Associate Professor at
The Melbourne Graduate School of Education
Good teachers continually seek to improve their practices. They are particularly willing to refine what they do if there is evidence to support changes. One element of improvement is our physical classrooms; we have always known smart use of the teaching environment must have an impact on students’ learning. However, three issues have limited us from exploring this fully- the capacity of spaces to be manipulated, an understanding of what to do, and evidence that using spaces as part of our pedagogic toolbox has an effect.
The first of these is now well in hand. For many years, schools have increasingly adopted what are called ‘innovative learning environments’ or ILEs. Now comprising more than a quarter of our country’s teaching spaces, in comparison to traditional classrooms they assist in greater flexibility of styles of teaching, and wider student choices on how they learn.
The second issue, knowing how to manipulate the spaces, is being overcome through the availability of an increasing amount of ILE-focused professional learning and teaching resources.
The third issue is the focus of this workshop – what evidence exists that these spaces ‘work’? First, we will hear a summary of recent evidence of the impact that draws on large international projects and surveys, through to individual school-based examples. From this information, the workshop will engage in exploring how this information applies to you, a teacher in a school wishing to make your good teaching even better. The workshop will conclude with what practical support exists to assist teachers on this exciting journey.
Bialik College - Cultures of Thinking Conference
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