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Transcript
Posted by: Jane Nicholls on the 04/10/2012
Thanks for the request for a transcript Trish, one has now been added to the video above for download.
Reply
Posted by: Chris Bradbeer on the 04/10/2012
Hi Trish No list of hard and fast rules I'm afraid but always happy to share our approach. chris@stonefields.school.nz
Reply
Open Learning Spaces and list of 'rules'
Posted by: Trish on the 04/10/2012
Hi Chris I tried to download this presentation, however I am unable to via the school site. Can you send me a script to read? Also do you have a list of 'rules' we can start with for discussions about Open learning spaces? Thanks Trish
Reply
Principal
Posted by: Robert on the 27/02/2013
after listening to this talk I wonder if its OK that we build every new school with the shared space philosophy. no research to back it up, as chris said. it is an experiment..... one we should not force on education, most experiments fail before they succeed....
Reply
Transcript
Posted by: Jane Nicholls on the 04/10/2012
Thanks for the request for a transcript Trish, one has now been added to the video above for download.
Reply
Posted by: Chris Bradbeer on the 04/10/2012
Hi Trish No list of hard and fast rules I'm afraid but always happy to share our approach. chris@stonefields.school.nz
Reply
Open Learning Spaces and list of 'rules'
Posted by: Trish on the 04/10/2012
Hi Chris I tried to download this presentation, however I am unable to via the school site. Can you send me a script to read? Also do you have a list of 'rules' we can start with for discussions about Open learning spaces? Thanks Trish
Reply
Principal
Posted by: Robert on the 27/02/2013
after listening to this talk I wonder if its OK that we build every new school with the shared space philosophy. no research to back it up, as chris said. it is an experiment..... one we should not force on education, most experiments fail before they succeed....
Reply
Speaker: Chris Bradbeer

Chris Bradbeer, Associate Principal from Stonefields School in Auckland, explains the ideas behind the open learning spaces at his school. The shift in ICT, pedagogy, locus of control, and better building designs help facilitate the idea of the environment being the third teacher and having a pedagogy of itself. He challenges us to think about how we can take down the walls in our schools, both metaphorically and physically.

Views 28,831
Date added: 26 Jan 2012
Duration: 7:50

Hi My name’s Chris Bradbeer, I’m one of the associate principals at Stonefields School the brand new school to be opened in the old quarry in Mt Wellington. 

Stonefields’ got open learning spaces where there are the equivalent of three classes of teachers along with three classes of kids, so will be up to 75-80 kids in each of these learning hubs. And the teachers operate collaboratively together, they constantly work alongside each other and they are planning together, designing learning together, and talking about kids and talking about learning the whole time. Each of the teachers operate as a guardian to a class or group of kids and during the day the kids are just as likely to be taught by any of the other two teachers. And you might be thinking, “oh this sounds a little bit like what we had back in the 70s”. And sure enough when you read some of those reviews about what happened in the 1970s, you had teachers supposedly working in big spaces together and children sitting on nice comfortable furniture and doing different types of activities and tasks and being able to move around the space. And sure enough, in 1971 , there were some schools that were trying to do this, and if we think then David Bowie was singing ‘Hunky Dory’ and they were pulling troupes out of Vietnam and Greenpeace was being formed and a computer was half the size of a classroom. But things have changed, but I think, I’m a little bit guilty of this as well, we talk about these spaces as being open learning spaces and I think even the word ‘open’ in there reminds people of open-plan but essentially what happened was the teachers carried on teaching in these spaces as if they were in a single cell space and nothing really changed pedagogically.

Which brings us to today which is why there has been such a shift. We look at the shift in IT, we look at the shift in pedagogy, we look at the shift in the sort of locus of control with our learners and how the learners can really take a lot more control over their learning and really have a lot more say about how they are learning as well as what they are learning. We also have better acoustics and better architecture as well which allows the buildings and designs to help facilitate that and for the designs to really become a part of this idea of the environment being the third teacher and having a certain pedagogy about it itself in terms of how people use those spaces.

