Archetypal Learning Spaces

This post follows on from my previous post regarding 21st century learning spaces.

Having spent a deal of time discussing the ideal 21st century learning space, I made the decision to transform my small box (Rm 57). Thanks to the wise words of twitter colleague Warwick Mole, I gave the design responsibilities to my very first class of Term 4 -Year 7 English.

I asked the class to work in small self-selected groups to plan the ideal learning space – this would incorporate the mythic notions of campfire, watering hole and the cave. They took the challenge well and by the end of the lesson had created some wonderful designs:

Design #1

Design # 2

Design # 3

Design #4

I was really impressed with their maturity – and they were reallyexcited to be given the opportunity to take control of their own learning environment.

Today was the physical move – but first the design had to be decided upon. I stuck the four designs on the board and students came up and decided which elements they liked best from each design. Finally we came to an agreement and got to rearranging the furniture in our attempt to create a small ripple in the eduworld.

Agitating …

And after a full 40 minutes of moving furniture, rolling students in rugs, chatting about how effective our design would be and making so important changes, 25 Year 7 students transformed a box into a space will on its way to becoming ‘mythic’. As our canvas was small, it was a struggle to incorporate each element effectively, but we were pleased with what we created. So, what do you think of our learning space?

Rug = Campfire

9 x Cafe-style double tables = Cave

2 x 6-table bunches = Watering Hole


9 thoughts on “Archetypal Learning Spaces

    • I have now had about 5 teachers come and check-out the room – one from another school! It is primarily my classroom however there is one other teacher who uses it for 4 periods a week. As mentioned above, she’s loving it to! I don’t think other teacher will come in and usemy class, if they were inspired I’d assume they would change their own classroom layout. My colleague in the room next to me is always changing her room to meet the needs of her learners, which is inspiring also.

  1. At my school we have 4 classes who’ve recently moved into our new building (courtesy of the BER) and we opted for round tables changing the learning dynamic considerably. However, your design is one of the best I’ve seen using “traditional” shaped desks. From the images, the classroom looks bigger than average – is that right or is just the camera making a regular space appear larger? Linking each area back with a theme is also a nice touch. Will this stay for the remainder of the year, or will it change if you sense the students are becoming restless in that configuration?

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  3. An awesome concept and well done for taking the step. Can I ask some low level questions of it?

    1) I see 2 waterholes and a number of caves – how many single desks in total did you use?
    2)Did the students have any thoughts on changing the use of the walls? If so could you share those please.

    You’ve got me thinking, thanks.

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