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How to Design Learning Spaces in the 21st-Century?

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

The video begins with a joke about Rip-van-Winkle that emerged after 100 years into the 21st century,

And he was thrilled at the sight of his eyes.

Everything is so different from his world until he visits schools.

The question asked in the opening is-

How can we design schools for children who will live a future we can not predict?

The video presents some suggestions for learning spaces designed according to the perception of the future.

The pictures are spectacular and beautiful. However, it makes educators wonder as we now only design our classrooms with elementary materials, asking ourselves if this can be happening in our schools too?

Regarding resources - it is worth dreaming.

If you can dream it, you can do it (Walt Disney).

In my opinion, this is not just a question of resources but knowledge of a new language - the designer's language, it's a language without words.

The designer's language becomes an essentially new field of teachers' knowledge.

Educators who communicate pedagogical objectives to designers will create the ideal learning spaces. In addition, these new environments will increase meaningful dialogues and promote learning in new ways.

The video brings together the designer, the architect, and the educator.

In recent years I have gotten to talk to architects who build schools.

I have noticed this central motif:

The success of building or redesigning a school (and adding unique rooms or wings) depends entirely on the ability of educators to communicate with the architect in a language they understand.

Not all educators and school leaders speak the language of space; colors, textures, and lighting. And not all architects or designers deeply understand the complexity of being an educator.

I have discovered over the years that the function that can help and mediate between languages ​​is a mentor specializing in designing learning spaces (these educator-designers work throughout the country). Still, not all principals know about them or contact them.

I do not call for the teacher to become a designer or expect this from school principals. But, paying attention to the issue, acquiring the visual competence to convey the appropriate messages to the professional (architect or designer) - definitely crucial to relevant school officials.

The following film has an example of a meaningful discourse that took place between educators and architects. Here is the result:

Good luck, 21st-century teachers

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