So we tend not to talk about open spaces now, we tend to sort of use the vernacular of open learning spaces, particularly in Australia, or if you’ve been listening to Stephen Heppell, he talks agile learning spaces or purpose built learning spaces. So there are lots of different things, different terminology, but essentially the space is different because it has been designed very purposefully for teaching and learning. And alongside that our pedagogy has changed in order to enable the learning to really hum. And we’ve been really excited about what we’ve been seeing at Stonefields because this is really happening and the level of teacher collaboration has been very high and the teachers are excited about the fact that when they come to do OTJs (Overall teacher judgments) on kids they are actually able to, you know, they’ve actually got three heads instead of just one head and they are able to sort of collaborate in terms of assessment and planning and designing learning. 

One of the sort of incidental spinoffs, or unexpected spinoffs has been this notion of incidental professional development that is going on.  Initially it was people saying, “Oh I just noticed the way you questioned that child, and I really liked that I’m going to try that” or “I like the way you introduced that book” or “I like the way you started down that line of inquiry”. And I think it has deepened, in a short time, to include things like, teachers are observing each other and giving feedback and really questioning deeply to really maximise the learning juice that teachers are getting out of any particular situation. 

Jill Blackmore, who put together a very good literature review on correlating build spaces and student outcomes, says that there isn’t really a correlation, at the moment there is no real data to say that the space has a spin off on student outcomes as well. She also says though that the bulk of the research that has been done in terms of these open learning spaces, modern learning environments, has been done at the design phase and some of it is quite aspirational research about what the space is going to be like, but as soon as the teachers and students actually move into the space the research essentially dries up, so there is real need for us to be, at this stage as these spaces come into New Zealand really, to be driven by evidence and actually be doing our own research. 

There is a sort of inculturated hesitancy towards the open spaces. I know some teachers when they come around they say “Oh no you’ve got these open spaces and how does that work”. And there is a big sense of a collective memory that harks back to the 1960s and the 1970s and I think it casts a little shadow over our new modern learning environments. 

The New Zealand Curriculum sets out to create this idea of confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners and I think that if we look at our building design based on that and we look at how can the design of our learning environments actually help to create that sense that the NZC is actually after, then I think we will be on a really good track.

Looking towards the future I think we are going to see a lot of schools remodelling areas of their schools. I think we are going to see brand new schools being built that are based on these designs and based on more modern and flexible learning environments. And I think what we’ll see is teachers who come into the profession who relish the idea of collaboration and actually relish the idea of working alongside each other because collaboration in this sense doesn’t just mean going to the staff meeting on a Tuesday afternoon or sharing your planning with your team, it actually means the whole time from the moment you walk in, in the morning to the moment you finish. You are working alongside a team. It is something we haven’t really asked teachers to do before, we haven’t really challenged teachers to do that in the same sense in general. 

I think the challenge for teachers and the challenge for schools is to take down the walls, knock down some walls. Start teaching and learning alongside your colleagues. I think we do need to be more evidence based, we need to get some good strong narratives of how these spaces are working, but I would certainly urge people to start working collaboratively with your colleagues and see what extraordinary learning can come out of it. I’m not saying it is easy but I think it is hugely worthwhile for the kids.

Hi My name’s Chris Bradbeer, I’m one of the associate principals at Stonefields School the brand new school to be opened in the old quarry in Mt Wellington. 

Stonefields’ got open learning spaces where there are the equivalent of three classes of teachers along with three classes of kids, so will be up to 75-80 kids in each of these learning hubs. And the teachers operate collaboratively together, they constantly work alongside each other and they are planning together, designing learning together, and talking about kids and talking about learning the whole time. Each of the teachers operate as a guardian to a class or group of kids and during the day the kids are just as likely to be taught by any of the other two teachers. And you might be thinking, “oh this sounds a little bit like what we had back in the 70s”. And sure enough when you read some of those reviews about what happened in the 1970s, you had teachers supposedly working in big spaces together and children sitting on nice comfortable furniture and doing different types of activities and tasks and being able to move around the space. And sure enough, in 1971 , there were some schools that were trying to do this, and if we think then David Bowie was singing ‘Hunky Dory’ and they were pulling troupes out of Vietnam and Greenpeace was being formed and a computer was half the size of a classroom. But things have changed, but I think, I’m a little bit guilty of this as well, we talk about these spaces as being open learning spaces and I think even the word ‘open’ in there reminds people of open-plan but essentially what happened was the teachers carried on teaching in these spaces as if they were in a single cell space and nothing really changed pedagogically.

