Learning Spaces – a work in progress

My views on “good practice” in the use of display are well rehearsed. I chuckled when I heard Frank Furedi describe “good practice” as the enemy of progress at ResearchED 2013.

I thought I would curate some things I read recently about learning spaces and their design.  My first encounter with this was during the pomp on the Building Schools of the Future programme, when I was a National College Facilitator on the BSF Leadership Programme for head teachers.

Several years on, I’m left wistfully looking abck and thinking that we rather missed the point.  The problem was in the title.  We were building SCHOOLS for the future.  The problem is that the very term school is of the past.  It has cultural baggage and we only succeeded in building luxury versions of the same thing we have always built.

To redesign a learning space, one must redesign the nature of learning.

Here follows a list of useful resources and sites to enable thinking about the design of learning spaces:

Here are some lovely articles and thinking from Kenn Fisher:

The impact of school design upon student outcomes and behaviour.


Building Excellence – Linking The Curriculum for Excellence to the Design of Learning Environments – this last one is hugely thorough and useful.  the most significant part is in the the section following page 38, where there is an analysis of the spatial needs of children of different ages.

Also read:

The Impact of School Environments: A literature review – The Design Council

I think the approach taken by Canterbury Christchurch University in their design of Augustine House is interesting.

What questions are we seeking to answer when designing a learning space?

  • What is the purpose of a multi purpose space?
  • How do we manage the impact of noise?
  • How do we future proof the space?
  • How should colour be used?
  • What is the purpose of Outdoor space?
  • What does constructive alignment bring to the design process?

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