have in a classroom. They are light, trendy and are easily flexible to be catered for any environment compared to bulky rectangular tables. The tables also allow for all students to collaborate as no students are 'at the end' of the table.
The windows:
These full length windows have many benefits on the learners who inhabit this space. It lets in so much natural light, which is important for proper physical development as well as provides a visual interest to other areas of the curriculum, such as climate patterns.
(Cinar, 2010; Read, 2010)
So they are some design elements used for a constructivist approach to the classroom... But does this affect the curriculum?
Good question!
It only changes the way you
the curriculum it doesn't change the
you teach.
Make sense?!
What does this mean for you?
must adapt the classroom to meet individual needs
ask individuals to adapt to the classroom
Design your classroom around the basis of a constructivist approach to learning; one that is student-centred, collaborative and experiential.
Make sure your design uses the characteristics your students prefer. Collaborate with them in the design process!
(Scratzenstaller, 2010)
What does this mean for the school as a whole?
The school needs continuity across all year levels in both structure and pedagogy.
Learning should not only occur just in the predominant physical space known as the classroom, but also beyond the classroom.
Destination 2:
Beyond the Classroom
Going beyond the four walls? What does that entail?
Going beyond the classroom occurs through both incursions and excursions.
Tell me more!
"Incursions provide students with experiential learning opportunities within the secure surrounds of their school" (Johnson, 2009, p.18)
An example of an incursion is a visit from the Life Education Van. This can assist in teaching students standards from the 'Health and Physical Education' domain from The Australian Curriculum.
Figure 11 retrieved from http://woodfordnewspaper.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Year-Five-students-Riley-Andrews-and-Jazlyn-Bauer-meet-Harold-the-giraffe-and-Anne-Maree-Cook-from-Life-Education-Australia..jpg
"Excursions give students a controlled adventure into the world outside the physical and safe bounds of the school" (Lorenza, 2009, p.23).
(VCAA, 2014)
An example of an excursion is a trip to the zoo. This can assist in teaching students standards from 'Science' domain from The Australian Curriculum
(VCAA, 2013)
Incursions and excursions are costly
and timely...
Investing money and time into excursions and incursions is
. They provide a
learning experience, more powerful than what can be taught within the classroom alone.
So, what are some of the benefits?
Supports students learning, in particular their
They can help to
students who do not respond well to mainstream classroom activities and learn through different ways such as hands-on experiences in real-life
(Lorenza, 2009; Johnson, 2009)
Learning is
as excursions and incursions introduce students to environments characterised by
new experiences
Awesome! Lets go on an excursion to... Sovereign Hill
Excursions and incursions
must have a valid purpose
to learning and links to the
, otherwise what is the point?
Excursions and incursions
assist in exploring
content and strands from the curriculum learned in the classroom, with greater depth and understanding.
(Lorenza, 2009)
Your job:
Effectively plan incursions and excursions that have a direct link to the curriculum and content being explored in other learning spaces, such as the classroom, and explicitly show this link to your students for them to connect their prior knowledge with this new experience.
So, two destinations reached, what's next?
Destination 3:
The Electronic Learning

"New ways of viewing learning and the development of technology challenge us to think about learning spaces in a different manner"
(Scratzenstaller, 2010, p.2)
The electronic learning space?
Like technology and the internet? How is that a space when you physically can not learn in it?
Good question!
The electronic learning space is a
virtual learning space not confined by
'four walls' as such.
The digital world is an important part of many children's lives
It is seamlessly embedded into their everyday work, relationships and play.
(Beavis, 2012)
Digital technologies, such as iPads, are radically transforming the way we teach and learn in the twenty-first century.
(Fraser, 2014; Murray & Olcese, 2011)
So what is the purpose of using technology?
You mean purposes?
There is more than one!
Technology used in the context of education, can be used for numerous purposes
Technology can be used:
as a
as a
Technology use may need to also consider

(Murray & Olcese, 2011)
Lets take a closer look at these...
"Technology is used as a tutor when it does the teaching directly"
(Murray & Olcese, 2011, p.43)
"Technology is utilised to explore when users can make decisions about the information they access and gain"
(Murray & Olcese, 2011, p.43)
"Technologies represent a tool when they are they are not explicitly designed for school use but can be put to educational purposes"
(Murray & Olcese, 2011, p.43)
"Technologies used to communicate are programs and devices that allow students and teachers to send and receive messages and other information through networks or other technologies"
(Murray & Olcese, 2011, p.43)
A mobile phone as an educational tool?