Which brings us to today which is why there has been such a shift. We look at the shift in IT, we look at the shift in pedagogy, we look at the shift in the sort of locus of control with our learners and how the learners can really take a lot more control over their learning and really have a lot more say about how they are learning as well as what they are learning. We also have better acoustics and better architecture as well which allows the buildings and designs to help facilitate that and for the designs to really become a part of this idea of the environment being the third teacher and having a certain pedagogy about it itself in terms of how people use those spaces.

So we tend not to talk about open spaces now, we tend to sort of use the vernacular of open learning spaces, particularly in Australia, or if you’ve been listening to Stephen Heppell, he talks agile learning spaces or purpose built learning spaces. So there are lots of different things, different terminology, but essentially the space is different because it has been designed very purposefully for teaching and learning. And alongside that our pedagogy has changed in order to enable the learning to really hum. And we’ve been really excited about what we’ve been seeing at Stonefields because this is really happening and the level of teacher collaboration has been very high and the teachers are excited about the fact that when they come to do OTJs (Overall teacher judgments) on kids they are actually able to, you know, they’ve actually got three heads instead of just one head and they are able to sort of collaborate in terms of assessment and planning and designing learning. 

One of the sort of incidental spinoffs, or unexpected spinoffs has been this notion of incidental professional development that is going on.  Initially it was people saying, “Oh I just noticed the way you questioned that child, and I really liked that I’m going to try that” or “I like the way you introduced that book” or “I like the way you started down that line of inquiry”. And I think it has deepened, in a short time, to include things like, teachers are observing each other and giving feedback and really questioning deeply to really maximise the learning juice that teachers are getting out of any particular situation. 

Jill Blackmore, who put together a very good literature review on correlating build spaces and student outcomes, says that there isn’t really a correlation, at the moment there is no real data to say that the space has a spin off on student outcomes as well. She also says though that the bulk of the research that has been done in terms of these open learning spaces, modern learning environments, has been done at the design phase and some of it is quite aspirational research about what the space is going to be like, but as soon as the teachers and students actually move into the space the research essentially dries up, so there is real need for us to be, at this stage as these spaces come into New Zealand really, to be driven by evidence and actually be doing our own research. 

There is a sort of inculturated hesitancy towards the open spaces. I know some teachers when they come around they say “Oh no you’ve got these open spaces and how does that work”. And there is a big sense of a collective memory that harks back to the 1960s and the 1970s and I think it casts a little shadow over our new modern learning environments. 

The New Zealand Curriculum sets out to create this idea of confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners and I think that if we look at our building design based on that and we look at how can the design of our learning environments actually help to create that sense that the NZC is actually after, then I think we will be on a really good track.

Looking towards the future I think we are going to see a lot of schools remodelling areas of their schools. I think we are going to see brand new schools being built that are based on these designs and based on more modern and flexible learning environments. And I think what we’ll see is teachers who come into the profession who relish the idea of collaboration and actually relish the idea of working alongside each other because collaboration in this sense doesn’t just mean going to the staff meeting on a Tuesday afternoon or sharing your planning with your team, it actually means the whole time from the moment you walk in, in the morning to the moment you finish. You are working alongside a team. It is something we haven’t really asked teachers to do before, we haven’t really challenged teachers to do that in the same sense in general. 

I think the challenge for teachers and the challenge for schools is to take down the walls, knock down some walls. Start teaching and learning alongside your colleagues. I think we do need to be more evidence based, we need to get some good strong narratives of how these spaces are working, but I would certainly urge people to start working collaboratively with your colleagues and see what extraordinary learning can come out of it. I’m not saying it is easy but I think it is hugely worthwhile for the kids.

Date added: 01/26/2012
Learning spaces
Date added: 01/26/2012

Learning spaces

Chris Bradbeer, Associate Principal from Stonefields School in Auckland, explains the ideas behind the open learning spaces at his school. The shift in ICT, pedagogy, locus of control, and better building designs help facilitate the idea of the environment being the third teacher and having a pedagogy of itself. He challenges us to think about how we can take down the walls in our schools, both metaphorically and physically.

Views 28,831 Date added: 02/10/2012

Learning spaces

Hi My name’s Chris Bradbeer, I’m one of the associate principals at Stonefields School the brand new school to be opened in the old quarry in Mt Wellington. 

Stonefields’ got open learning spaces where there are the equivalent of three classes of teachers along with three classes of kids, so will be up to 75-80 kids in each of these learning hubs. And the teachers operate collaboratively together, they constantly work alongside each other and they are planning together, designing learning together, and talking about kids and talking about learning the whole time. Each of the teachers operate as a guardian to a class or group of kids and during the day the kids are just as likely to be taught by any of the other two teachers. And you might be thinking, “oh this sounds a little bit like what we had back in the 70s”. And sure enough when you read some of those reviews about what happened in the 1970s, you had teachers supposedly working in big spaces together and children sitting on nice comfortable furniture and doing different types of activities and tasks and being able to move around the space. And sure enough, in 1971 , there were some schools that were trying to do this, and if we think then David Bowie was singing ‘Hunky Dory’ and they were pulling troupes out of Vietnam and Greenpeace was being formed and a computer was half the size of a classroom. But things have changed, but I think, I’m a little bit guilty of this as well, we talk about these spaces as being open learning spaces and I think even the word ‘open’ in there reminds people of open-plan but essentially what happened was the teachers carried on teaching in these spaces as if they were in a single cell space and nothing really changed pedagogically.

Which brings us to today which is why there has been such a shift. We look at the shift in IT, we look at the shift in pedagogy, we look at the shift in the sort of locus of control with our learners and how the learners can really take a lot more control over their learning and really have a lot more say about how they are learning as well as what they are learning. We also have better acoustics and better architecture as well which allows the buildings and designs to help facilitate that and for the designs to really become a part of this idea of the environment being the third teacher and having a certain pedagogy about it itself in terms of how people use those spaces.

So we tend not to talk about open spaces now, we tend to sort of use the vernacular of open learning spaces, particularly in Australia, or if you’ve been listening to Stephen Heppell, he talks agile learning spaces or purpose built learning spaces. So there are lots of different things, different terminology, but essentially the space is different because it has been designed very purposefully for teaching and learning. And alongside that our pedagogy has changed in order to enable the learning to really hum. And we’ve been really excited about what we’ve been seeing at Stonefields because this is really happening and the level of teacher collaboration has been very high and the teachers are excited about the fact that when they come to do OTJs (Overall teacher judgments) on kids they are actually able to, you know, they’ve actually got three heads instead of just one head and they are able to sort of collaborate in terms of assessment and planning and designing learning. 

One of the sort of incidental spinoffs, or unexpected spinoffs has been this notion of incidental professional development that is going on.  Initially it was people saying, “Oh I just noticed the way you questioned that child, and I really liked that I’m going to try that” or “I like the way you introduced that book” or “I like the way you started down that line of inquiry”. And I think it has deepened, in a short time, to include things like, teachers are observing each other and giving feedback and really questioning deeply to really maximise the learning juice that teachers are getting out of any particular situation. 

Jill Blackmore, who put together a very good literature review on correlating build spaces and student outcomes, says that there isn’t really a correlation, at the moment there is no real data to say that the space has a spin off on student outcomes as well. She also says though that the bulk of the research that has been done in terms of these open learning spaces, modern learning environments, has been done at the design phase and some of it is quite aspirational research about what the space is going to be like, but as soon as the teachers and students actually move into the space the research essentially dries up, so there is real need for us to be, at this stage as these spaces come into New Zealand really, to be driven by evidence and actually be doing our own research. 

There is a sort of inculturated hesitancy towards the open spaces. I know some teachers when they come around they say “Oh no you’ve got these open spaces and how does that work”. And there is a big sense of a collective memory that harks back to the 1960s and the 1970s and I think it casts a little shadow over our new modern learning environments. 

The New Zealand Curriculum sets out to create this idea of confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners and I think that if we look at our building design based on that and we look at how can the design of our learning environments actually help to create that sense that the NZC is actually after, then I think we will be on a really good track.

Looking towards the future I think we are going to see a lot of schools remodelling areas of their schools. I think we are going to see brand new schools being built that are based on these designs and based on more modern and flexible learning environments. And I think what we’ll see is teachers who come into the profession who relish the idea of collaboration and actually relish the idea of working alongside each other because collaboration in this sense doesn’t just mean going to the staff meeting on a Tuesday afternoon or sharing your planning with your team, it actually means the whole time from the moment you walk in, in the morning to the moment you finish. You are working alongside a team. It is something we haven’t really asked teachers to do before, we haven’t really challenged teachers to do that in the same sense in general. 