What a joke!
No Joke!
Research suggests that
mobile technologies can be used to extend and improve learning opportunities,
especially to those who do not have access to high-quality education or schools with minimal funding for new technologies!
(UNESCO, 2012)
What are you going to tell me next? That video games are a great educational tool too?!
Funny you say that...
Technologies such as video games, can have a positive effect on the
of children's learning.
Not only video games, but social media promotes
play, speaking, listening
. All important skills!
(Beavis, 2012)
I wonder what the Australian Government would
think about that....
The Australian Government recognises the need to help students to be more critical and capable users of digital technologies and texts.
(Beavis, 2012)
It is so important that we not only allow our students to use a diverse range of
Web 2.0 technologies
, but we teach them the
on how to use them.
The Australian Government sees the urgency of technology preparation of all students to be
global competitors
in the future
(Murray & Olcese, 2011)
My experience and view on technology
I have found during one of my literacy units conducted during an after school program, that one
child who was at-risk was disengaged with the content myself and my peers were trying to teach
him. Our teaching and activities were fun and hands-on, however, this did not relate to this
particular child’s interests or learning style. Coincidently, my peers and myself were using our
iPads to take photos, record dialogue, etc., for later assessment of the students, and this child
would not stop nagging to play on them! So we decided to alter our planning to incorporate the use
of iPads when appropriate. The child’s change in attitude and motivation was a complete turn
around. The other children were also highly engaged as well. We had to be careful, however, to
make sure that there was an educational benefit of using the iPads, not just a way to lure the
children in. There has to be an education benefit for the use of the technology, like any other
resource, otherwise it is merely a waste of time.
technology is a great motivator and engaging
Educational technologies can easily be embedded with the other two learning spaces already explored.
But, what about the other two learning spaces?
Destination 4:
The Individual Learning Space
The individual learning space can integrate both

learning spaces.
Most importantly, this space is

by the individual to suit
their needs
and create their
own identity
How do you learn?
At your desk?
In the kitchen?
In the library?
My Individual Learning Space
The kitchen table....
....at university...
...my desk....
....in front of the heater.
(Keppell et al., 2011; Kop & Fourner, 2010)
I cannot live without my highlighters! I work well with colours... as you can see with the different colours used for each space in this e-presentation.
(Chelsea Brennan, 2014)
Nothing more satisfying and motivating than a checklist and ticking everything off when completed!
(Chelsea Brennan, 2014)
Checklists help me stay focused...
Cooper, you need cuddles..
Stay focused and self-motivated!
(Chelsea Brennan, 2014)
Students and educators need to take control of their own learning, through
self-directed learning
, as a life long priority.
Self-directed learning
is a form of study in which learners have the primary responsibility...for their own learning experiences"
(GWC, 2013)
"Teachers will need to assist learners to design their own personalised learning spaces to encourage
lifelong, engaged autonomous learners
(Fraser, 2014, p.18)
As a teacher, you not only work with individuals but groups of students.
Lets explore the group learning space...
Destination 5:
The Group Learning Space
Final destination....
The group learning space!
"Learning...is social in nature"
(Lorenza, 2009, p.22)
"Knowledge is socially constructed and negotiated"
(Murray & Olcese, 2011, p.43)
Is this how your classroom looks on a daily basis?
And is it full of engaging discussions with one another?
Well it should!
Group work improves outcomes and can be used as a solution to a wide array of problems encountered within the classroom
(Slavin, 2010; VCAA, 2013)
But group work has many problems on its own.
Students are either doing all the work or no work at all...
That's because it's your role as an educator to
make group work work!
Here is two tips to make group work work:
1. group goals
2: Individual accountability
(Slavin, 2010)
"Groups must be working to achieve some goal...and the success of the group must depend on the individual learning of every group member"
(Slavin, 2010, p.170)
Try it in your classroom!
Try to incorporate all five learning spaces in your teaching and learning and use these effective suggestions highlighted throughout!
This journey may have come to an end, but yours as an effective educator of the five learning spaces is just beginning.....
And is apart of the Australian Curriculum
AusVELS. (2013). Health and physical education.
Retrieved from http://ausvels.vcaa.vic.edu.au/Health-and-Physical-Education/Overview/Introduction