I think the challenge for teachers and the challenge for schools is to take down the walls, knock down some walls. Start teaching and learning alongside your colleagues. I think we do need to be more evidence based, we need to get some good strong narratives of how these spaces are working, but I would certainly urge people to start working collaboratively with your colleagues and see what extraordinary learning can come out of it. I’m not saying it is easy but I think it is hugely worthwhile for the kids.

Hi My name’s Chris Bradbeer, I’m one of the associate principals at Stonefields School the brand new school to be opened in the old quarry in Mt Wellington. 

Stonefields’ got open learning spaces where there are the equivalent of three classes of teachers along with three classes of kids, so will be up to 75-80 kids in each of these learning hubs. And the teachers operate collaboratively together, they constantly work alongside each other and they are planning together, designing learning together, and talking about kids and talking about learning the whole time. Each of the teachers operate as a guardian to a class or group of kids and during the day the kids are just as likely to be taught by any of the other two teachers. And you might be thinking, “oh this sounds a little bit like what we had back in the 70s”. And sure enough when you read some of those reviews about what happened in the 1970s, you had teachers supposedly working in big spaces together and children sitting on nice comfortable furniture and doing different types of activities and tasks and being able to move around the space. And sure enough, in 1971 , there were some schools that were trying to do this, and if we think then David Bowie was singing ‘Hunky Dory’ and they were pulling troupes out of Vietnam and Greenpeace was being formed and a computer was half the size of a classroom. But things have changed, but I think, I’m a little bit guilty of this as well, we talk about these spaces as being open learning spaces and I think even the word ‘open’ in there reminds people of open-plan but essentially what happened was the teachers carried on teaching in these spaces as if they were in a single cell space and nothing really changed pedagogically.

Which brings us to today which is why there has been such a shift. We look at the shift in IT, we look at the shift in pedagogy, we look at the shift in the sort of locus of control with our learners and how the learners can really take a lot more control over their learning and really have a lot more say about how they are learning as well as what they are learning. We also have better acoustics and better architecture as well which allows the buildings and designs to help facilitate that and for the designs to really become a part of this idea of the environment being the third teacher and having a certain pedagogy about it itself in terms of how people use those spaces.

So we tend not to talk about open spaces now, we tend to sort of use the vernacular of open learning spaces, particularly in Australia, or if you’ve been listening to Stephen Heppell, he talks agile learning spaces or purpose built learning spaces. So there are lots of different things, different terminology, but essentially the space is different because it has been designed very purposefully for teaching and learning. And alongside that our pedagogy has changed in order to enable the learning to really hum. And we’ve been really excited about what we’ve been seeing at Stonefields because this is really happening and the level of teacher collaboration has been very high and the teachers are excited about the fact that when they come to do OTJs (Overall teacher judgments) on kids they are actually able to, you know, they’ve actually got three heads instead of just one head and they are able to sort of collaborate in terms of assessment and planning and designing learning. 

One of the sort of incidental spinoffs, or unexpected spinoffs has been this notion of incidental professional development that is going on.  Initially it was people saying, “Oh I just noticed the way you questioned that child, and I really liked that I’m going to try that” or “I like the way you introduced that book” or “I like the way you started down that line of inquiry”. And I think it has deepened, in a short time, to include things like, teachers are observing each other and giving feedback and really questioning deeply to really maximise the learning juice that teachers are getting out of any particular situation. 

Jill Blackmore, who put together a very good literature review on correlating build spaces and student outcomes, says that there isn’t really a correlation, at the moment there is no real data to say that the space has a spin off on student outcomes as well. She also says though that the bulk of the research that has been done in terms of these open learning spaces, modern learning environments, has been done at the design phase and some of it is quite aspirational research about what the space is going to be like, but as soon as the teachers and students actually move into the space the research essentially dries up, so there is real need for us to be, at this stage as these spaces come into New Zealand really, to be driven by evidence and actually be doing our own research. 

There is a sort of inculturated hesitancy towards the open spaces. I know some teachers when they come around they say “Oh no you’ve got these open spaces and how does that work”. And there is a big sense of a collective memory that harks back to the 1960s and the 1970s and I think it casts a little shadow over our new modern learning environments. 

The New Zealand Curriculum sets out to create this idea of confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners and I think that if we look at our building design based on that and we look at how can the design of our learning environments actually help to create that sense that the NZC is actually after, then I think we will be on a really good track.

Looking towards the future I think we are going to see a lot of schools remodelling areas of their schools. I think we are going to see brand new schools being built that are based on these designs and based on more modern and flexible learning environments. And I think what we’ll see is teachers who come into the profession who relish the idea of collaboration and actually relish the idea of working alongside each other because collaboration in this sense doesn’t just mean going to the staff meeting on a Tuesday afternoon or sharing your planning with your team, it actually means the whole time from the moment you walk in, in the morning to the moment you finish. You are working alongside a team. It is something we haven’t really asked teachers to do before, we haven’t really challenged teachers to do that in the same sense in general. 

I think the challenge for teachers and the challenge for schools is to take down the walls, knock down some walls. Start teaching and learning alongside your colleagues. I think we do need to be more evidence based, we need to get some good strong narratives of how these spaces are working, but I would certainly urge people to start working collaboratively with your colleagues and see what extraordinary learning can come out of it. I’m not saying it is easy but I think it is hugely worthwhile for the kids.

Date added: 02/10/2012

Learning spaces

Chris Bradbeer, Associate Principal from Stonefields School in Auckland, explains the ideas behind the open learning spaces at his school. The shift in ICT, pedagogy, locus of control, and better building designs help facilitate the idea of the environment being the third teacher and having a pedagogy of itself. He challenges us to think about how we can take down the walls in our schools, both metaphorically and physically.

Views 28,831 Date added: 02/10/2012

Learning spaces

Hi My name’s Chris Bradbeer, I’m one of the associate principals at Stonefields School the brand new school to be opened in the old quarry in Mt Wellington. 

Stonefields’ got open learning spaces where there are the equivalent of three classes of teachers along with three classes of kids, so will be up to 75-80 kids in each of these learning hubs. And the teachers operate collaboratively together, they constantly work alongside each other and they are planning together, designing learning together, and talking about kids and talking about learning the whole time. Each of the teachers operate as a guardian to a class or group of kids and during the day the kids are just as likely to be taught by any of the other two teachers. And you might be thinking, “oh this sounds a little bit like what we had back in the 70s”. And sure enough when you read some of those reviews about what happened in the 1970s, you had teachers supposedly working in big spaces together and children sitting on nice comfortable furniture and doing different types of activities and tasks and being able to move around the space. And sure enough, in 1971 , there were some schools that were trying to do this, and if we think then David Bowie was singing ‘Hunky Dory’ and they were pulling troupes out of Vietnam and Greenpeace was being formed and a computer was half the size of a classroom. But things have changed, but I think, I’m a little bit guilty of this as well, we talk about these spaces as being open learning spaces and I think even the word ‘open’ in there reminds people of open-plan but essentially what happened was the teachers carried on teaching in these spaces as if they were in a single cell space and nothing really changed pedagogically.

Which brings us to today which is why there has been such a shift. We look at the shift in IT, we look at the shift in pedagogy, we look at the shift in the sort of locus of control with our learners and how the learners can really take a lot more control over their learning and really have a lot more say about how they are learning as well as what they are learning. We also have better acoustics and better architecture as well which allows the buildings and designs to help facilitate that and for the designs to really become a part of this idea of the environment being the third teacher and having a certain pedagogy about it itself in terms of how people use those spaces.

So we tend not to talk about open spaces now, we tend to sort of use the vernacular of open learning spaces, particularly in Australia, or if you’ve been listening to Stephen Heppell, he talks agile learning spaces or purpose built learning spaces. So there are lots of different things, different terminology, but essentially the space is different because it has been designed very purposefully for teaching and learning. And alongside that our pedagogy has changed in order to enable the learning to really hum. And we’ve been really excited about what we’ve been seeing at Stonefields because this is really happening and the level of teacher collaboration has been very high and the teachers are excited about the fact that when they come to do OTJs (Overall teacher judgments) on kids they are actually able to, you know, they’ve actually got three heads instead of just one head and they are able to sort of collaborate in terms of assessment and planning and designing learning. 