Beavis, C. (2012). Video games in the classroom: developing digital literacies.
Practically Primary, 17(1), 17-20.

Cinar, I. (2010). Classroom geography: who sit where in the traditional classroom?
Journals of International research, 3(10), 200-212URL.

Fraser, K. (2014). The Future of Learning and Teaching in Next Generation Learning Spaces.
Retrieved from http://www.eblib.com

George Williams College. (2013). Self-direction in Learning.
Retrieved from http://infed.org/mobi/self-direction-in-learning

Johnson, J. (2009). Beyond four walls: experiential and situated learning. (199), 18-20.

Keppell, M., Souter, K., & Riddle, M. (Eds.). (2011). Physical and Virtual Learning Spaces in
Higher Education : Concepts for the Modern Learning Environment. Hershey, PA, USA: IGI Global. Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com

Kop, R., & Fournier, H. (2010). New Dimensions of Self-Directed Learning in an Open-Networked Learning
Environment. International Journal of Self-Directed Learning, 7(2), 1-20.

Lorenza, L. (2009). Beyond four walls: why go beyond the bounds of school? [online]. Teacher. (198), 22-25.

Murray, O., & Olcese, N. (2011). Teaching and Learning with iPads, Ready or Not? TechTrends, 55(6), 42-48URL

Read, M. (2010). Contemplating design: listening to children's preferences about classroom design.
Creative Education, 2, 75 - 80URL

Scratzenstaller, A. (2010). The Classroom of the Past. In K. Makitalo-Siegl, J. Zottmann, F. Kaplan & F. Fischer (Eds.),
Classroom of the Future: Orchestrating Collaborative Spaces (pp.15-39). Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

Slavin, R. (2010). Co-operative learning: what makes group-work work? The Nature of Learning: Using Research
to Inspire Practice, OECD Publishing.

UNESCO. (2012). Turning on Mobile Learning: Global Themes. France: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.URL

Figure 3 retrieved from http://img.sparknotes.com/content/sparklife/sparktalk/boringclass_Large.jpg
Figure 7 retrieved from http://media.web.britannica.com/eb-media/37/118437-004-10126B45.jpg
Figure 12 retrieved from https://frandi.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/at-the-zoo-009.jpg
Figure 13 retrieved from http://visitballarat.com.au/media/1208778/clydesdales%20at%20sovereign%20hill.jpg
Figure 14 retrieved from http://www.almightydad.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/children-video-game.jpg
Figure 15 retrieved from http://mormonsinbusiness.org/files/2012/10/children-technology-mormon.png
Figure 16 retrieved from http://middle.usmk12.org/Faculty/montagne/tc_final_project/images/harford_presentation.jpg
Figure 17 retrieved from http://positivity.thecomicseries.com/images/comics/57/2ce965cef560b346ca594255f6cdd06b213545779.png
Figure 18 retrieved from http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xvxwGYrV8nw/UN9_yW39SLI/AAAAAAAAA40/UAwzEc-OA7w/s1600/blogs.jpg
Figure 19 retrieved from http://www.2nm.com.au/images/stories/2014/08/Mobile-Phone.jpg
Figure 20 retrieved from http://playfulminds.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/blueclassbamboo-344.jpg
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