One of the sort of incidental spinoffs, or unexpected spinoffs has been this notion of incidental professional development that is going on.  Initially it was people saying, “Oh I just noticed the way you questioned that child, and I really liked that I’m going to try that” or “I like the way you introduced that book” or “I like the way you started down that line of inquiry”. And I think it has deepened, in a short time, to include things like, teachers are observing each other and giving feedback and really questioning deeply to really maximise the learning juice that teachers are getting out of any particular situation. 

Jill Blackmore, who put together a very good literature review on correlating build spaces and student outcomes, says that there isn’t really a correlation, at the moment there is no real data to say that the space has a spin off on student outcomes as well. She also says though that the bulk of the research that has been done in terms of these open learning spaces, modern learning environments, has been done at the design phase and some of it is quite aspirational research about what the space is going to be like, but as soon as the teachers and students actually move into the space the research essentially dries up, so there is real need for us to be, at this stage as these spaces come into New Zealand really, to be driven by evidence and actually be doing our own research. 

There is a sort of inculturated hesitancy towards the open spaces. I know some teachers when they come around they say “Oh no you’ve got these open spaces and how does that work”. And there is a big sense of a collective memory that harks back to the 1960s and the 1970s and I think it casts a little shadow over our new modern learning environments. 

The New Zealand Curriculum sets out to create this idea of confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners and I think that if we look at our building design based on that and we look at how can the design of our learning environments actually help to create that sense that the NZC is actually after, then I think we will be on a really good track.

Looking towards the future I think we are going to see a lot of schools remodelling areas of their schools. I think we are going to see brand new schools being built that are based on these designs and based on more modern and flexible learning environments. And I think what we’ll see is teachers who come into the profession who relish the idea of collaboration and actually relish the idea of working alongside each other because collaboration in this sense doesn’t just mean going to the staff meeting on a Tuesday afternoon or sharing your planning with your team, it actually means the whole time from the moment you walk in, in the morning to the moment you finish. You are working alongside a team. It is something we haven’t really asked teachers to do before, we haven’t really challenged teachers to do that in the same sense in general. 

I think the challenge for teachers and the challenge for schools is to take down the walls, knock down some walls. Start teaching and learning alongside your colleagues. I think we do need to be more evidence based, we need to get some good strong narratives of how these spaces are working, but I would certainly urge people to start working collaboratively with your colleagues and see what extraordinary learning can come out of it. I’m not saying it is easy but I think it is hugely worthwhile for the kids.

Hi My name’s Chris Bradbeer, I’m one of the associate principals at Stonefields School the brand new school to be opened in the old quarry in Mt Wellington. 

Stonefields’ got open learning spaces where there are the equivalent of three classes of teachers along with three classes of kids, so will be up to 75-80 kids in each of these learning hubs. And the teachers operate collaboratively together, they constantly work alongside each other and they are planning together, designing learning together, and talking about kids and talking about learning the whole time. Each of the teachers operate as a guardian to a class or group of kids and during the day the kids are just as likely to be taught by any of the other two teachers. And you might be thinking, “oh this sounds a little bit like what we had back in the 70s”. And sure enough when you read some of those reviews about what happened in the 1970s, you had teachers supposedly working in big spaces together and children sitting on nice comfortable furniture and doing different types of activities and tasks and being able to move around the space. And sure enough, in 1971 , there were some schools that were trying to do this, and if we think then David Bowie was singing ‘Hunky Dory’ and they were pulling troupes out of Vietnam and Greenpeace was being formed and a computer was half the size of a classroom. But things have changed, but I think, I’m a little bit guilty of this as well, we talk about these spaces as being open learning spaces and I think even the word ‘open’ in there reminds people of open-plan but essentially what happened was the teachers carried on teaching in these spaces as if they were in a single cell space and nothing really changed pedagogically.

Which brings us to today which is why there has been such a shift. We look at the shift in IT, we look at the shift in pedagogy, we look at the shift in the sort of locus of control with our learners and how the learners can really take a lot more control over their learning and really have a lot more say about how they are learning as well as what they are learning. We also have better acoustics and better architecture as well which allows the buildings and designs to help facilitate that and for the designs to really become a part of this idea of the environment being the third teacher and having a certain pedagogy about it itself in terms of how people use those spaces.

So we tend not to talk about open spaces now, we tend to sort of use the vernacular of open learning spaces, particularly in Australia, or if you’ve been listening to Stephen Heppell, he talks agile learning spaces or purpose built learning spaces. So there are lots of different things, different terminology, but essentially the space is different because it has been designed very purposefully for teaching and learning. And alongside that our pedagogy has changed in order to enable the learning to really hum. And we’ve been really excited about what we’ve been seeing at Stonefields because this is really happening and the level of teacher collaboration has been very high and the teachers are excited about the fact that when they come to do OTJs (Overall teacher judgments) on kids they are actually able to, you know, they’ve actually got three heads instead of just one head and they are able to sort of collaborate in terms of assessment and planning and designing learning. 

One of the sort of incidental spinoffs, or unexpected spinoffs has been this notion of incidental professional development that is going on.  Initially it was people saying, “Oh I just noticed the way you questioned that child, and I really liked that I’m going to try that” or “I like the way you introduced that book” or “I like the way you started down that line of inquiry”. And I think it has deepened, in a short time, to include things like, teachers are observing each other and giving feedback and really questioning deeply to really maximise the learning juice that teachers are getting out of any particular situation. 

Jill Blackmore, who put together a very good literature review on correlating build spaces and student outcomes, says that there isn’t really a correlation, at the moment there is no real data to say that the space has a spin off on student outcomes as well. She also says though that the bulk of the research that has been done in terms of these open learning spaces, modern learning environments, has been done at the design phase and some of it is quite aspirational research about what the space is going to be like, but as soon as the teachers and students actually move into the space the research essentially dries up, so there is real need for us to be, at this stage as these spaces come into New Zealand really, to be driven by evidence and actually be doing our own research. 

There is a sort of inculturated hesitancy towards the open spaces. I know some teachers when they come around they say “Oh no you’ve got these open spaces and how does that work”. And there is a big sense of a collective memory that harks back to the 1960s and the 1970s and I think it casts a little shadow over our new modern learning environments. 

The New Zealand Curriculum sets out to create this idea of confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners and I think that if we look at our building design based on that and we look at how can the design of our learning environments actually help to create that sense that the NZC is actually after, then I think we will be on a really good track.

Looking towards the future I think we are going to see a lot of schools remodelling areas of their schools. I think we are going to see brand new schools being built that are based on these designs and based on more modern and flexible learning environments. And I think what we’ll see is teachers who come into the profession who relish the idea of collaboration and actually relish the idea of working alongside each other because collaboration in this sense doesn’t just mean going to the staff meeting on a Tuesday afternoon or sharing your planning with your team, it actually means the whole time from the moment you walk in, in the morning to the moment you finish. You are working alongside a team. It is something we haven’t really asked teachers to do before, we haven’t really challenged teachers to do that in the same sense in general. 

I think the challenge for teachers and the challenge for schools is to take down the walls, knock down some walls. Start teaching and learning alongside your colleagues. I think we do need to be more evidence based, we need to get some good strong narratives of how these spaces are working, but I would certainly urge people to start working collaboratively with your colleagues and see what extraordinary learning can come out of it. I’m not saying it is easy but I think it is hugely worthwhile for the kids.

Date added: 02/10/2012
Transcript
Posted by: Jane Nicholls on the 04/10/2012
Thanks for the request for a transcript Trish, one has now been added to the video above for download.
Reply
Posted by: Chris Bradbeer on the 04/10/2012
Hi Trish No list of hard and fast rules I'm afraid but always happy to share our approach. chris@stonefields.school.nz
Reply
Open Learning Spaces and list of 'rules'
Posted by: Trish on the 04/10/2012
Hi Chris I tried to download this presentation, however I am unable to via the school site. Can you send me a script to read? Also do you have a list of 'rules' we can start with for discussions about Open learning spaces? Thanks Trish
Reply
Principal
Posted by: Robert on the 27/02/2013
after listening to this talk I wonder if its OK that we build every new school with the shared space philosophy. no research to back it up, as chris said. it is an experiment..... one we should not force on education, most experiments fail before they succeed....
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